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Harvest Right freeze dryer

 
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Last summer I bought a medium freeze dryer.... I put back all of the EXTRA 🍅 tomatoes from the garden this year. The only ones to go to waste were the green ones when it froze hard. I even picked the close ones when it froze. The cherry tomatoes are amasing when dried then soaked in herbed olive oil. Some got canned but most were dried. I have been called to butcher several cows that fell and dislocated hips at a huge dairy .(its good to know people,lol) the cows have to be put down and usually end up as dog food. There is nothing wrong with the meat except in a very localized area around the hip socket. Which is trimedbaway. This affords me the opportunity to make ALOT of almost fat free hamburger... Which is cooked and dryer. This has a best by date of 20 years... It is still usable longer but is fresh that long. The dairy owners wife bought my medium sised machine from me and I bought a LARGE. There is a few hundred dollars difference but if any of you are concidering getting one BUY THE LARGE...IT IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY!  Since last summer I have put back enoug; meals to feed me and the missis for over a year.if you are on grid I highly recommend buying one! BUT these things SUCK THE POWER! My power bill went up about $75 a month. Ofcourse if you spend $8 a meal for skimpy mountain house mealsit does not take long to break even on the $4K that the machine costs. The other thing is that many people are using these machines to start businesses. If you are concidering getting one you may want to look at some of the posts on Facebook groups about them. Do your research... This is a lot of money! I put mine on a credit card and will be paying on it for a very long time.... That said, FOR ME it is one of the best things I have bought in a VERY long time.
 
pioneer
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Damn. I've kinda wanted one for a while to supplement my other food preservation, but $75 a month is steep. The only reason we have grid power is because our solar setup isn't enough to run the well pump. We had to disconnect the solar this past month and our electric skyrocketed to $280.

We'll be upgrading the solar when we build the house. If we can produce enough to power one of these things, then maybe I can justify it. But if I'm producing a surplus every year, I also don't know that I really need to be able to store food for 20 years...
 
pollinator
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I always daydream about one, but recently my wife saw one on a channel about herbs that she follows and now she REALLY wants one.

It would be off grid, so I would probably have to run it from a generator much of the time.  Good thing inverter generators are quiet and efficient.  But it would be worth it for what she wants to do.
 
Richard Stromberg
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R Scott wrote:I always daydream about one, but recently my wife saw one on a channel about herbs that she follows and now she REALLY wants one.

It would be off grid, so I would probably have to run it from a generator much of the time.  Good thing inverter generators are quiet and efficient.  But it would be worth it for what she wants to do.

it takes 24-48 hours for a batch.... If I wanted to run one off grid I would only try if I had micro-hydro that was epic in size.
 
Richard Stromberg
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Mathew Trotter wrote:Damn. I've kinda wanted one for a while to supplement my other food preservation, but $75 a month is steep. The only reason we have grid power is because our solar setup isn't enough to run the well pump. We had to disconnect the solar this past month and our electric skyrocketed to $280.

We'll be upgrading the solar when we build the house. If we can produce enough to power one of these things, then maybe I can justify it. But if I'm producing a surplus every year, I also don't know that I really need to be able to store food for 20 years...

if you price the frezedried food that is comercialy available and then look at the ration size and then conpare that to the benifits of putting your own garden back and any lean meat that you want ant herbs that stay fresh for years... Then price each meal at $8-$10 pre serving for a 4-6 oz serving.... Then the $2-3 per FULL meal packaged that will keep MORE than 20 years... It is a no brainer. If you have access to power. And can get the frezedryer it will quickly pay for its self.think about having a magical deep freze that keeps a a month of meals for 20 yearsfor the one time expense then it is cheep insurance against bad times.
 
pollinator
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Interesting..

That money would buy 2 huge chest freezers, a bunch of canning jars, build an enormous dehydrator, and leave some to start a root cellar..

Very different end results I would expect; Richard, can you comment on the food quality vs frozen, canned, and dehydrated foods, rather than commercially freeze-dried?
 
Richard Stromberg
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D Nikolls wrote:Interesting..

That money would buy 2 huge chest freezers, a bunch of canning jars, build an enormous dehydrator, and leave some to start a root cellar..

