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Originally Posted By: JCK88
(and also dehydrate some. This is my first year with dehydration ability!! Yippeee!


I have a nice, new dehydrator that I have *gulp* never used. It's a couple of years old. What do you recommend I dehydrate first? I bought it to make fruit roll-ups, but went out of my way to get large amounts of fruit, and eventually forgot about it.

I had never thought of dehydrating for preps before. What kind of things work for that?
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LOL my first dehydration experiment was with herbs. I dried a ton of parsley two days agao. Yes. I am that new at this, too. Years ago I had one of those awful plastic dehydrators that sold on TV and used it for fruit roll ups and banana chips until it died. This dehydrator is my convection oven...using special trays, it dehydrates food and came with a chart for estimated times and temps. It dried my parsley to perfection in three hours flat.

 

My next experiment is going to be drying summer and zucchini squash. I read that you can use them in soups, and I have a lot of it on hand from the garden and from the farm coop I belong to so that's the next thing.

 

There are plenty of other folks here with more experience than I have in this endeavor. I betcha if you ask this over in the Preserving the Harvest folder, the smart folks here will chime in. I'm kind of learning as I go, using my stove guide as a lesson book.

 

Many people dehydrate all kinds of things and them vacuum seal them for storage.

 

I plan to dehydrate some fruit this summer and also to try making some jerky.

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Originally Posted By: JCK88
LOL my first dehydration experiment was with herbs. I dried a ton of parsley two days agao. Yes. I am that new at this, too. Years ago I had one of those awful plastic dehydrators that sold on TV and used it for fruit roll ups and banana chips until it died. This dehydrator is my convection oven...using special trays, it dehydrates food and came with a chart for estimated times and temps. It dried my parsley to perfection in three hours flat.

My next experiment is going to be drying summer and zucchini squash. I read that you can use them in soups, and I have a lot of it on hand from the garden and from the farm coop I belong to so that's the next thing.

There are plenty of other folks here with more experience than I have in this endeavor. I betcha if you ask this over in the Preserving the Harvest folder, the smart folks here will chime in. I'm kind of learning as I go, using my stove guide as a lesson book.

Many people dehydrate all kinds of things and them vacuum seal them for storage.

I plan to dehydrate some fruit this summer and also to try making some jerky.


What kid of dehydrator is it? Would you reccomend it to others? I'm thinking of getting a dehydrator so any tips are appreciated. Thanks! thanks

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Grannyto2,

 

Here is some info regarding brands of Dehydrators. It was taken from a handout I got from the WSU Extension Food Preservation and Safety Class.

 

Dehydrators

 

Look for an adjustable thermostat, fan or blower, with a heating element.

 

Well-Built

* Sold at GI Joes, some other stores, shouldn’t be sold as a dehydrator. ‘

* No thermostat, goes to 170 F, always scorches.

 

Waring

* Okay, rather toy-like, very small

 

Excalibur

*There are 2 sizes, some think the door can be awkward to open/ close

*Square trays

*Sometimes you need to rotate trays because the heat source is at the back

 

Sonic

*Plastic, fragile, breakable

*Food dries quicker on the outside than the middle

*Trays shallow and won’t fit if turned

 

The Big-1

*Round trays with square fruit leather sheets

* Preset to 120 F and can’t change

 

Magic Aire

* Square trays, fruit leather is a challenge

 

The Pantry

*Okay, but is a solar dehyrator

 

Ronco (Enroco)

* From infomercial on tv

* $60-$70 for $6 worth of equipment

* 6 days to dry what should normally take 3

* NO thermostat or fan

 

Progressor

* $30 for cheap Ronco style dehydrator

* Cheaper, but no better quality than Ronco

 

American Harvest

* The new “Forceflow” is good

* The temp control varies (it was set at 135 F but got to 180 F

* Burns out easily

 

Hope this helps.

Also, see the "Preserving the Harvest" forum for lots more info and great recipies!

 

I have my mother's Excalibur. I like it because it's compact, the four trays don't take up much space, and the thermostat is dead on accurate. I do rotate the trays ONCE in the middle of the drying cycle, but I find the door to less cumbersome than taking apart a dehydrator and re-layering round trays.

 

 

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[quote=funkyducky

What kid of dehydrator is it? Would you reccomend it to others? I'm thinking of getting a dehydrator so any tips are appreciated. Thanks! thanks

 

 

LOL Judy got one of those really cool ovens that will dehydrate things for her. Most people wouldn't want to go out and spend that much on a dehydrator.

