Solar Food Drying Class

015Today we had our Drying your Harvest-Solar Food Drying Class with Amanda Bramble from Ampersand leading us and everyone liked the class. Amanda explained what solar dehydrating was all about and had samples of some of ‘kale chips, ‘kale crunch’ and ‘green crunch’ for us to sample. She explained how her solar dehydrator works and we discussed how we could design one for ourselves or maybe a community garden.  It’s a downdraft dehydrator she and her crew built out at Ampersand and we looked at pictures showing her huge deyhydrator where she can dry 60 lbs of fruit at one time! Then she shared some recipes.

Jannine Cabossel built a direct solar dehydrator from a design of her own in 4 hours after looking at many designs online. It was the opposite of Amanda’s being small and portable being about 22 inches by 17 inches and had two trays in it . She based the size on 2 screens she got and much discussion was had on how she could amend it for better ventilation and air flow.  She provides dried apples and raisins she made.

Duskin explained how the electric dehydrator that was at the class differed from the solar units. He explained how to make jerky on the electric one. Duskin explained with jerky you need to dry the meats at a higher temperature vs with fruits and vegetables and he shared his marinade.

Here are the class handouts:

Ampersand solar dehydrator

Ampersand Dehydration Recipes

Dehydrating Foods

Solar Drying-Courtesy of Backwoods Magazine

 

 

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