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Bayside Park Farm solar dehydrator

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Engr305 Appropriate Technology page in progress
This page is a project in progress by students in Engr305 Appropriate Technology. Please do not make edits unless you are a member of the team working on this page, but feel free to make comments on the discussion page. Check back for the finished version on February 1, 2014.



Background

Bayside Park Farm (formerly known as the Arcata Educational Farm) has been in operation since 1993, and was Arcata's first CSA (community supported agriculture) farm. In order to allow for the preservation of the farm's excess crops, a solar dehydrator was implemented in 2009 by a previous ENGR305 class. Dehydrating food is an especially important process for farms because it allows them to maintain their livelihood (food) for the long term. However, after problems with adequately drying produce, the dehydrator fell into disuse and was ultimately removed from the property. We were asked to build an effective, educational follow-up to the initial dehydrator.

Problem statement

The objective of this project is twofold:

  • To produce a durable and effective solar dehydrator to aid in the preservation of Bayside Park Farm's excess produce.
  • To design the solar dehydrator simply and accessibly enough to foster adoption and replication of the solar dehydration process.

In summary, it is our ultimate goal to provide the Bayside Park Farm with a solar powered food dehydrator that will meet their produce needs, is easy to maintain, and will last much longer than the one before it.