“Some people change their ways when they see the light; others when they feel the heat” — Caroline Schoeder

Boy, oh boy, sure is brutal out… not only is it HOTTER than heck but also  humid, too.   We desert dwellers are not used to humidity.   Excessive heat warnings are in effect and all we city homesteaders (with0ut AC) can do is keep cooking and chores to a minimum or do them in the cool of the night or morning.  We have to “change our ways” because of the heat  so a lot of extra curricular homestead activities are on hold right now like canning and  bread baking.  Even washing dishes in hot water turns the kitchen into a sauna for a moment!  The slightest exertion  causes one to drip buckets (hmmm, maybe we can save it and water the plants?).

We are uncomfortable but have been blessed with an old Craftsman house which has high ceilings and a huge attic for which we have a solar  fan which helps a lot.  Wood floors and big windows for ventilation–they sure knew how to build a comfortable home back then.

Keeping the plants watered and the animals cool during this dangerous heat spell is a full time job.  Fortunately, the animal enclosure is located in the coolest part of the yard and is surrounded on two sides by a stone wall with tree shading.  It just takes a watering down of the wall and trees to begin  the natural cooling process through evaporation.   This is the time I hang with the animals  to reap those benefits.   And, everyday, the countdown to the welcomed relief of the cool breezy nights begins.  As soon as the sun is setting, the atmosphere changes and  those cool nights bring a respite from the draining daytime temps.

For those brave souls who dare to come out and shop and plan on stopping by the farm stand today and Sunday, COOL down with organic sorbets, ice cream and  an assortment of natural drinks.

How are you “beating the heat?”



  1. Ann Knickerbocker says:

    I plan on having chickens by this time next year — layers — and wondering how yours are faring in this heat. I am in the Inland Empire and it has gotten up to 114. What special precautions must one take for their chickens?

    • Mary Stephens says:

      Ann, I suggest you do some research on chickens that are good for hot weather locations. We are in Central Texas. We and our friends have found some varieties that seem to do well here – Ameracaunas, Buff Orpington, Naked Neck, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red mixes. I know there are others. One variety not to get for sure is Wyandotte. They died from heat because their feathers are too thick.

      One source for information would be April Howington. She is local here and has raised a lot of chickens in this hot climate. She’s a breeder, is certified and they produce their own line of feed, so she’s a well informed source.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  2. jen says:

    I nestel myself in between the Puget Sound body of water, avg temp of the water is 50-degrees in summer, and the Cascade Mountains, which prevent weather from interior of the continent from reaching us. The jet stream has to move really far south to pull any extreme weather from the interior of Canada via the Frasier River Valley.

  3. Mary Stephens says:

    Anais, ya’ll are blessed that the temperature goes down so much at night.

    • Mary Stephens says:

      Ooops. More info… Here in central Texas our day temps are supposed to be a little lower than yours, but our nights aren’t dropping quite as much – 60s sound wonderful.

      Well, we use AC to stay cool. Yep, and thankful for it too, though we know it might (once again) become an unattainable luxury in the not too distant future. Maybe if/when we build our own house we can make it more passive heat and cooling oriented! 🙂

  4. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, Last month (July) was brutal here for heat. We crept up over 100 many days with humidity up to 80%. At night the temperature would drop into the upper 70s but the humidity kept me from shutting down the airconditioning and opening the windows. August has been a welcome relief to the temperatures. We are in a pattern of 80s during the day and 60s at night. Hopefully, our furnace days are over. It has completely destroyed the farm crops and stunted all the garden attempts this year. Mostly all the summer garden crops are starting to look like the end of production which would normally be in late September or October. The heat and 49 days without rain has just worn down the plants for this year.

    I hope your heat wave is short lived and all your animals will be ok. As for how I dealt with it. I just stayed inside during the day where my airconditioner pumped out cool air and only worked out side from first light (5:30am) until the temperature hit 85 (9:30am). It was a long July for sure. Now my grandson would say the best way to beat the heat is a the local swimming pool. :0)

    Have a great day in the garden.

  5. Joyness Sparkles says:

    I hope you all have AC. We tried to go without it, but the 100’s… I just cannot take that heat. I love the long growing seasons in Texas, but I am more suited for Alaska’s temperatures… 🙂

  6. Melissa says:

    Hi Anais,

    Although it is winter here in Western Australia, your weather forecast gave me flashbacks to our last summer. So. Very. Hot! We have pretty stringent water restrictions including total sprinkler bans, which can be pretty hard on the veggie patch.

    So we invested $20 in a long, but shallow wading pool, that made all the difference to us beating the summer heat. We would fill it in the morning, wallow in it all day, then my three kids and I would water the garden the next morning using our little watering cans.

    Worked a treat! Everybody cool.


  7. ashli says:

    it’s unfortunate that the few that ‘get it’ have to suffer with the plenty (that know, but don’t do better).

    sadly, this is how it works and we all need to come up with some small, simple solutions with HUGE payoffs.

    keep doing what you guys are doing and we will all try to catch up.

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