Dryers for Tea Herbs
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Jean-David Derreumaux
Posted on: December 17, 2006

I have run a one acre herb operation in the context of a Camphill community in New York state. This means involving up to 7, 8 individuals with mental disabilities in the work. I have dried a lot of herb for teas with low heat coils in 3 drying cupboards with 10 3’x5’ trays. I need now to go to the next level, improving performances and handling larger volumes.

Could you advise me on what would be the best way to go and if there are companies that would carry the necessary equipment? I just heard of your book (POH), which I should probably read before asking this question. Thank you very much for this wonderful service.

There are a number of companies who make ginseng and ginseng-like driers, for nuts, vegetables, and almost any other kind of storable commodity. The technology is changing quickly now, with the use of microwave continuous feeders for plywood. When I farmed larger acreages, I used hop kilns.

But, depending on volume and efficiency, you are still best off making your own design. The company in Eugene, Oregon, that makes most of the ginseng driers is not nearly as efficient as the design offered in my book "The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop." Take that design, and scale it up to meet your batch requirement volumes.

If you want something even more efficient, then I am available to help design a prototype, predicated on the specific volumes and through-put needs. Belt conveyors have been used with air shafts, as"advancement" in the artform. Those were caller binder dryers, for putting up large volumes of parsley.

Understanding the nature of the specific crops you wish to dehydrate will dictate the physics and protocols. While my book does include most of those concepts, you might also find my processing book useful, found at www.herbfarminfo.com With all of this said, I am also available to help design something you could easily build and meet your production schedules.

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