Preserving food at home is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce your grocery bills, get better flavor and nutrition, and achieve a local diet. If you don't have a food garden at home, you can stock up on in-season produce from nearby farmers markets, and take that home to preserve for year-round eating. If you shop at the peak season for your favorite crops, you can often find very good prices for larger quantities.
Drying food is a delicious way to preserve and concentrate the flavors of fresh fruits, veggies and herbs. Your dried produce will require no electricity and very little space to store. Plus, if you grow your own food and choose to dry it with free energy from the sun by building one of these great, inexpensive solar dehydrators described in the articles below, your pantry will be stocked with near-net-zero-energy produce! Cool, eh?
A Solar Food Dryer from Cardboard Boxes
This unique low-cost food dehydrator is extremely easy for anyone to make.
Best-Ever Solar Food Dehydrator Plans
Nearly two decades of expert testing and experimentation have gone into producing these solar food dehydrator plans. The resulting food dryer isn’t just efficient and off-grid — it’s also highly cost-effective for anyone wanting to preserve large amounts of food at home.
Build a Solar Food Dehydrator
Preserve your harvest with free energy from the sun. Learn the basics of how to dry food; includes examples of do-it-yourself solar food dehydrators.
Preserving Food Using a Homemade Dehydrator
Building your own food dryer is a great way to preserve all your homegrown goodies.
How to Preserve Food Using Sun Drying and Natural Methods
A guide to food dehydrating methods.
Solar Food Dryer
This clever do-it-yourself solar food dehydrator is made from a recycled 55-gallon barrel covered with clear polycarbonate glazing.
Choosing a Food Dehydrator
An expert reviews the pros and cons of four leading food dehydrators designed for drying fruits and vegetables.
How to Build a Food Dehydrator
Learn how to construct a food dryer powered by the sun, a stove or electricity; including materials, diagrams and assembly.
After you've built your whiz-bang solar food dryer, check out these resources for tips, techniques and recipes on how to use them:* Reap the Garden & Market Bounty: How to Dry Food
* Make Your Food Dollar Go Further: Dry Your Own Fruits and Vegetables at Home