Food dryers for food drying

A few years ago my project to walk (www.walkingthederwent.com) from the mouth to the source of the Derwent River required me to heft a backpack with tent etc for overnight stops. Like most, I am averse to weight on my back if I can help it and realised that wet food would be heavy. Instead I decided to dry vegetables, mix them together with spices, and then pop them in the billy to reconstitute and cook for dinner each night.  I purchased a food dryer and was astounded at how small everything shrunk. So drying my meals became a space saver and a weight reducer.  And the meals were full of flavour, nutritious and very filling.

Recently the food dryer has been brought out of storage.

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Over the past few days I have been drying some of my crop of Williams (Bartlett) pears and excess apples of unknown type supplied by a neighbour.

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Alas, all bar one pear had suffered from codling moth at the core.  The rest of each pear was fine.  I tie traps for the codling moth around the trunk of the tree but I think I need to be more scientific and time the process better. I know when I removed the cardboard, there were a few codling grubs in there, but my timing must have been wrong. More research required.

I sliced then dried some of the pears with their skin on.

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I sliced then dried more of the pears with their skin peeled away.

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All very satisfying. The larder is filling up.

The Pink Lady apples and the Granny Smith apples growing on my espaliered trees need more time before harvesting. Then drying. Strangely I don’t really enjoy eating fresh pears or apples, but I am happy to chew on a dried piece or two.

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