Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Solar Dryer

After 3 days of hard work, 2 calloused fingers, and a few cuts, I've finally finished (almost) our solar dryer. All we need now is the glass to cover the "hot air harvester" - more about this later.

Here it is!!!

From this angle you can see the exhaust at the top and the air intake at the bottom. At the back is the door.

Here's a better view of the air intake. Hot air goes in there.

This is where hot air exits. We'll be installing a fine meshed screen at the vent to avoid insects or other foreign objects from getting in.

I haven't made trays yet, but hanging bunches of leaves/herbs would work just fine.

This is the "hot air harvester" that i was talking about. The black part is made of GI (galvanized iron) metal sheet painted with black. The reason why its black is because black absorbs heat better. A glass sheet will cover the top part of the "hot air harvester" leaving about 4 inches of space in between the metal sheet. The bottom of the harvester will be left open so air can enter. Then the air will be warmed up by the metal sheet. Since hot air rises, it will enter our dryer and pass through whatever we place in there and exits through the vent. Herbs, fruits, meat, fish, are just a few examples.

We'll be posting more pics of our dryer in action soon after the paint cures.

I hope you got the idea on how this solar dryer works. If you have questions, feel free to post it at the comments section below or send us an email.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

More Info About Stevia

Stevia shrubs can live for years and years. This is one of our oldest, she's two years old. 

They have an extensive root system and they don't want to share space. It would be best to plant them one stevia per spot. A single stevia will grow and live longer compare to those planted in twos or threes.

Here's the proof.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Edible Flower

There are a lot of edible flowers, even roses are edible, but don't try to eat the ones that came from flower shops because they are bombarded with lots of chemicals to keep them fresh.

Before we show you our featured flower, let us show you the fruits and try to guess what kind of flower we're talking about.

Some of you might say these are pole beans or "sitao"
Guess again...

Here's another clue, take a good look at their seeds...

Give up?

Ok let us now show you the flower...

This is the KATURAY

We're no culinary experts so we can not share recipe ideas for this flower. What we know about this plant is that they are very easy to germinate.

They grow from seeds and bear flowers in less than 2 months.
This is a nice addition to your garden if you have a couple of square meter to spare.

Here's a 2 month old seedling

They also make a nice hanging decor... :)

Spiral Garden Update

Remember our tarragon that grew more than 4 feet? They were growing so fast that the basils near them can't keep up. And the lavender beside them were overshadowed. To give way for new growth, we decided to prune our "giant" tarragons. It worked well and now all the herbs beside it are happy, especially the lavender which is now taller than the tarragon.

Solar Dryer Part 1

I thought gathering materials for our solar dryer was the easy part, now its proving to be the harder part of this project. :)

Maybe the reason is we don't want to spend more than 100 pesos (about $2) for this project. How? We will recycle and beg for materials. :)

Here's what we'll be needing:

1 whole sheet of plywood or at least 7 sheets measuring 18 by 36 inches each.*

8 pcs. 1"x1"x36" or 1"x2"x36" wooden planks

8 pcs. 1"x1"x18" or 1"x2"x18" wooden planks

1 30"x 36" flat metal sheet

Black paint

A thin sheet of glass measuring at least 18"x36" or a sheet of clear UV treated plastic, the kind they use for greenhouse roofing



clean plastic net

We'll stop here for now.

So far the only materials we got are the first three. Maybe we'll get lucky tomorrow. :)

*If you want a bigger dryer, make sure to get bigger and longer materials.