Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 4
   August 2011
   Interesting Reads

American Agriculturist Volume 41, 1882.

Drying Fruit, etc., for Home Use
In a former number we have suggested that those who dry fruit for market in the old-fashioned way cannot hope to compete with that dried in evaporators, and that it would be better for neighbors to co-operate in procuring the needed apparatus. By going to a little trouble, fruit for home use can be dried in much better condition than usual, by arranging a box covered with hot-bed sash. Though we illustrated this last year, yet so many have inquired about fruit-drying, that we reproduce the engraving.

A hot-bed fruit dryer.

A suitable box, tight enough to keep out insects, is built; this is of a width and length to hold the desired number of sashes; hot-bed sashes are the best, as they are so made as to allow the rain to run off. The box should be raised some inches from the ground, upon legs, or placed upon pieces of joist. The important point is the ventilators; there should be an opening a foot long and 2 or 3 inches wide, at each sash, low down in front, and a similar one at the rear, near the top of the box. These openings are to be covered with wire cloth, but mosquito netting or other open fabric, will answer.

The articles to be dried may be placed upon cloths, spread upon the bottom of the box, but it will be much more rapid if placed upon trays, made by covering frames with some thin open material; these trays should be raised a few inches above the bottom of the box, so that the air may pass up through them. The drying will be done very rapidly, and the articles free from dust and all soiling by insects. The thinner the fruit is sliced the more rapid will be the drying. In drying sweet corn do not let it get too old, but take it in just the proper condition for the table, and cook it as if to be eaten before cutting it from the cobs.

Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article published in 1882. It describes what was recommended in accordance with the knowledge and practices of the day. While reading it, please consider this fact.

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