 

I got mine at a yard sale when I lived in Oregon. I need to rescreen all the screens so I can dehydraTE THIS SUMMER.

 

sorry for the caps.

 

Anyway Mine is a simple box, with 7 slots for screens, a fan and heater in the back of the box with a hole to vent the fan/moisture/air.

 

My dehydrator is HUGE and HEAVY. the screens are about 2 feet by 1 1/2 feet. Big.

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I'd love to make a solar dehydrator. Right now I need a barn. I really, really, really, really need a barn. I need a milk animal. I'm vacillating between a Kinder goat and a Jersey. I need shade house to garden in. A greenhouse would be nice too and a summer kitchen. I need fences put up. I need a slave. LOL

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Trish, why Kinder vs. Jersey? There are goats known for much higher milk production than Kinders. And if you are thinking of a Jersey - then size is not an issue?

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My sister has a Kinder and it is the very best milk I've ever tasted. The production quantity is not very high though. The main reason I'm considering a Jersey is that I have very good grass pasture here. Even with lower production because of eating mostly grass and not grain, a Jersey would put out plenty for us. The goat would need more purchased feed to produce. I have green grass year round here except for the occasional hard freeze. It would be easy enough for me to cut enough hay to see one cow thru the short feeding period. The biggest draw back to a cow is that I'm not real comfortable with large animals. I've had goats before.

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Nubians are one of the foundation breeds for the Kinder. They are larger than Kinders. Their milk is good. A good Nubian will produce more than a gallon of milk per day at peak production.

 

My goats produce more when fed grain, as will a cow. HOWEVER, goats will produce on just pasture and browse, just not as much - same with a cow. That is something you might want to consider if you don't care for LARGE animals.

 

Just another thought.

 

Hugs,

 

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The mini cows are pretty spendy, at least they were a few years ago - haven't seen any for sale in awhile. Getting one bred would be a challenge unless you go in whole hog and get a herd, and a bull. There are not a lot of mini bulls around, so you can't lead bossy down the road to get her bred to the neighbor's bull. Breeding her to a full-sized bull, especially for her first freshening, would be risky. So, probably, you would be stuck with artificial insemination.

 

Indeed, generally speaking, with ANY dairy cow you will be doing AI. I don't know ANY farms that allow someone to bring their cow for servicing by the bull. NONE. Perhaps there are a few bull owners in the USA who would allow it, but the chances of having one near you are ... remote.

 

So, before anyone decides to buy a cow, look around for bulls. Find a bull you'd like to breed her to. Ask the owner if it is even possible. If not, then you'll have to buy semen. You'll need to find someone with a tank to store it, unless you want to buy the entire AI outfit, tank, etc. You'll want to talk to an AI tech. Though many homesteading books make it sound easy - just notice she's in heat and call the AI tech to come right over and breed her - it ain't that simple. Normally, AI techs are busy. They won't be there that afternoon if you call in the morning. You'll have to make an appointment. But Bossy won't be in heat! So, you have to give Bossy a hormone shot to bring her into heat so that she will be ready for the AI.

 

I had a Dexter cow, some years ago. They are the more "affordable" mini cows. They aren't THAT miniature, but much smaller than standard cows. Most mini breeds are simply Dexter crosses.

 

I decided that I'd rather keep goats. Bucks are MUCH easier to handle than bulls, and AI ... wasn't my cuppa tea.

 

 

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Breeding is a consideration too. I have a neighbor who has Boers and keeps a nice buck. He wouldn't even charge me to breed a goat. Goats are cheaper to buy than cows any day.

 

I have to get fence done before I can get anything and my shed/barn had four feet of water in it last yr so I need to do something about housing. I had a wether in the pen next to the shed when it flooded and I couldn't reach him. Miraculously he survived and went to live with the little boy next door for a pet. LOL

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Trish, a Nubian x Boer is an outstanding cross. If you can get free breeding, that's a HUGE plus. I know several people around here who raise them. The kids she would produce would be very meaty. I understand that some of the Nubian x Boer does milk well also.

 

 

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Yes, I was reading that the other day. I don't have a problem with eating the wethers as long as the fence stays up long enough. My fence went down in the flood and the neighbor's boy fell in "love" with the little guy, so what could I do? LOL I don't want to keep a herd of goats tho. A couple is plenty.

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