Oh, Cushman, I feel for you. I've 'quit' in disgust a time or two myself.
We have those blasting winds from March-May, but they stop eventually, Thank Dog. Over the years, I've learned how to create and enhance the various microclimates on our 1/3 acre.
We have a stand of clumping bamboo that partially blocks the SW winds. Though the canes get ten feet tall it does not spread much, probably because we never water it. PM me if you want some roots.
I've also stacked cement blocks for temporary windbreaks and put in a raised bed with three foot high walls. Half filled with potting mix, it leaves 18" of surrounding wall to gave the plants shelter while they are young and tender.
And, yes, very few plants can take the strong sunlight that comes with our low humidity. Except for Okra. Its African origins make it an ideal hot weather crop. Like Sunflowers, it can be used for seasonal shade.
My current microclimate 'kluge' (built with the help of my husband) is butted up against the south wall of our house:
I slide the cover up and down, depending on how much shade I want. Happily I have no neighbors to object to the looks of it.
Later in the season, I will put up a high shade sail between the house and the carport, and replace the stapled on plastic with screened panels that bolt on (if said husband can be co-erced into making them!), But for now, the plastic surround seems to keep the box temperatures moderated so I don't have a large day/night swing.
So far, so good. I put tomato starts in the first week of March and seeded self-fertile zucchini sometime in April. I picked my first Tom from Kimberly a couple of weeks ago, and my first zucchini yesterday. We'll see what the roasting season brings.
In the course of a year I expect to see a couple of grasshopers, cabbage loopers, aphids, hornworms, and flea beetles, all of which are manageable. LA gardeners were having enormous investations of harlequin beetles, but I so far I have missed them and the spider mites. I have a feeling your humitdy tent method might handle both problems, if they show up.
Also, you probably know about Native Seeds
and Seeds Trust
, which specialize in varieties that are adapted to harsh conditions, but if you don't, check them out:http://www.nativeseeds.org/http://secure.seedstrust.com/
The Seeds Trust folks sold me on Urbikany tomatoes with their statement that that it did well as an early tomato for Tucson market gardeners. It is a short (we must have plants with low wind resistance! ) determinate variety, and though I haven't tasted it yet, it is VERY productive.
Other crops that I think of as being adapted to our hot weather are containerized sweet potatoes. Melons. Collards. Amaranth. New Zealand spinach.*
Whatever you do, don't quit! But if you do, can I have your boxes? <g>
*ETA Asian long beans (54 DTM Stickless Wonder produces on short plants). Armenian Cukes. And probably anything grown in the middle east.