Many vegetables, herbs, spices and fruits can be preserved by drying. Tomatoes, onions, chillies and herbs are examples of crops that are easy to dry and store. Drying vegetables means that they can still be used months after harvesting. It can improve household nutrition during times when few fresh vegetables are available.
Cut up vegetables into slices or small pieces to encourage faster and even drying. Keep the food clean. If possible, dip vegetable pieces into a litre of boiling water containing two large spoons of salt and a soda bottle-top full of potassium metabisulphite, if available, as a preservative.
Simple dryers, like the one below, speed up the drying process, keep off flies and insects, and give some protection from sudden rain storms. When fully dry, store in airtight containers or plastic bags. Check regularly for mould. Dried vegetables can be added to stews and soups for flavouring.