Our next door neighbors are out of town. Their delicious
Figs are a great crop. They will grow wild along watercourses and are easy to grow just about anywhere. The fruit is extremely sweet and can be used when you have a sweet tooth. They are also high in calories, which is always important when looking at ways to sustain yourself.
I didn't really want to make fig newtons today. I knew I was going to heat up the kitchen in the afternoon making noodles for dinner but to keep the oven going for a long time just wasn't in the cards. Instead I decided we were going to dry the figs. Not wanting to use electricity to dry them, I figured I'd just dry them outside. I used to have a nice drying rack with many shelves on it. The entire contraption was covered with a window screen mesh to let air flow through but keep the bugs out. I don't know what happened to my drying rack. Either I lent it and can't remember who I lent it to or it got borrowed by someone who forgot to tell me they borrowed it. Either way the drying rack is nowhere to be found.
I'm not really happy with the rack I rigged together today but it works. I took a tray out of my dehydrator and placed the figs on it. I then wrapped the tray in cheese cloth and used big binder clips to hold it all together. I then used paracord and tied the cord to one clip, threw the cord over the clothesline, then tied the end to the other clip. I got it balanced well so the tray of figs isn't tipping over. I made up five trays like this. There are enough figs to fill 20 or 30 racks so while this is working it's not enough if I needed the figs to help sustain us. The figs are out in the hot breeze - high of 90 with 10 mile per hour wind gusts. It's perfect weather for drying fruits and vegetables.
If I'm using any vegetable and I only use a part of the vegetable I automatically cut up the rest and dry it. Having these outdoor, electricity free drying racks makes that easy and is another step toward self sufficiency.