Recently the temperature in Melbourne reached 37 degrees. This is not unusual, and we can have a quite few days around that temperature. (It usually manages to get really hot in February, just as kids are going back to school for the start of the year.) Some places in Australia have been having obscenely high temperatures. Moomba, in South Australia, hit the highest recorded maximum with 49.6 C. That’s 121 F. That’s horrible.
Unlike many people we don’t have air conditioning. There are times when I consider it, but I always come back to its environmental impact — and the fact that we really don’t need it.
Instead we use a ceiling fan and a pedestal fan. And the passive cooling of our vine and maple tree.
My house faces north. There are no windows on the west side, and house next door is pretty close. So the west is protected and little heat comes in that way. This leaves the east and south sides. As you can see the vine covers the area between our eastern fence and the back door (which is sort of at the side!). This blocks out the morning sun, and heat.
The maple tree protects the house from the south. So today the temperature indoors was only 27, about 10 degrees cooler. The heat rises when there are a few hot days — but then even air conditioning can struggle. (I am sure that air conditioning, fans, vines and everything else would have little impact in Moomba.)
And of course, both the tree and vine are deciduous, so they let in all the glorious warming winter sun.
And the veggie patch…? Well it is a waiting game — waiting for things to ripen.
But I have munched a couple of early beans, and there are always some strawberries to harvest. My next garden job is to fertilise with the worm juice from the worm farm.