Build your own solar dehydrator

Do you have an herb garden at home? Having those herbs available within walking distance or even within arms reach is great! Having herbs is a great way to flavor your food! Maybe its mid-season and you are getting way more herbs than you can keep up with!What can you do to not waste the extra herbs?  You could give them away to friends/family or even sell them at a farmers market. But fear no more! Well, you can now build your very own solar dehydrator! You don’t even need expensive solar panels! In fact you can go to your local hardware store and get everything you may need or even your very own garage! You can either place it on a stool/chair or build your own base for it!

To explain how this dehydrator works, in science we learned that heat rises. So if we build a chamber to guide the warm air then we are one step there! Now how to heat it? Well black attracts sunlight, so if we paint or coat the area with black then it heats up the warm air! The picture below gives a GREAT visual, especially for people like me, who can’t visualize without seeing it! 🙂

For the long part you can either use a cardboard box or some wood. Personally, if you can find cardboard boxes for free or cheap I’d go with them! If you can’t find a solid cardboard the length you need, you can always tape boxes together to give you the length.  If you have a long cardboard box the length you need, then you can cut the top open, painting the bottom of the boxes black water based paint or even a trash bag. If you want to go completely natural, you can use some soot mixed with a small amount of vegetable oil. If you use spray paint or other toxic paints, let the collector bake in the sun for a day or two before use. After all of this, then you can place wither saran wrap/plastic wrap or an old window pane. For the box where you put the food  it is simply a card board box with a cloth screen over the top. You cut an area for the warm air to attach to and tape it together to seal the flow.

This is a GREAT way to preserve your herbs for future use!