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Posts Tagged ‘solar dehydrators’

INVITATION TO A
solar dehydrator building workshop*
Learn how, why, and build your own in a free collective workparty.

When: saturday, aug 11, starting at 11:00 am.
Where: Ecology Action Centre (2705 Fern Lane, Halifax)
Who: YOU!
~ And Jayme Melrose, coordinator of SeeMore (Seymour) Green Collective Garden, NSPIRG,
~ And Wayne Groszko, renewable energy coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre.

What to bring:

– carpentry tools (hammer, drill, screwdriver, saw, etc.)
– scrounged materials if you want to build your own (wood, an old window, window screen, nails, screws, hinges)
– some snacks to share
……the organizers will also bring some of these tools and materials, so come anyway if you don’t have tools or materials and we’ll use what we have.

About the workshop:
A solar dehydrator uses the sun’s freely available energy to dry food, medicine,
fruits, tea herbs, and seeds for storage. By dehydrating, food retains its
nutritional value and seeds don’t go bad. At the workshop, you will have an
opportunity to help re-build an existing solar dehydrator, and build a new one
from scavenged materials.

We will bring some materials, and you can also bring your own scavenged materials to build one of your own. We may have access to a quantity of usable glass, and we have some good wood already. Check the SeeMore Green blog here for more information and dialogue on gathering the materials.

RSVP: Please Let us know if you are coming and if you want to build your own
dehydrator at the workshop, and/or whether you have surplus materials we can
use. (digits below)

CONTACT:

phone: 902 494 6662 (Jayme Melrose at NSPIRG)
email: garden<at>nspirg.org

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Ah, rain.

The EAT YER WEEDS! session with Savayda Jarone was postponed due to the delicious deluge.  We have re-scheduled for next Thursday, July 12,  same time –6:30pm, same place.  And I repeat, do come out;  this knowledge set is some of the most paradigm-shifting, re-connecting, and empowering wisdom attainable in two free hours.

Saturday July 7.  Our plumber friend has come through, mined the mines of his plumbing co-workers, and is going to purchase the goods to interconnect our rainbarrels.  Young plumbers gaining skills in low-tech, rain-harvesting strategies: it warms my heart.  And we are next.  Assuming it is not a total deluge, Saturday morning around 11am let’s interconnect our donated rainbarrels to gather these sweet rains.

And, on Saturday, lets build a big, phat, sheet-compost for our squash plants.  Second to knowing our medicinal weeds, this is one of the most useful, energy efficient, light-living skills we can know.

The following Saturday, July 14, perhaps we should do Intro to Permaculture.  I will have to bust my bootie to get this together, but it is the last of my free Saturdays, so let’s do it.

What is Permaculture?  Check out the good ol’ Wikipedia definition;  the collection of Permaculture videos on YouTube, put together by  Permaculture Activist; and this month’s New Internationalist is titled ‘Edible Earth:  In search of Permaculture’.

While I am not a certified teacher of Permaculture, I do have my design certificate through Linnaea Ecological Garden Program, which is an 8 month intensive taught by some of the first Permaculture teachers in north america.

The next free Saturday for me is August 11, and on that day, together with the EAC, we have organized a solar dehydrator building workshop.   A solar dehydrator is a box the size of a small fridge, on stilts, with drying racks, that collects solar warmth, creating a convection current to dehydrate fruits, seeds, greens, and herbs.  Dehydrating is the most energy effecient, and ancient, way of preserving food.  It is also the best of way of preserving food while retaining the nutritional integrity of the food.  Solar dehydrators are great for sun-dried tomatoes, dried fuits, tea herbs, and for safely saving seed.  The more dehydrators in the city, the better.

To build the dehydrators, here is a list of materials to scavenge:

  • Wood : 2X4 or 2X2 lumber (scrap is fine, but pieces at least six feet long), boards or plywood to cover the box
  • Glass: old windows or panes of glass
  • Steel: metal duct (to make a chimney), sheet metal for the sun absorber plate
    nails and screws
    hinges

At the workshop we will have a dehydrator to reburbish, giving us an idea of what we are aiming to build and lessons learned from experience.  I am going to collect the gear to make myself one, and you can gather the gear for yourself to make your own there using the tools, or just come by and watch.

In the meantime:

  • June 28, Herbalist Association of Nova Scotia, annual Herb fair on McNabbs Island.
  • August 4.  Evolve!  Weeds and wild walks out there, and dancing energy into mama.
  • August 10.  Intro to Permaculture at Red Fox Farm, for Heliotrust.

Still in the works:

  • Start a Nursery:  its your duty to biodiversity.  workshop
  • Micmac medicinal plants with Laurie Lacey
  • The sweet sacred, with Little Grandmother
  • fence beautification
  • gathering native plants to create a woodland garden

Oh yes, and do check the HUGG wiki (Halifax Urban Gardeners Group) for some other great opportunities to get involved with urban agriculture.  Of note, there is a brainstorming session on July 18 at the EAC, 7 pm, for the creation of a garden freecycle site and new community garden.

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