Friday, October 2, 2009

Drying Fruits and Vegetables

This year has not been a good one for our gardens, production is way down. Usually we can many, many jars of food; this year we are drying more.

Living off the grid, we do not have an electric dryer, so the drying has always been done in the gas oven. This year we did some in the oven, but really wanted to get away from that, so we have been experimenting with drying in the greenhouse (bringing things into the house at night to avoid excess dew) and air drying. So far things have been going well.

Cauliflower, berries, beets and fruit leather has been done in the gas oven. Greens and roots have been done in the greenhouse. Apples, grapes and green beans have been strung up and hung in the kitchen to dry, as have corn cobs. So far the apples and green beans have done very well, although they take a long time to dry.

The corn just got hung up two days ago, so we will see how that works out (I read that it takes a month for the corn to dry). After it is dry we will remove it from the husks and grind it into corn meal.

There are many books on the subject of drying and preserving, but one of our favorites is Stocking Up: The Third Edition of America's Classic Preserving Guide In this book we can usually find most of the information we need.

Making Raspberry Fruit LeatherMaking Raspberry Fruit Leather

Raspberry Fruit LeatherRaspberry Fruit Leather

Drying CauliflowerDrying Cauliflower

Corn, Ready To DryCorn, Ready To Dry

Air Drying Corn, Grapes and ApplesDrying Corn and Apples

Drying Sunflower SeedsDrying Sunflower Seeds