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Gardening in America
Drying Apples
by Nancy Fletcher

Drying ApplesSoaring temperature of 105 to 107 degree in July make this a perfect time to dry food. This picture shows apples in three stages of drying. The very light circles have been just recently cut.

The apples to the left of the picture have been there for two days. When they were first put down they took up the whole table. Now they have dried and take up about a fourth of the table. This is the whole reason for drying food as far as we are concerned. This climate can be dry. When it is it is an easy matter to store food simply in clean fabric bags. However, it is possible for rains to last for a long period of time. If this happens then moldy dried food can be ruined. For this reason we like to store our dried food in tight plastic bags in the freezer. Since it is a quarter the size it would have been much space can be saved. There are also instructions for storing dried food in jars. Storing isn't much of a problem for us. These apples swell back up and are wonderful to use in cooking. They can also be used most successfully in a trail mix1.

The Native Americans dried every sort of food. This is where I first learned to dry foods. My first art teacher was full Native. His shelves were full of the dried food in jars. When I asked him about drying secrets. His said, "Oh it is so difficult!" "Just cut it up, set it out, and turn it occasionally."

Indeed, it is that simple. With an indoor porch like this the drying of food is much easier, and no flies.

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