Getting Ready for Winter: Preserving Food, Part 1



I’m really not a fan of summer. Summer in Western Montana means long hot days without rain, wildfires, and the inevitable smoke. So, everything is drought-stressed, including me and my critters. Even so, there are some bright spots to the summer — that is the potential to get apples, plums, pears, and elderberries for free or darn near free either from wild trees or from people who just don’t want bears in their yards, eating their windfall fruit.

So, I’ve been drying apples, peaches, cherries and apricots for snacks (extremely important for the upcoming hunting season), and canning. Both are excellent ways to preserve excess foods that would normally go to waste if you didn’t do something with them.

The Necessary Tools

One of the best investments I made was a food dehydrator. I actually got it on a deep discount because the box was damaged. It’s a standard Nesco brand that has two trays and one fruit roll tray, but you can add on more trays as you need. I bought three more trays, and will probably buy more as the season continues.

When I got it, I was quick to try it out and once I did get some foods dried, I realized just how wonderful it is. If you do not have a dehydrator, either an electric one or a sun dryer, get or build one. You won’t regret it.

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