Monday, May 24, 2010
It looks like summer is arriving even earlier because yesterday's temperature hit 93 F. Turkeys are walking around with their wings held away from their body. All the animals are panting like dogs -- like the poor goat kid in the picture. The humans are sweating. And temperatures will be in the upper 80s and 90s for the rest of the week.
We do our best to adjust. We don't have central air conditioning, because we couldn't find a system that was not an energy hog when we started building the house six years ago. We have an attic fan, so as long as the temperature falls into the 60s at night, we can use that fan to pull in the cold air from outside overnight. We close all the windows in the morning to trap the cold air inside with the help of insulated window shades, which also keeps the sun out. If it gets too hot in here, we can always retreat to the basement, which stays naturally cool.
We try to do chores as early as we can drag ourselves out of bed, which is not as early as you might think. We're not crack-o-dawn farmers, however, if the temperatures get much higher, we will be. We get all the animals out of the barns, which will be up to 10 degrees hotter than the outside temperatures. I really don't like metal barns, because they're hotter in summer and colder in winter. Too bad we couldn't find a farm with big, old wooden barns. In the middle of the day, we make sure everyone has plenty of water. Then we hibernate inside until a couple hours before sundown when the temperatures start to fall again. Or at least, that's what I do. Mike makes me feel like the ultimate wimp in all of this. He is out there working hard and sweating profusely all day. At the moment, he is scything and digging into the dirt around the perimeter of the garden, so that he can bury a rabbit-proof fence. (That's a post for tomorrow or the next day.)
We're having cold breakfasts, like yogurt and granola, and lunch is cold left-overs, salads, or a cold sandwich spread like hummus. Dinner is cooked around 8 p.m., so that the temperatures are starting to drop, and we'll be able to open windows again and turn on the attic fan, which will pull the cold night air back into the house. Then we'll start over again in the morning.