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  • HDT Team

Staying Cool in the Heat


Jim and Dave wear hats to keep the sun off their skin.

We’ve had a pretty off and on summer, so far. For every day that has been a scorcher, there’s been another day that’s overcast. One week of sunburn weather and then another week of rainy indoor weather. In fact, our wonderful Eco Campers and Turtle Trek Campers have gotten the brunt of both rainy days and fun in the sun!

However, the heat (when on) is nothing to be trifled with. So, I looked for some ways to beat the heat. I didn’t have to look too far! Our garden crew has incorporated some methods to be able to work in the heat for hours. Here’s what they suggested:

Cover Your Skin


You can see Allison wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants while harvesting strawberries.

Wearing shirts and long pants that cover your skin is one method they recommend. In the times with high heat, the clothes (if lighter, like white or sky blue) will repel the heat. Cotton is the best fabric to use as it allows perspiration to occur. If you can avoid jeans, you’ll be better off, as well.

Also, if you can cover your face with a sun hat or even a baseball cap, your skin will appreciate it. Since your head is the first thing to receive the suns rays, it will be taking the brunt of the heat. Simply using a hat will minimize your exposure to the heat, allowing you to stay cooler for longer.

Work Earlier in the Day


Jim works early in the morning before the day starts to warm up. As it’s usually cooler earlier in the day, it’s a perfect time to get exerting projects done.

It’s not a particularly unique idea, but working when it’s cooler out is a no-brainer. In fact, I just read that trash collectors in Washington DC are expected to start working during the early morning in this summer to get most of their routes done before it gets too hot.

In the same vein, they take the time to take breaks. Our garden crew takes a few minutes every hour to come inside, have a drink of water, and relax. Staying out of the heat seems like a simple solution, but it works!

Drink Something With Electrolytes


Hay Time Switchel is a drink long used by farmers and harvesters.

If you can’t get out of the heat, then it’s important to combat the effects of the heat. Working in the sun causes your body to sweat. (No kidding!) Sweating is important to stay cool, but the salt (electrolytes) lost in the process is necessary for proper function.

Drinking water is great, but you still need to replenish the lost salt in your system. That’s why “Gatorade” has such a following. But, you don’t need to go out and buy a sports drink. You can make your own. We’ve got a recipe for Hay Time Switchel that will get you back on your feet.

Hay Time Switchel

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup light molasses

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 quart cold water

Combine all ingredients and stir well.  Makes 6 seven ounce glasses.  This can be refrigerated, but old timers made it with cold spring water and said nothing quenched a thirst or cooled a dusty throat in haying time as this drink.

So, what are your methods for staying cool in the heat? I’d love to hear about them (or to be specific, our garden crew would love to hear about them!)


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