Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tending the garden on the hottest day EVER!

It has been one hot summer, and I'm trying not to freak out. Today is predicted to be the hottest day ever in the Pacific NW, over 100 degrees F. Day after day, we try to water the garden as much as possible early in the morning and after dusk, but many of the plants are still wilting. Our well runs out of water over and over throughout the day. We would take more showers to cool off, but water is scarce. I try to just spray myself down periodically while watering plants, and it helps a lot. Mike has been taking Anouk to town to enjoy air conditioned facilities.

We thought this would be the ideal place to live as the threat of climate change looms in the future. We are on high ground, but enjoy a diverse ecosystem. We are surrounded by creeks and rivers, and this area gets so much water all year. We are far enough inland to avoid the worst of raging storms, and far enough from local volcanoes that we would be fairly safe if one erupts. But this heat wave is an indication that we are not sufficiently prepared when it comes to our water. Our well is not deep enough. We can't afford to drill a new one right now, so we are brainstorming water storage. We want to find a tank that we can use to collect and store rainwater, at least for maintaining the animals and most vital plants, or for washing.

The animals seem to be weathering the heat pretty well. I'm tempted to set the goats free in the forest today, where they can forage and avoid the hot sun. Yesterday, I dunked the ferret in water occasionally, and put him in front of a fan. I keep reminding myself that people and animals live in places that frequently get this hot, and they are fine.

Meanwhile, the vegetables are ripening in full force, so that I can barely keep up with harvesting them and finding ways to use or preserve them. I think I will visit a neighbor later with a veggie delivery, and I'm planning to have a vegetable party soon so that people will come and eat a lot of our abundant food. I'd like to get some of it to the food bank, but I wish someone would make it easy by swinging by to pick it up, or even helping me to gather it. I know there are programs for that in some areas, set up by our new administration. There has to be a way to share the bounty with those who need it.

The computer is upstairs, and it is quickly becoming unbearably hot up here. Time to retreat to lower levels, and to check on the garden.

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