Apparatus for home Drying on a larger scale may be made at home or bought at
small cost. Still larger equipment may be bought for community drying
operations in which a group of families combine for cooperative work, at a
school or other convenient center. This latter is especially recommended as
giving the use of the most improved outfits at slight cost to the individual
family. See "community Work," page 3.
Best results are obtained by rapid drying, but care must be taken
not to let the temperature rise above the limit specified in the directions
One of the chief essentials in Drying is free circulation of air,
in order that the moist air may escape and dry air take its place.
Fig. 2. Potatoes prepared by use
of meat chopper.
METHODS OF DRYING
For home Drying satisfactory results are obtained by any one
of three principal methods. These are:
1. Sun Drying.
2. Drying by Artificial Heat.
3. Drying by Air-blast. (With an electric or other motor fan.)
These methods may be combined to good advantage.
Fig. 3. Apples peeled and sliced for drying.
Sun Drying has the double advantage of
requiring no expense for fuel and of freedom from danger of overheating. For
sun Drying of vegetables and fruits the simplest form is to spread the
slices or pieces on sheets of plain paper or lengths of muslin nailed to
strips of wood and expose them to the sun. Muslin is to be preferred if
there is danger of sticking. Trays should be used for large quantities. Sun
Drying requires bright, hot days and a breeze. Once or twice a day the
product should be turned or stirred and the dry pieces taken out. The drying
product should be covered with cheesecloth tacked to a frame for protection
from dust and flying insects. Care must be taken to provide protection from
rain, dew and moths. During rains and just before sunset the products should
be taken indoors for protection.
TRAYS FOR SUN DRYING
To make a tray cheaply for use in sun drying, take strips of
lumber three-quarters of an inch thick and 2 inches wide for the sides and
ends. To form the bottom, laths should be nailed to these strips, with
spaces of one-eighth of an inch between laths to permit air circulation. A
length of 4 feet, corresponding to the standard lengths of laths, is
economical. Nail 3 strips across the bottom in the opposite direction from
the laths to prevent warping and to allow space when the trays are stacked.
The trays should be of uniform size in order that they may be stacked
together for convenience in handling. Never put trays directly on the
ground. They should rest on supports a few feet above the ground and should
face the south or southwest so as to receive the sun's rays the longest
Fig. 4. Small outdoor drier, easily made at home. It has
glass top, sloping for exposure to sun. Tray is shown partly projecting, to
A small homemade Sun Drier, easily constructed (Fig. 4), is made of
light strips of wood, a sheet of glass, a small amount of galvanized wire
screen and some cheesecloth. A convenient size for the lass top is 18 by 24
inches. To hold the glass make a light wooden frame of strips of wood 1/2
inch thick and 1 inch wide. This frame should have legs of material 1 by
1-1/2 inches, with a length of 12 inches for the front legs and 18 inches
for those in the rear. This will cause the top to slope, which aids in
circulation of air and gives direct exposure to the rays of the sun. As a
tray support, nail a strip of wood to the legs on each of the four sides,
about 4 inches below the top frame work and sloping parallel with the top.
The tray is made of thin strips of wood about 2 inches wide and has a
galvanized wire screen bottom. There will be a space of about 2 inches
between the top edges of the tray and the glass top of the Drier, to allow
for circulation. Protect both sides, the bottom and the front end of the
Drier with cheesecloth tacked on securely and snugly, to exclude insects and
dust without interfering with circulation. At the rear end place a
cheesecloth curtain tacked at the top but swinging free below, to allow the
tray to be moved in and out. Brace the bottom of this curtain with a thin
strip of wood, as is done in window shades. This curtain is to be fastened
to the legs by buttons when the tray is in place.