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Can a Solar Dehydrator generate revenue on an Urban Homestead?

Nicholas Green

Joined: Nov 06, 2011
Posts: 30
This first part is optional, skip if tl;dr
I am one of those many people who go to work to get a paycheck but dream of moving away to the country and getting a place of my own.
And like many, I am still in the phase in which you save as much as you can try to pay off your debts. To satiate my impatience and prepare myself for homestead life, I am trying create an Urban Homestead while living in an apartment with my wife and children. Some principles of homesteading and permaculture I have fit easily into our urban living. Saving electricity, preserving food, composting/gardening... etc.
I felt it would ease my wife's worries if some of the homesteading principles could begin to generate revenue. As such, I have been considering the following:

I've been considering constructing a Solar Food Dehydrator
( Much like the ones in Paul's videos http://youtu.be/oVTcnCuX2Qc )
and creating products as means of generating income.

If I had the data I would want to find out how much food could be dehydrated and how long would it take. The only way to get this would be to invest the money and build it; then run delicious test batches and collect the data.

Possible Items:
Dried fruit and trail mixes
Fruit Leathers, I've seen soccer moms pay $20+ a box at the chain store for 'Organic Fruit Leathers' for their offspring. approx $3/oz
Drying garden herbs for herbal teas
Potpourri (HINT: an essential oils still or press would also work on a Urban Homestead)

Please impart your dehydrator wisdom upon me.

Amazon: Fruit Leathers
Paul's Youtube
noneya bidnet

Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 4
As penance for my terrible guilt at being unable to help you with any readily available data, I will gladly assist you in taste testing any and all delicious test batches.
John Polk

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6755
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
Adding value (processing) to any product is a good way to increase its value. Be certain to check your local regulations, as once you modify any raw food, even slightly, it becomes a processed product, that will most likely be regulated by the health dept.

Some areas are relatively lax on this, while others are overly restrictive.
subject: Can a Solar Dehydrator generate revenue on an Urban Homestead?