Sun-dried fruits and vegetables are one of the best and most reliable forms of preserved food. That’s why equipping yourself to quickly and safely dry garden produce and fruit is one of the smartest ways you can increase your self-reliance. It’s fun, too. And while there’s no shortage of plans and ready-made solar food dryers out there, most don’t work well. Lack of capacity, the need for an electric fan, and unnecessary building complications are the reasons why.

The design here is different. It has what it takes to produce a lot of dried food using only the sun, and it can perform well even in high-humidity climates. Superior solar-collection abilities and free-flowing ventilation underneath the food are key features. My design also happens to be

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JENNIFER BIRCH is a freelance writer with a penchant for such topics as lifestyle, food and sustainability. In fact, she’s a big advocate for sustainable travelling and encourages everyone to see what the world has to offer while making sure to make