The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Memorial Day week heat wave

Cucumber tendrilThe weather has been unusually hot this week, with highs in the 90s and record highs for our area at the closest weather station.  Monday afternoon, the temperature inside our trailer got up over 100, setting off the high alarm on the incubator --- now I've taken to training a fan on brood 3 during the hottest period in the late afternoon.

The adult hens are spending their time resting in the shade, but the tweens have been out and about...and so have the chicks!  When we moved the fluffballs from the house to the second coop on Sunday, I leaned a piece of plywood against their pophole, figuring they weren't ready to explore yet, but the youngsters knocked that down by Monday afternoon.  I figured they knew what they wanted, so I instead used the plywood as a little ramp, and soon our youngest flock was exploring the ragweed forest.

Chicks on pasture

Sugar snap peaOther than trying to keep ourselves cool, though, this unusually hot weather has been a boon.  After two solid months of adding items to our "must be hauled onto the farm ASAP!" list, the driveway finally dried up enough to allow passage.  Sticking to the most important first, Mark treated me to two truckloads of manure and a load of straw.  Meanwhile, we were able to drive in supplies that had been building up in the parking area, including masses of cardboard for kill mulches, bags of lawn clippings for garden mulch, Broccoliand some lumber.  Weeding has been taking up more and more of my time as last fall's mulch melted into the soil, so I'm even more grateful than usual for my big piles of biomass.

On the whole, the garden has also been happy to see the sun.  Sure, a few strawberries got cooked on the vine and a cabbage leaf showed signs of sunscald, but I can almost see the rest of the garden growing.  We finally hooked up the rest of the sprinklers and are now watering in earnest to keep that momentum going.  Homegrown produce currently on the menu includes strawberries (far more than we can eat), greens, lettuce, parsley, broccoli, snow peas, and sugar snap peas.

Our chicken waterer ensures that none of our chickens succumb to heat exhaustion during hot spells.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I'm so jealous! This has been a looong cold, wet spring (my first in the Pacific NW). My plants are barely bigger than starts and it will be at least 3 more weeks before we get our first strawberry. C'mon sun!
Comment by Fostermamas Thu Jun 2 15:46:37 2011

I've been reading a couple of blogs by folks gardening out there, and I have to say, I'm not jealous. It sounds like the area didn't have a summer last year, and might be on a trend to stay in that kind of climate for years! That said, you can grow awesome cool season crops nearly all year round without protection.

(And, don't feel too bad. 100 degree heat with 55% humidity is hard to bear, even when looking out at a vibrant garden. :-) )

Comment by anna Thu Jun 2 17:10:26 2011

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