Upcycled Solar Food Dehydrator from a Used Vehicle

| 7/27/2017 11:46:00 PM

Tags: food dehydrators, solar dehydrators, solar power, food preservation, upcycling, Holly Chiantaretto,

Dehydrating Food An Flowers Truck 

Preserving your garden harvest is crucial to being able to reap the maximum benefits of your hard work. If you can some of your produce you will fully well know that there is a point when you will become exhausted with it and throw in the towel or run out of shelf space. Freezing food also has space limitations. Drying some of your produce is an excellent way to have access to your full harvest all winter long.

Commercial food dehydrators are wonderful if you are drying a very small amount of food. However, the amount of energy it takes is not worth the expense if you are drying a lot of produce or if you are on a limited amount of energy usage.

I had avoided drying my produce because of energy-usage issues, as we are in the process of transitioning to solar energy. So I sought out some groups in the area that were teaching about solar dehydration and making your own solar dehydrator. We helped to build one so we could really understand how it worked and be able to build one for ourselves. Then life happened.

Between all of the other projects on the farm, my job, and the kids, we put the fancy dehydrator low on the priority list. Buried under a sea of farm projects and my herb garden growing much more effectively than I had anticipated, I had to come up with a way to dehydrate.

Troubleshooting Food Dehydration

Herbs are tricky — they must be dried at a low temperature to retain their properties and will mold if they are dried too slowly. I tried hanging them in my porch kitchen and they molded, because our farm is in a hollow. So I began to have conversations with the veteran farmers in our area.

5/26/2018 10:43:54 PM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to make my own – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha. Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

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