Have you ever thought about building your own Solar Powered Food Dehydrator? If so then this fairly easy step by step tutorial will show you how to build your own homesteading solar food dehydrator which uses the sun’s powerful rays to remove moisture from vegetables, fruits, herbs, and even flowers. These thinly sliced fruits and vegetables that are evenly and generously spaced apart will shrink over a period of hours upon removable from their trays.
Guess what? All the materials you need to build this simple Solar Powered Food Dehydrator do it yourself project can be found at your local home improvement store, and it does not really cost that much.
If you happen to live in an area where the weather conditions are hot, sunny and with low humidity you are in great shape to build your own Solar Powered Food Dehydrator that can collect sufficient solar heat quickly which can quickly reach 120F or even hotter.
For long term storage most of the food that we buy at the supermarket will only last a few months to a year packed. The only exception to this rule are goods that are preserved longer by canning these can last for years, if the seal is not broken. You will want to check the expiration date on the package to see how short or long the life expectancy of that product is. Food manufacturing producers and processors do not concern themselves with the additional costs of packaging for long-term storage due to the fact that most people do not keep food around for a long time. However, this does not apply to survivalists; who like to store and stockpile their food supplies for years.
This will mean that preppers and survivalists will have to repackage the foods and supplies they purchase for long term storage. Properly packaging and storing these foods will preserve them much longer, even up to 20 years. Food storage long-term without spoilage will mean having proper packaging that will help seal out insects, rodents, microorganisms, moisture, and oxygen, keeping the taste of the foods fresh and retaining its nutritional value.
Gathering Supplies. In addition to your food supplies, you will need to have the right kind of containers and other supplies to store the supplies. This includes:
food grade five gallons buckets
6 gallon aluminized Mylar bags
The food grade buckets you can get locally from your local home improvement store, the Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers you may have to purchase online.
Collect materials. Items such as a vacuum cleaner with a hose, a hair straighter, or a clothing iron to seal the Mylar bags. You may want to have a rubber mallet to help you close the buckets to ensure a proper seal, although this is not absolutely necessary.
Food packaging. You will want to pack as much food in the containers as possible; this will help save some money on storage. Place the Mylar bags into the buckets and fill them with the dry food to about an inch high from the top. Most people will only fill one type of food in each container, but you may want to store foods together that will be prepared together. Using multiple bags in the containers will help you stay organized.
Create Seal. For the food to keep fresh for a long time, the container must be completely sealed so that oxygen does not get to it. Mylar bags are excellent for this as you can melt the opening with heat to form an airtight seal. Using an Iron or hair straightener, melt together the top two inches of the bag but leave two inches of a gap unsealed at one side of the top.
Remove oxygen. This is the most important step in the process. Put the oxygen absorber into the bag. For flour, sugar, milk powder and other essential baked goods, you will need an oxygen absorber 750 cc per container. For beans, pasta and whole grains, you need a 1000cc oxygen absorber for each container. They work quickly to absorb oxygen, so you will want to quickly move on this. Once the oxygen absorber is put into the container you will want to suck out as much air as possible with the vacuum cleaner hose.
Sealing the Bag. With the oxygen removed it is time to close and seal the bag. This is done pretty much the same way that the seal was first started: with a hot clothing iron or hair straightener. Be sure to hold the bag closed while sealing so that more air cannot sneak in. You will want to work quickly so that the oxygen absorber does not get used up with the room air instead of in the container.
Secure the Container. The sealed bags keep food fresh, but will not protect it against rodents. Fold the flap down and put it into the bucket, then secure the lid on top. To secure the lid hit the edges all around the top with a rubber mallet or you can use your hands to force the lid down tight.
Check the Contents. Ensure to mark the bucket with the contents inside. If you have stored more than one type of food together, set the amount and quantity of each. Do not rely on just your memory as you may forget, especially if the items are stored for several years.
Store Supplies. All the food supplies should be kept in a cool, dry place. While your stores are protected from moisture, you still do not want mold or mildew on the outside of the bucket. Heat can cause the food to lose their nutritional value quickly, so a cool location will help keep it fresh.
Most food supplies stored in this way should stay fresh and usable for 20 years or more. While the Mylar Bags themselves are not able to keep rodents out, the container can. The containers themselves are not airtight, so using the two together will help ensure optimal protection for your food supplies.
