Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Permaculture Tips: Use Your Car As a Dehydrator

Use Your Car As a Dehydrator
From Organic Gardening June/July 2011

Fresh figs being dehydrated in the window of a car!

Ginger Li from Homewood, Illinois explains how she dehydrates mint, basil, kale, Swiss chard, cilantro, dill, etc. by placing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  She placed the cookie sheets on the seats of her car, parked in the sun, with the windows just barely cracked to vent the humid air.

I read this as a Reader Comment in Organic Gardening, but I ended up finding many references to it on the internet.  Apparently, this is a growing trend.

Fantastic idea!  Beautiful way to utilize free energy!

Permaculture Tip is an idea that is derived from observing and interacting with nature.  It is simple.  It is safe.  It is effective.  It helps build a sustainable system of agriculture and life in general.  If you have any Permaculture Tips you would like to share, please let me know.  I will post it here, give you the credit, and post a link to your blog or website if you have one.  Email me here: kitsteiner@hotmail.com


  1. A very good idea. You might also want to consider an old trick i remember as a kid - cooking food by wrapping it in foil (or similar) and placing it near a running car engine during a journey. Obviously a little caution is required to avoid a fire hazard, but a whole chicken will roast very well over a few hours.

  2. We were sailing from South Africa to Brazil and the gas-cooker system broke down irreparably. So we tried that trick of cooking on the exhaust outlet manifold with food in aluminium foil but could never get it hot enough for even cooking a potato!

    Well, in the end we had 2 weeks of cold coffee and tinned fruit! Plus raw fish sushi of course.

    1. I think boats usually have water jacket on their exhaust manifold to reduce fire risk .