We’re back! and ready for SPRING!

Hi Everyone!

We are back and ready for it to be Spring! I mean who isn’t? Its been a long, cold and snowy winter but we are ready here on our suburban homestead for the spring new growth to arrive.  We are going to have so many exciting new things happening this year; our first time having chickens, a brand new garden either in ground or in containers and the harvest of our first hydroponically grown tomatoes!

Be sure to check back every week for updates and pictures of progress we are making towards our very own suburban homestead!

Here are some pic of what we have been up to:

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Red Lettuce harvested from the Volksgarden in January.

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Tomatoes take two….

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The first little baby tomato on our hydroponic plants.

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Hydroponic basil to make sauce with the tomatoes.

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Started this years first seedlings inside this weekend!  What have you started?

Check back soon!

Food Preservation: Electric Dehydrator

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For Mothers Day this year I asked for an appliance.  No, not jewelry, not flowers, not clothing and not a spa day, but an appliance.  Let me tell you, it was the BEST Mothers Day gift EVER!  I did not ask for just any old appliance, I asked for an electric food dehydrator.  I figured that this was, first of all, a big investment that would take time to same for, so if I used my “gift” allotment I could purchase it sooner than later.  Also, dehydrators are up there with canners when it comes to homesteading food preservation gear and I have already found so many uses.

This is the Dehydrator we purchased.  It is an Excalibur 9 tray and its massive.

Excalibur Food Dehydrator

I can dry 2 bunches of bananas, a quart of strawberries and a few kiwi all at one time. Its great!  My boys love the fruit so much I have not been able to test out the storage ability of the product because it all is eaten in just a few days.  I am more of a salty snack kind of gal, so I am guilty of devouring 6 zucchini made into chips in just 48 hours, yes they are that good!

There are no real “recipes” for dehydrated foods.  Just follow the manual that comes with your unit (and you can do just as well with a $30 unit if you don’t want this giant in your home).  Different items have their own times and temps that should be listed in your manual.  I like to play around with the flavoring, such as; cinnamon, honey and maple for sweet and BBQ, Asian, curry and garlic for savory.

A dehydrator is also a multi-tool.  It can dry process fruits and vegetables, make jerky of all kinds, re-crisp crackers and cereals as well as proof dough.  Here are a few examples of items I have made so far:

Banana and Kiwi Chips

kiwibanana chips

Kale Chips; garlic, Asian, curry and taco

kale chips

Zucchini Chips; BBQ and salted Chia

zucc chips

What have you made in your dehydrator?  Anyone looking into purchasing one soon?

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