When we were growing up
here on the farm,
winter was a happy time.
Though there was pond ice to break
and animals to feed,
the long days
and nights
of field work
were over.
Dad was in the house
at suppertime
and we had the evenings
as a family.
It was also in the winter time
that Dad’s days included
equipment maintenance
and building things
he hadn’t had time to work on
in the busier months.
While winters now
are much milder,
and there are vegetables
and greens growing
in the high tunnel,
Ann has spent some
of these winter days
on a building project.
Perhaps this habit
is in the innate rhythms of this place,
or in her genes,
or maybe it’s just a matter of common sense.
In any case,
she has finished building
a solar dehydrator.

We have a couple of smaller
solar and air dehydrators,
but we’ve come to prefer solar dehydration
as a way of preserving food,
so we needed a bigger one.
We prefer solar dehydration
because it requires no electricity
to dry the food
or keep the preserved food
(as, for instance, frozen food does.
And we were without electricity
a couple of days this winter.)
The taste is more intense
and the nutrients have not been
cooked out.
Our friends Bruce and Barbara
built a great solar dehydrator
years ago.
They shared the instructions
and guidance.
It’s been a big project
for our Construction Queen,
and as Spring arrives,
it is finished.
We look forward to garden harvests
on busy summer days,
slicing fresh fruits and vegetables
and drying them
in the new solar dehydrator.
Thanks Ann!