Today is the first day with the temperature below 40C (104F) during the week since I have been back in Kapunda. It is overcast, dull and humid, after some lightning and thunder overnight and 1mm of rain.
I went to the local garden shop to buy some baby plants on Wednesday (the day after the owner goes to Adelaide to the wholesalers) as well as gypsum and some "blood and bone" to help the plants along a bit. It is lovely weather to be outside and so I have been out replanting in the garden that is closest to the kitchen. This is where I have erected the shade cloth and attempted to cool the soil a little.
I have some errands to run today (Centrelink for Chris) but when I get home, I'll finish that off and replace mulch before the weather returns to "summer" again. The timing of this heat-wave culdn't be worse for the garden... even trying to replant is a bit daunting... it's peak "earwig time" as well!
It has been interesting reading comments from other food gardeners that live in theis area. The general consensus seems to be to really re-think the kind of crops that we attempt in summer (I've already done some of this) and to grow the main crops in winter, freezing or bottling excess for the summer.
I am also seriously considering adding a goat to the menagerie here... there is plenty of grass and food among the weeds, and I would like to try making cheese. Even fresh yoghourt cheeses are a good way of preserving a significant amount of calories and protein for the long term.
It has been hard to remain enthusiastic about the garden this week, but I'm back on track. It's easy to write about successes, harvests and the "fun" stuff. In fact, its probably the difficult bits from which we learn, and which is most productive for the long term. (What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!)
Kapunda garden has deveolped from a garden blog to a travel diary and from here on, perhaps it will be how to recover from disaster, for that's what it feels like at the moment.