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SONNY

freeze-drying veggies

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Got onion row pulled, now time to process them for storage. --- Yellow summer squash in there too.  2 years ago we freeze-dried a lot of garden goodies and due to health problems didnt get anything done last year so makin up for lost time this year! 

We would like to put up at least 3 years supply if possible this year. Freeze-dried stuff has a decent shelf life IF stored the right way and still has the fresh taste when you use it.

 

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Good stuff   Sonny

......Ahmm.......have you beaten  that prostate issue ???.......I certainly hope so.......its a bugger of a thing......I know .....!!

Mike

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What variety of onions do you grow?

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thats cool, we freeze a lot of stuff vs canning - works great but we dont keep multi year supplies some stuff does last 2 winters tho if we have an abundance - never seen a freeze drying machine how dies it work ? 

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10 hours ago, SONNY said:

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I assume this is your freeze dryer,  can you tell us more about it?

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I'd like to know more about the freeze dryer too.  We freeze a lot of bell peppers.  It works ok but you sometimes get a lot of frost since the moisture in the pepper freezes.  It would be nice to flash freeze them or freeze dry to prevent that.

I'm interested in the onions.  I've considered dehydrating onions as I'm never able to keep them for a long time and end up with a lot I have to throw out.

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Still strugglin with prostate thingy--still have psa reading so who knows---for now I fight the diaper changes every few hours but I am alive so it's move on as long as I can!

We used to get our onion plants from Dixondale but this year didnt want a whole 30-bunch box---didnt think I could get them planted so we got a few bunches local and did a few sets, ( I dont like sets since the onions wont keep from sets). The ones in the pic are wall-walla which are fresh use only so they went into the freeze-dryer.

We like sweet spanish for size and long storage, also have in the past planted most of Dixondales  long day varieties---they have some good ones and some available only from them.

Freeze-drying is totally different than dehydrating --- most people get them confused and thin they are the same process!

Freeze-drying takes moisture out and leaves flavor in. The end product is light as a feather. The one we have freezes for 9 hours then switches over to drying for whatever time the sensors think is needed for that product.---wetter stuff takes a bit longer time where as dryer stuff takes less time. Eggs for example would take longer than onions, squash,eggplant, morells,etc.

to use the dried product, you can soak it a bit in water, OR just add it to a pan of soup or whatever you are cooking. Sweetcorn can be eaten like popcorn once it's freeze-dried.

About anything can be freeze-dried. we have done squash ,onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, eggplant,and peppers.also experimented with melons, cucumbers, etc. and found what we like best so thats what we concentrate on at present. The possibilities are endless as to what you can do with them.

The machine controls itself for the most part.at the end you can select more drying time IF product is not quite as dry as you want it----we never have needed to do this. the sensors do a great job by themselves detecting moisture.

The problem we found with dehydrators is that they make the stuff hard and gives it a burned/toasted flavor which is not good. We ruined a pan of soup one time by putting a lot of dehydrated stuff in it. I know a lot of people use dehydrators but IF they ever tasted stuff from the freeze-dryer they would freak out!---WAY different quality. Freeze-dry flavor is clean and just like fresh,--never burned/toasted, color is more natural, not brown.

They are expensive up front but do pay off ,---at least for us they do since we do a lot of veggies in ours. Right now batch 3 of onions is in progress and just finished 2 batches of yellow summer squash. Have some white patty-pan squash coming on and will do a couple batches of them. When sweetcorn is ready we will do as much of it as we can.

WOW!--Long post!lol! sorry guys, but tried to answer your questions! --if I missed something---ask again! thanks!

The unit in the pic. is ours.--it's a Harvest-right 5-tray , stainless steel model. They have 3, 4 , and 5 tray models---stainless OR painted finish.  Harvest-right has a website if you want to see more and there are some wild vids. on you-tube,---you have to make your own opinion as to some of the info. ! LOL!!! 

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Thanks for the information.  I believe my onion plants come from Dixondale.  My mom orders them and then we split them up since you have to order such a large quantity.  I've been eating Walla Walla out of the garden lately.  I love the flavor, but as you said they won't keep.  I have other varieties that keep better, but even those I have a hard time keeping for a very long.  I just don't have a good location for storing them.

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Freeze dryers most certainly do a good job at fresh veggies preservation.

I'm wondering though that at north of $2K for a good one how many lbs of FD'd veggies over how many years it would take to realize the payback?  And that's assuming no costly repairs or replacement through time.

 

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It dont take many batches of dried veggies to pay for the investment. --- Mostly depends on the persons opinion I guess.  IF you figure the cost of buying all the dried veggies, you would find that it adds up fast, and in our case money is not that plentiful so all the veggies we run thru our dryer pays off plus they will keep for many years so long term picture,----For us it does pay!

Also with drying--you have same as garden fresh veggies in the dead of winter! lol!! ---still better than store bought.

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