Several people have asked me, “What's the difference between dehydrating and free drying?” or “What's the difference between a dehydrator and a freeze dryer?”. Although they perform similar functions – food is dried for storage – how they do it and the resulting product is quite different. We'll take a look at the equipment involved and the final product. [Read more…]Translate the Site
Buzzing around Instagram and online freeze drying groups, I see a lot of photos of people showing off their home freeze dried goodies – and a lot of freeze drying mistakes. We got our home freeze dryer earlier this year, and it's pretty easy to use, but there are some things you should avoid to get the best results for your food and your freeze dryer. Some of these tips are for flavor, some shorten your drying time, some avoid messes and a few are real safety issues. [Read more…]Translate the Site
You can build your own walk in cooler for produce storage at just a fraction of the cost of commercial coolers. A CoolBot and a regular household window A/C unit lets you turn any well insulated room into a walk-in cooler. Instead of paying over $5000 for a small commercial walk in cooler, you can save thousands with this DIY cooler option. [Read more…]Translate the Site
I first saw striped jelly in a Facebook group and thought that it looked absolutely beautiful. There was only a photo, no instructions. The person who shared the photo said that her daughter had made some up for a local farm market. The daughter had planned to price it the same as the other jams, but the mom convinced her to charge extra because of the labor involved. Mom was right again, as the striped jelly sold out almost immediately, even at a much higher price.
I was inspired to give striped jelly a try, so during the season, I saved and froze different types of fruit juice and puree. When my sister came to visit last weekend, she asked if I had any extra jams or jelly that her granddaughter could use for a school fundraiser. Since trying new ideas is always more fun when you have a “partner in crime”, I dug out my fruit stash and my sis and I made up 15 jars of beautiful fruit striped yumminess. Here's how we did it.
By the way – if you don't have a stash of fruit puree, remember that you can always use fruit juices or frozen fruit for jellies and jams.
A root cellar is a great option to include in your food storage plan, since they require no energy to use and require very little maintenance. It’s great if you can build in a root cellar when your home is under construction, but it’s also possible to add a root cellar to your basement, or build one outside your home. Root cellars are a great low-cost, no-energy way to store food and extend the shelf life of fresh produce. [Read more…]Translate the Site