This project taught under-served and specialty crop producers
the benefits of drying surplus fruit and vegetables, individually or in a
shared kitchen, to address the production, marketing and legal risks associated with experiencing product not sold. The project also addressed the methods, protocols and costs of adding value to this excess to empower farmers to make informed decisions about adoption. Educational
materials that were developed showed producers how to determine when to consider drying fruit/vegetables, explore the feasibility of adding value, and, when appropriate, launch adoption
strategies. Thirteen meetings (172 participants), one webinar (21 attendees), and
two on-line videos (60 views) were held, including hands-on training in processing of apples, zucchini, and berries. At Greater Johnstown Career and
Technology Center (GJCTC), interested culinary students were taught commercial food drying methods,
equipping them to provide cost-effective, safe co-packing to interested farmers.
As a result, 6 farmers began drying commercially.