Reality Check: The Melted Farmer

As someone who currently lives in a humid subtropical region, I expect some heat and humidity in the summer. I do. But what I don’t expect is days-long stretches of heat and humidity that reach 110F with the heat index and nighttime temperatures in the 80s – heat waves that necessitate “excessive heat warnings” from the weather service that basically advise rational people to stay indoors. How, exactly, does a farmer do that?

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Home Hacks: Keeping The Heat Out

We may have lost a view temporarily, but at least it’s cool in here!

Summer is nearly upon us, and it’s already very hot here. The sun coming into our home’s older windows creates a greenhouse effect, which raises the temperature significantly in rooms and makes the heat pump work harder to cool them. And that means big power bills. But using an item you may already have around can keep that heat out and save money on cooling: emergency blankets.

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Farm Fowl: Weathering The Heat

We’ve been suffering the effects of a “heat dome” here for about the past week. Temperatures have been in the 90s during the day (reaching 105F+ with the heat index), and it doesn’t cool off much at night. This makes for dangerously hot weather, for people and animals. We’ve learned some tricks over the years that helps keep our flocks healthy and resilient, and are employing them now.

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Around The Farm: Too Warm, A Bit Too Early

A maple tree’s fresh new leaves

It’s a sunny Saturday here on the farm, and it’s been unusually warm. Temperatures yesterday hit 80F and are forecasted to be in the 80s (currently 84F now) for the remainder of the weekend. The combination of high humidity and temperatures makes for some uncomfortable days working outside, a reminder of the real heat and humidity that are just around the corner.

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Haiku: Optimistically Obscured

Temperatures have been bouncing up and down here, and the last vestiges of snow have been shrinking from the approaching sun. This tiny pile of ice crystals was in a shaded alcove on the exterior of the chicken coop, looking as though it was doing its best to hide. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was successful.

Winecraft: Working Wildflowers

We’re surrounded by the incredible beauty – arguably, mundane beauty – of wildflowers. Some belong to what we call “weeds” (undeservedly pejorative), but each has its charm, value, and/or use. While I truly do appreciate their aesthetic appeal, I also appreciate the range of wines that can be made from the edible flowers: some delicate, some bold, and all unique.

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Haiku: Help Our Mother

When seeking beauty, truth – and sadness – are often companions. While it’s a beautifully crisp fall day here, seemingly “normal”, the image of this leaf stirred feelings of deep sadness at the plight of the Earth…our Mother. She suffers, as others seek only to enrich themselves, plundering our home for their own selfish benefit. These bad actors have deliberately misled the public, pretending that the environmental nightmare known as plastic can actually be recycled, distracting people from the fact that the human-caused extinction of many animals continues and that climate change, with its many and devastating impacts, isn’t actually happening…and more. Wake up, people! Question what you’re hearing/reading/being told and seek information from many sources…our collective lives depend on it.

Haiku: Leavesdropping

It’s a delightfully cool day here, with a playful breeze that rustles the leaves in the trees, making it sound – especially when you’re standing below – like breathy whispers. If only I could understand what they’re saying…but it’s a private conversation.

If you believe in the interconnectedness of living beings, it shouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that the trees know that their kind are burning…now on the west coast, earlier in Australia, and ongoing in the Amazon. What must they think of us?

Did you know that it’s estimated that nearly 3 billion animals were killed or displaced because of the Australian bush fires? It’s difficult to comprehend the enormity of this loss, and it will have lasting impacts – from the Reuters article, “researchers said the destruction will see some species become extinct before their existence is even recorded.” 😢