Dehydrating "greens"

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by cybergranny, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. cybergranny

    cybergranny Well-Known Member

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    I've been curious about preserving greens for hard times for the animals and ourselves. So this weekend my daughter thinned the carrots and beets. So since the tops were so beautiful I decided to learn how to dehydrate them. I had already done collards and spinach but not tried anything that needed to be blanched except bok choy and boy was that a mess but it worked. So carrot tops blanched and dried within 2 hours and then on to beet tops. Blanched them, just barely and they dried within 3 hours or so at about 110 degrees. I haven't powdered them yet but I may not except to conserve even more jars and space.

    This is exciting to me as any of the greens can be added to soups, gravy drinks to increase nutritional value particularily in the winter in the north where greens arn't available. Greenhouse growing to expensive with the heat. I do realize in blanching you loose some nutritional value, but some is better than nothing don't you think.
     
  2. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth

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    We paid about 230 for our Excaliber dehydrater.But have'nt used it a lot yet.
    We grow greens every year so I really do want to learn to dehydrate some of those.
    It will be months before we grow those again here in florida.
    I see greenhouses everywhere here in this heat that last until November even December at times.Maybe you need to vent more and shade it.Sometiems a fan helps.
    I tried a greenhouse a few hundred feet from the house,won't do that again.Now we are building a lean to on south side of house.We can cool it and heat from our bedroom windows.Or plug into porch if we have to use electricity.Last winter it got into the single digits here,so we do get cold spells.
     

  3. cybergranny

    cybergranny Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I wasn't clear, I meant heating the greenhouse in the winter here in Michigan. Cost prohibitive for us. Hubby has been searching and studying and has yet to come up with anything. Solar is out, not enough sun here in the winter. Glad you are able to use yours for so long. We do have to shade it in summer and have a swamp cooler wall with huge fan.
     
  4. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Cybergranny I don't know how you feel about libraries but go and look up a book called "Four Season Harvest" by Eliot Coleman- it is about growing things in the greenhouse year round without heat. It is more like growing them in the fall and "cold storing them" in the greenhouse for easy harvest thru the winter.. I've grown spinach out under the snow and even got my Brussels sprouts to go thru the winter, buried under the first good snow and be just perfect for harvesting and eating most of the winter... I say most cuz we ate the last of them on New Years Day that season.
    My family often grew carrots and parsnips and beets and in the fall before the killing frost(hard frost/freeze I mean) would put a tarp over the beds and then put bales of straw over them.. when you needed some you just moved a bale and dug them up. I figure using cold frames and loose straw inside of a greenhouse you could just go out and pull them when you need them.
    Coleman covers many of these "techniques" in the book.

    Greenhouses-not just for starting your garden anymore. :D
     
  5. cybergranny

    cybergranny Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Emerald; gonna have to look up that book.
     
  6. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    They have it at Amazon too and if there is any cash left after I buy gifts for my family with my swagbucks wins then I am gonna pick it up for me... It looked like he has a couple more out too.. may have to write them down and run to the library here in town and borrow them.
     
  7. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    I know someone in Indiana that has a stock tank in the center of his greenhouse for thermal mass, and they have the dirt banked up the first 18" around the outer walls for insulation at ground level. A friend here in Montana is building a greenhouse that is sunk a couple feet in the ground, which also provides insulation at ground level.

    The water for thermal mass keeps it from outright freezing in the greenhouse in cold weather. I realize central Indiana might be far enough south of Michigan that it wouldn't work as well for you, cybergranny, but thought the information might be helpful to someone.

    I don't know which things they try to grow over the winter, but possibly cooler-weather things? I know they also use lights to extend 'daylight' hours.

    We've considered building something similar and using a small woodstove when it's below zero outside, just to keep the greenhouse above freezing, but there's to many more-essential projects ahead of it!
     
  8. cybergranny

    cybergranny Well-Known Member

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    Hubby is looking at tank/pools as well and cool weather crops. We have a 2 foot frost line here. It's a challenge, but I'm sure there is a way that will work for us.

    Thanks all for your suggestions.
     
  9. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011