Very different end results I would expect; Richard, can you comment on the food quality vs frozen, canned, and dehydrated foods, rather than commercially freeze-dried?

freezers break down... Power goes out.... And food last only a few years AT BESTbefore going stale.glass jars last century...but the lids are only rated for 18months. And there is the issue of botulism. Dehydrated food is aproxamently 50% as nutritious as fresh while frezedried claimed well over 90%. As for the root caller I highly recommend building one. This is the BEST tool for LONG TERM storage. Other thing would work for storage of less than 2 years. We can a lot... I make jerky. Being diversified is a huge advantage in a bad situation.
 
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Hi Richard,

Thank you for this post. I have toyed with the idea of buying a Harvest Right a couple of times over the past few years. As a result of your post, I have decided to take a closer look at getting one...reading reviews, joining a FB group and watching YouTubes. Now, that we paid off our house last July, we have a little extra money each month, and a HRFD might be a good place to invest some of this money. (We just bought a wood fired cook stove as a result.) I will post back here with our decision. ~Jim
 
Jim Guinn
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chicken food preservation building
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There is no time like the present! I pulled the trigger and ordered a Medium HarvestRight Freeze Dryer this morning with the Premier Pump. https://harvestright.com/product/home-freeze-dryer/
medium_black_620x620-600x600.jpg
Medium Black HarvestRight Home Freeze Dryer
Medium Black HarvestRight Home Freeze Dryer
 
Richard Stromberg
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[quote=Jim Guinn]There is no time like the present! I pulled the trigger and ordered a Medium HarvestRight Freeze Dryer this morning with the Premier Pump. https://harvestright.com/product/home-freeze-dryer/
[/quote]c.f. opp I would strongly suggest calling and upgrading to a large!!! Ibhad a medium and sold it at a loss to upgrade to the large and do not regret that for a second! Also I ordered mine with a standard pump and will soon be upgrading to a oiless pump this was done so that I would have a BACKUP pump.if you didnt order a second set of trays I would recommend that becuse if you prefreze the trays it cuts about 10+ hours off the time the frezedryer is working and this increases productivity by a load and a half a week... Don't get the silicone mats. They are not any easyer to clean than the trays and decrease the heat transfer from the rack to the food. I had them with the medium and did not order with the large. When I do want a liner I use parchment paper. If you get a large roll of parchment paper and cut the roll in half it fits the trayswithout all the waste. The large dryer has 5 trays instead ot 4 and they are aproxamently 30% larger each...the large DOS not use much more power than the medium...as the pumps are exactly the same for both machines. Good luck! Facebook has many freze Drying groups for getting recipes and advice.
 
pollinator
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D Nikolls wrote:Interesting..

That money would buy 2 huge chest freezers, a bunch of canning jars, build an enormous dehydrator, and leave some to start a root cellar..

Very different end results I would expect; Richard, can you comment on the food quality vs frozen, canned, and dehydrated foods, rather than commercially freeze-dried?



I've looked at the freeze driers myself in the past and more recently have a friend of a friend who got one.  As a result through my friend I have been sampling some of the wares.  :)  The food quality of freeze dried things is certainly different.  Fruit, in my opinion, pretty much turns into irresistible crunchy candy that is totally healthy to eat in abundance!  As Richard noted it is said that most of the nutrients are maintained as well with this form of preservation.

As a hard core frugalist I'm not as convinced about the money savings aspect of these.  Certainly if one was already buying and consuming freeze dried foods on a regular basis with the high prices they command it would make sense to invest in the equipment to do your own.  I suspect this is not the case for most of us.  A move to eating a lot of freeze dried foods would be a move to eating more expensively whether you do it yourself or purchase commercially dried stuff.  If reducing your food expenses is the goal there are FAR better ways to do that.  Getting to know dried beans/legumes and eating seasonally/locally available foods comes to mind as a great place to start.

From a permaculture/environmental standpoint I would think canning or normal dehydrating would be much better.  The levels of technology, materials, and energy needed to process and store the foods would be much lower.  If you want to keep the freeze dried foods for any period of time you also need to seal them in some way that air/moisture doesn't get to them.  Generally that involved a lot of plastics, often one time use plastic at that.

Having said all that, if I'm being honest the only reason I don't have one myself is because my homestead is off-grid solar.  Were I still grid tied I'm pretty sure I would have dropped the cash to get one by now!
 
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