Home Farm Herbery

  (Munfordville, Kentucky)
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The Benefits of Dehydrated Foods©

One of my email questions this week asked me, “Can you tell me the benefits of dehydrating fruits and benefits?”

There are so many benefits there is not enough room in this column to mention them all.

First off let me say I have canned, froze and dried just about everything over my many years on this planet.  To me canning is the hardest work among the three. With canning you need a stove, jars, lids, rubber seals, lots of time, pantry for storage and your shelf life is about 2 years providing you did everything perfectly.

With freezing you need a freezer, not as much time and some freezer bags and in the worst case you could probably eat something that you found in your freezer that was dated 2 years, but on the safe side I would say use within 6 to 8 months.

Now with dehydration it is a different story. You can air dry or invest in a food dehydrator which is relatively inexpensive and fast and all you need is electricity.  A food dehydrator delivers the vast majority of foods with the same vitamins and minerals as their fresh counterparts, in a remarkable array of concentrated flavors, nutrients and enzymes. I like the fact that the dehydration process retains almost 100% of the nutritional content of the food while retaining the alkalinity of fresh produce and actually inhibits the growth of microforms such as bacteria.

I also like the fact that dehydrated foods take up a lot less space, are easy to reconstitute and can last up to 20 years!  To back up my statement I quote the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science at Brigham Young University, rice, corn, wheat and grains that have been properly dehydrated, canned and stored will last 30 years or more. Dehydrated vegetables, fruits, and pastas have a shelf life of up to 30 years. Powdered milks or milk substitutes can last up to 20 years.

Dried foods may be pricey in a store, but doing your own is easy because you can buy a good multi-shelf dehydrator for under $50.00 and it will be the best investment you may ever make.  Once you cut up whatever it is you want to dry, just put it on the trays, put the lid on, set the timer, plug it in and walk away.

At Home Farm Herbery we do a lot of dehydrating and we strive to offer some really good dehydrated products to those who understand the benefits of having them on hand, but who do not have the time or inclination to do it themselves.

We have dehydrated everything from meat to fish to veggies to apples and even made banana chips.  We find it is easy to reconstitute the veggies with water and we prefer to use distilled water.  We often just steam the veggies as they plump up nicely that way.

You can even dehydrate food for your pets and you will find that they may be healthier for it.

In 1965 I said to my late husband, Carl, “I am no financial genius, but I really believe this society of ours is going back to the nobles and the serfs and I know I will make a rotten serf. So let’s do something about it.”  I those days I was thinking about money, but today I feel that time is just about here and within 2 or 3 years anyone who has serious thoughts along those lines better have a big stock pile of dehydrated food on hand because all the money you may have amassed may not be enough to feed you and your family.

Dehydrating is the world’s oldest form of food preservation, it requires no preservatives, and it yields great tasting food with months of shelf life and over the years, especially in my life time, it has gone out of fashion simply because the dehydrator is not a mainstream household appliance. It is time to make it one whether you live in the city or on a homestead in a survivalist mode, a dehydrator is a good investment, a healthy investment even if you just make fruit leather for the kids lunches or your own.  Start thinking along these lines!

May the Creative Force be with you,

Arlene Wright-Correll

A busy day at Home Farm Herbery


We did not have any rain last night so the morning was divided between running the sprinklers in various parts of the gardens for intervals of 30 minutes. It is a real pain in the neck since the automatic sprinkler system pipes in the ground froze up a few years back, but it gives me a chance to get all my computer work done during the 2.5 hours it takes to give everything a good drink of water. 

I am doing well selling my herb and vegetable plants and baked goods at the Hart County Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays and Friday mornings and each time I am able to send a nice little check off to St. Jude Children’s ResearchHospital.  We are all still waiting for the covered pavilion to be finished and we hope to see it by the beginning of June.

Our veggies are starting to look good and I am running around and staking things, plus repotting things in the green house.

Here is what we look like around here this morning and remember just hit the first picture to make it full screen.


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