Last week, I read a great comment from Nick:
How about dehydrating and storing vegetables yourself? It’s a heck of a lot cheaper to dehydrate stuff yourself than buying prepackaged dehydrated food.”
I looked guiltily at my cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated corn, strawberries, and onions and thought, “Lisa! You slacker!” (I have this oldest child/perfectionist thing going on 24/7.)
Well, I began thinking about Nick’s comment, and it makes complete sense when you have a good supply of produce at a very low cost. When I can harvest a bale of basil from my garden or purchase tomatoes at pennies per pound from a produce co-op, I love to dehydrate them.
Consider this, though. I buy #10 cans of sliced, freeze-dried green onions from Honeyville Farms for $7.99. How many fresh green onions would I need to dehydrate to fill, or nearly fill, a #10 can? If I had a green onion farm, no problem, but when I usually buy them by the bundles at the market, Honeyville makes more sense than doing it myself.
So, this spring I’m planning to enlarge my backyard garden so that I will have more “free” fresh produce to dehydrate and can when harvest time comes. The lesson here is to shop around, compare prices, and take into consideration your time, effort, and the expense when you decide to do it yourself.