To say I am excited is an understatement. But this is something I am superbly happy about and pleased to have finally done. After umming and aahing for some time over this, we have finally decided to purchase a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.
Without a doubt, this new addition to the homestead will be huge! It will not only allow us to start saving and stockpiling food better, but it will also allow us to do our food prepping for us and our dogs much easier.
There is also the advantage of being able to kick off a little side business to help pay for the machine. In Australian dollars, it will cost us just under $9,000 AUD to purchase the machine, get it converted and shipped all the way from the mighty USA.
We’ve purchased a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer through an Australian company Oz Farmer. Links for both companies are below:
So let’s jump into why we purchased a freeze dryer, what they’re all about, and how they will help us in our homesteading ventures.
What is a freeze dryer and what is freeze drying?
Freeze drying as a method of preserving food came about after the Second World War where it was important to be able to preserve and store foods without needing refrigeration.
Instant coffee as we know it is one of the first freeze dried food products to be produced, but these days there’s a huge array of vegies, fruits, meats, dairy products, herbs and even lollies that can be freeze dried!
The actual process is a little bit more exciting though. Freeze drying food uses a process called lyophilization which lowers the temperature of the product to below freezing, where a high-pressure vacuum is applied to extract the water into vapour which is collected by a condenser and turned into ice.
This ice is later removed. At the end of the process, a gradual temperature rise extracts any remaining moisture that is bound to the product, and this process is what helps it retain its physical structure.
Benefits of freeze drying?
Freeze dried foods can be stored for an enormous amount of time – up to 25 years in fact, as long as you store the food within a mylar bag with a moisture pouch. But that’s not the only benefit:
- Freeze drying maintains nutritional value in food.
- Freeze dried food is perfect for stockpiling pantries, prepping and food security as foods will last up to 25 years.
- Freeze dried food retain taste and nutritional value after the process
- Freeze dried food is versatile and lightweight for any different uses
- Freeze drying food can be fun and makes food security interesting!
- Freeze drying is perfect for stockpiling your garden bounty!
- Freeze drying means you can have healthier snacks on hand without needing to reach for chips or junk food!
So, why freeze drying?
We are blessed to live in Australia and live in a state that produces a lot of amazing fresh food. We have access to lots of fresh seasonal food not only through our own garden, but our towns co-operative and lots of local farms.
As a result, there is often many times we see an amazing bargain we would love to collect for storage, but cannot. For example the other day I went to the next town for something and they were selling a 10kg box of local naval oranges for $5! Imagine being able to freeze dry that!
So one of the main reasons is we want to be able to lift our game when it comes to food security on the homestead. Canning and dehydrating are fantastic, and I will still continue to do some of those things for certain food products and items, but for the climate we live in freeze drying excess bounty turns out much more cost effective and efficient in terms of where we spend our time.
Moreover, it is becoming increasingly important to have a robust food security plan in place and like anyone else who is into preparedness, I always think it’s better to have multiple ways of skinning a cat – so to speak.
We have the same type of planning in other areas of our homestead – such as having at least 3 additional sources of flame/fire/electricity in case we lose power and need to cook/shower/wash etc. It just makes sense to be prepared.
Preparing for emergency
I know this seems alarmist, but really it isn’t. As globalisation and the IoT (Internet of Things) proliferates, our world becomes smaller and not larger. We are so interconnected now that something happening on one side of the world can impact a country nowhere near it. Frankly this is terrifying.
There is no way to better prepare for an emergency than with freeze drying food. It doesn’t matter if you just want to make an emergency food supply kit, a bug out bag or an all out feast for impending doom – whatever your reasons they are good enough and you are justified in getting a freeze dryer to help you get there.
Where we live, there are increasing natural disasters that can impact life quickly and violently. Having a freeze dryer and food stash ready and available means we have one less thing to worry about when we have everything to worry about. It’s really somewhat of a no-brainer.
If you do nothing in relation to your food security, then just hear me on this part – the last few years have shown how volatile a position we are in as a global community. Just as we thought we were out of the funk, something else came along, and just as we think we get out of that funk, another will come along, and another.
The other day in the paper they said that in Victoria somewhere, the nurseries and hardware stalls were all out of seeds and seedlings and gardening trays. I mean, I think this is perfect and lovely and wonderful and kinda exactly what I want to happen – old style skills being refreshed and rejuvenated.
People are responding out of fear. When you have lost control, you become fearful. So don’t let world events, natural disasters of potential financial doom take your safety away. And don’t be one of those people who thinks it won’t happen. It already did. And it’s going to continue to get worse.
We anticipate that we will be getting our freeze dryer in September of this year – but the guidelines on the ordering page didn’t specify if it was delivery to AU by September or if it was ordered with the USA warehouse by September meaning December delivery (as they need 12 weeks to manufacture the machine).
Regardless, we are ridiculously excited about this investment and truly feel that it is an investment in our food security for years to come. I cannot wait to take you all along the food prepping life with us in our vlog!