Ag Day Q&As: on dehydration methods

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Elissa Baugh cans the experience of Ag Day as she shows off her jars of dehydrated fruit. For her AG day station, Elissa showed off her supervised agriculture experience of dehydrating fruit with prepared jars of dried apples, bananas, and zucchini as well as homemade salsa and jam. Savannah Meiners discusses the jarringly fun process of sealing the dehydrated fruit. Meiners went into great detail on the process of canning and sealing the dehydrated fruits to preserve them for the farmer’s market at Ag Day this year.

Multiple Authors

Elissa Baug, junior

Can you describe your station?

“Yeah so part of the Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), which is a supervised agriculture experience, my friend chose to do dehydration which takes the water out. For the caramel apples it takes 8 hours just to dehydrate them, and 12 hours to soak them to be dehydrated, so it takes a while. For this SAE she went to farmers markets to sell them, which is part of the SAE, and their weight is like they have 3 times more fiber per pound and so this is our dehydrator. She makes apple chips, dehydrated banana chips, zucchini, anything that has water can be dehydrated.”

The SAE that you were talking about, does everybody get to dehydrate these?

“Each student has the opportunity to come up with a SAE, so she chose to dehydrate things and sell them.”

How long does it take to dehydrate these other fruits that you have out here?

“With each recipe it takes different hours. Caramel apples take eight hours, the cinnamon apples take twelve [and] the bananas take eight.”

How long do the different fruits last once they’re dehydrated?

“They last a long time. She usually sells them during the fall and they’ll last about two to three months.”

How much do they sell for?

“For a jar this size it’s about two dollars because it takes so long to dehydrate them, and a jar about that size is about two and a half apples.”

How about [the jars filled with liquid]?

“This is salsa and that is jam which she also sells at the farmers market.”

Can you describe how exactly the fruit goes into the [dehydrator], and how it gets dehydrated?

“So pretty much it depends on which one and which kind of flavor you want to do. If we’re talking about a normal apple, we are going to peel the apple first, and then we put it on a mandolin and do fourth inch slices. Then for caramel apples, we soak them for 12 hours in the [caramel sauce] before. Then, you set it on [the dehydration rack] and you just let it dehydrate for however long it says so.”

So why does this have multiple different racks?

“[The dehydrator] has multiple different layers.”

Can dehydrate multiple different things at the same time?

“Yeah, and you can purchase more [racks] to put on top.”

You can stack the racks to create more space?

“Yeah and then we use [the jar sealer] and we connect it to the big food sealer. And this is how I sealed up these [jars of dehydrated fruit]. You attach the lid to [the jar sealer], and then you put this up to the big dehydrated, and then it will seal it for you and take out all the excess air. We use stuff that we dehydrated in our jams and in our homemade salsa.”

What are some of the benefits of dehydration?

“What it does, you get more fiber and more of the healthier stuff for what you get. Three pounds worth of like the same like amount like the same volume of an apple has three times more.”[penci_authors_box_2 style_block_title=”style-title-11″ columns=”columns-2″ post_desc_length=”20″ number=”2″ order_by=”user_registered” include=”85, 79″ block_id=”penci_authors_box_2-1573425926749″ custom_markup_1=””]