by Yvonne Salcido, M.H.

August 13, 2008

This is the time of year I love most! Everything is green. The earth’s abundance and beauty is showcased everywhere you turn. Breath taking foliage, dazzling colors, succulent smells, delicious fruits and vegetables - wonders to behold with the eye and taste buds.

If you’re like most people who get interested in natural healing next on your journey comes an interest in gardening. Some start there first. However, if you have developed a green thumb there is a serious side effect, what I call the “Gardening Dilemma.” In other words, “What am I going to do with all this fresh produce?” You can only eat so much! This is nature’s way to help us prepare for the winter. Eating food in season and fresh is best, but what should you do with all of the extra food?  Based on The School of Natural Healing’s teachings I’ll give you a few ideas I have found helpful. Drying food at low temperatures (90-105 degrees) is best. Drying at low temperatures might take a little longer, but then it is like eating fresh produce. It is still rich in live enzymes, vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy all winter.

When I first started to dry foods I made a homemade dryer by nailing some 1 x 2’s together that were four feet long. I then got some screen from the hardware store and used flat quilting pins to secure the screen to the boards. I put a screen on the top and the bottom to keep the bugs out. On the top I only secured one edge with push pins so I could open it up to put the food in. I then put the food in and lifted the screen back over to cover it. I placed each end of the dryer on the back of two chairs to keep it off the ground. I then placed it in the shade. Voila, you have a food dryer for less than five bucks.

My neighbor said that she just uses two window screens, one for the top and one for the bottom. That is absolutely cost FREE. It also helps her to remember to clean her windows and screens.

Later I found a great dryer at a garage sale with 12 trays. Now I have an Excalibur Dryer, which is also great to use as an oven for living meals because, guess what? YOU control the temperatures.