This spring I wrote a blog entry or two about our new vegetable garden. A LOT of people around the country are gardening for the first time in years, and in our case, it was our first bonafide garden in about 25 years!
That long period of down time did not mean that we were going to be tentative about jumping back into the dirt. Our new garden was to end up bigger than I initially figured I should try. It was carefully and lovingly designed and prepared. And yes, I invested more money than made obvious sense (figuring that through the years ahead, those investments in a new tiller, tools, bird netting, and fencing WOULD be looking better and better).
We planted all organic, non-hybrid varieties, used organic techniques through the summer, and tried to keep up with the weeding (to varying degrees of success), watering, and harvesting.
One of the better decisions I think we made along the way was to go with dehydrating most of our crops. This decision was the best available option since we have a newer model glass-top stove. The stove manufacturer recommends not to use it for canning as it may break the glass-top. So I purchased an Excalibur Dehydrator and have become quite enamored with it.
Bottom line--a first-rate food dehydrator makes relatively quick work of putting away the harvest. The dried food is lightweight, takes up little space, and stores for years in a cold dark area if you keep air and light away from the food.
I just came across this excellent article on dehydrating food (with some talk about canning as well). If you are new to gardening this year or have not dried your crop before--read and enjoy: "Dry it. You'll like it!" by Jerry Cook.
Get Ready ... Seriously - http://www.safecastleroyal.com