• Great question and that was what I thought the answer would be…yuck!

    March 13, 2012
  • Meleah, very well thought out and organized answer. I agree that there is no simple answer. You addressed many of factors people need to consider how to use their rainwater. A first flush device is a great addition to help water quality. Another is to make sure the barrel is opaque as possible. I see a lot of translucent barrels in use and it concerns me that the education needs to catch up with the use of rainwater collection. UV will encourage algae growth and take water quality down quickly.
    Keep up the great work.

    March 16, 2012
  • For what it’s worth, I live near you in Minneapolis and I have been using rain barrel water on my edibles for several years. I’m also a master gardener and my answer is always “YES! You can!” to that question. Kinda funny!

    I’ve even rinsed a radish from the garden with rain barrel water, then ate it immediately without drying it. Never gotten sick once. Generally though, I use soaker hoses attached to my rain barrels, so the vast majority of the water mostly just goes into the soil.

    I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong or anything, but I found this kinda amusing being that we’re both Hennepin Co. MG’s and we give opposite advice. Oh well!

    May 24, 2012
    • Meleah

      Hi Jennifer,
      Sorry it took forever to reply. Summer’s just kinda crazy. I really think it is a personal call on rain barrel water. I know other gardeners who use it on veggies too. I just don’t like to, myself.

      June 05, 2012
  • Jim Weaver

    Is the material the rain barrels made of safe for holding water for your vegetables ?

    July 09, 2017

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