Gardening with Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits and Flowers
Harvest Time, Drying Fruit and Vegetables
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Drying Fresh Peaches
Drying fresh peaches is easy, but it takes time, like anything good does.....after picking the peaches we try to get them processed the same day or the next day at the latest for drying or canning. We only grow freestone type peaches which means the flesh is not attached to the seed, it makes them a lot easier to prepare.
We dip the peaches into boiling (simmering) water, we put in about 6 peaches at a time for approximately 1 minute, then immediately remove the peaches and put them in cold water to cool the peaches down, or you will cook them.
Then we just use a paring knife and cut a small slit in the peach skin and it pops right off, sometimes the skin comes off as you pick up the peach. The peach can now be sliced into about 8 to 10 pieces, after slicing we put them in a pan filled with water and fruit fresh (powdered citric acid) you can also use lemon juice. If you do not dip the peaches they will turn black when dried.
We have a large wooden food dryer that my grandpa and aunt made in the late 70's, most commercial ones that you buy in the store are small round plastic dryers. We dry them for about 2 days at 120 degrees. You want the dried peaches to be still flexible and not a crisp chip. We store them in a canning jar in which we remove the air with our food saver machine. They usually last 1 to 2 years.
Drying Fresh Green Beans
Drying fresh green bean is also easy, we just pick them in the morning, wash them, snap off the stem end and sometimes the blossom end, snap or cut them in 2 or 3 pieces and then blanch them for about 4 minutes to set the sugars and the color, then dry until crisp at 120 degrees. We use them mainly in soups that we cook in the crock pot.
Drying Fresh Onions
Drying fresh onions is the easiest vegetable to dry, we just pick them in the morning, wash them, peel off the outer skin and slice them a little over a quarter inch thick. then dry until crisp at 120 degrees. We also use them mainly in soups as we do the beans that we cook in the crock pot. (we usually move the food dryer outside to our porch for the onions, because of the strong smell when drying). Believe it or not, dried onions are a tasty snack.
How to Harvest Onions
Harvesting onions is as easy as it is to grow them, watch our video to the left on how to harvest onions.