Ok, can I say that we have used several solar fruit drying methods over the years?
We've had the 3 leveled hanging screen-over-wood-frame things. We've had the wooden box with the glass lid and the ventilation holes on the side. Most recently, we've had the cookie sheet with the netting over it. All of these have been home-made creations, some that followed actual plans. (I think you can guess that the cookie sheet with the net over it was not one for which we followed building instructions.)
To be honest, we've never been happy with any of these methods. That would explain why we keep changing things around. My 2 major complaints have to do with the length of time it took to dry bananas (days) which meant I had to move the thing in and out of the house several times, and the fact that flies seem to still figure out how to beat these systems.
So I got this cool electric dryer that came highly recommended by a environmentally sensitive friend. It's a Nesco American Harvest FD-1010 Garden Master Food Dehydrator.
We're making hay will the sun is shining, so to speak, around here as fruit is in gonzo amounts in the market. We've have been drying lots and lots of really nice stuff. We've done loads of banana and mango, tried some pineapple and oranges and tangerines too. The oranges and tangerines were kind of marginal but everything else was amazing. Fantabulous. (Our family is particularly fond of dry mango.)
I love that it only takes about 6 hours to do 10 trays and that's it's nicely energy efficient. And my eco friend who recommended it says that the nutrients are better preserved when the fruit is not in ultra violet rays. That's a big plus, eh?
But my favorite thing is that it fills the house with this wonderful warm, sweet and fruity smell.
Byron is really, really into this at the minute. He has been Breakfast King in the past. He has been BBQ Master and Salsa King as well. Right now, he is the Dry Fruit King.
I like him. Pretty much.