There’s just something freeing about detaching yourself from the grid. Don’t get me wrong, solar has much to far to go to really be practical on a mass scale, but small scale applications are quite practical.
So today, while the bees are busy making honey (I hope) and its too hot to suit up and go open up a hive anyway, I finished putting together a solar dryer. With the help of my son, we built a solar dryer that will dry up to six pounds of fruit per day. It came as a kit and yes it was a bit of a project to put together, but I think this product really has something going for it. Seems to be well designed inside and out and should last for many years.
So, anxious to try it out, I put in a batch of peaches this morning. We found peaches when we went through Wenatchee Washington on our way back from the Winthrop Blues Festival, for only 12 bucks a box! We purchased two boxes and are enjoying fresh sweet peaches while seeing how our new solar dryer works out.
For most the day the temp in the dryer ranged from 125 to 130 degrees. According to the instructions it will likely take two days at that temp, to dry the peaches to our liking. The key is to bring them far enough along the first day that the surface seals things up so they can sit overnight. Like I said, this is our first batch, so we are at the beginning of the learning curve to figuring out how best to make this work, but things are looking good. And how exciting it is to know the sun is doing all the work!