The key to this system is to absorb the oxygen and keep it out hence the oxygen absorbers. Not only do they protect the foods against oxidation, but insects cannot survive in your food without oxygen. Also any bacteria cannot survive without oxygen present. In this method, the food will be fresh and usable when you open it, as it was the day you packed it.
Pemmican was invented by the natives of North America, pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers. These people spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time.
Pemmican was light, compact, high in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and if done properly can last anywhere from a few years (decades) up to a lifetime without refrigeration!
Pemmican consists of lean, dried meat which is crushed to a powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. Back in those days the natives made it with bison, deer, or elk but nowadays it is usually made with beef. Crushed, dried berries can be added as well.
A man could subsist entirely on pemmican, drawing on the fat for energy, the protein for strength and vitamins for health. There are a few cases in history of people living for months only out of pemmican.
Well I have never made Pemmican but it is definitely on my list. Anything that would aide in my survival is high on my list.
Here Is How to Make Pemmican
4 cups lean meat or a pound (deer, beef, caribou or moose)
3 cups blueberries (or other dried fruits)
2 cups rendered fat (or 1/2 pounds)
Optional – about 1 shot of honey (you can add nuts but they will lower the self life)
Get about a pound and a half of lean, grass-fed shoulder roast and let it firm up in the freezer so you can slice it thin.
Add salt and pepper. Set the oven to the lowest possible temperature (around 150 degrees) and put the strips of meat directly onto the rack. Crack the oven door to prevent moisture buildup.
At this point, you can also put a handful of frozen wild blueberries on a small oven pan to dry out with the meat.
Let the meat dry out for about fifteen hours, or until it is crispy. Toss it in the food processor until it becomes a powder. Do the same with the blueberries. In the old days they’d pound it with a rock to turn it into a “powder”.
For the fat portion of pemmican, you can use tallow (rendered beef or mutton fat) or lard (rendered pork fat). Cut up your fat in small pieces and place the fat into the crockpot. Set the crock pot on low heat and remove it only after it becomes completely liquid. Use a strainer to avoid all the crispy bits; you just want the pure, liquid fat.
Mix the meat and berry powder together, then slowly add the hot liquid fat. Pour just enough so that the fat soaks into the powder – slowly.
Let it firm up, then cut it into squares or roll it into a ball.
If done and stored correctly it can last for decades. Wrap these “pemmican balls” in wax paper and store them in a ziplock bag in a cool, dark place.
Back in the 1800, the Metis (one of the recognized Aboriginal peoples in Canada) would go southwest onto the prairie, slaughter buffalo, convert it into pemmican and carry it north to trade at the North West Company posts. For these people on the edge of the prairie the pemmican trade was as important a source of trade goods as was the fur trade for the Indians further north. And this is because for a serious journey, almost all foods would have been too heavy to carry.
If you’ll ever have to bug out – especially without a car – keep this in mind: Pemmican is the most compact, light, natural and nutritious supply of food you can take with you.
Do you happen to live in where the weather conditions are quite hot, sunny and have low humidity? If so then you are in a really good position to build your own Solar Powered Food Dehydrator that can collect a sufficient amount of solar heat quickly which can quickly reach 120F or even hotter, this is great for what you will need to dehydrate your food.
Building your own Solar Powered Food Dehydrator is a great way to preserve various foods for later on, you can use them as snacks; add to various meals for flavoring, or use as condiments, or whatever you can think up. This is a fairly easy step by step tutorial which will show you how to build your own solar food dehydrator which uses the sun’s powerful rays to remove moisture from fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even flowers. These thinly sliced fruits and vegetables are evenly and generously spaced apart will shrink over a period of hours upon removing them from their trays.
The best part is that all the materials you need to build this simple Solar Powered Food Dehydrator do it yourself project can be found at your local home improvement store, or from materials you have around the house, and it does not really cost that much.
Survival gardening is a reasonable and sensible thing to do. It will ensure that you have a wide variety of food items during time of an economic crisis. You will not have to rely too much on other food providers because you prepared yourself. Successful Gardening is fairly easy to accomplish you just have to work at it.
Common garden mistakes you do not want to make...
Another reason to avoid planting stuff too close is that it’s much easier to hoe between the rows if there’s plenty of space to get your hoe in there! Regular maintenance, including keeping the weeds down, can be time consuming, so make it easier and it will save time!