Something I've realized about living a sustainable lifestyle and growing most of your own food is that you always have to be one step ahead of what's to come. This season you are preparing for next season, while reaping the rewards from the work you did the season before... (that was almost philosophical!) Right now is a really important time to prepare for winter - there's alot of organic crops that are producing tons of fruits and vegetables, fruit trees are dropping their bounty, and this is when ya find ways to save all that food for later.
There are a few ways you can dehydrate your own food:
1. Food Dehydrator: This is the obvious, but if you are really serious about growing and storing a bunch of food, it may be worth the investment- because it will save ya lots of money later you would have to be spending on organic groceries. My deal with these machines is that alot of them are made of plastic, and I don't think that heating plastic even at low levels is the best for our health- finding one with stainless steal trays is certainly best. Maybe there is one with glass trays out there? Any suggestions?
2. Glass Dish In The Sun: This is a really simple totally DIY way of drying food, I would call 'the quickie'. It may not get your slices as bone dry as a dehydrator (depending on your climate), but it will make some good snacks you can store in the fridge. I put my slices of apple, strawberry, pears, peaches, etc... onto a large glass dish (like a lasagna pan) and put them in an elevated spot directly in the sun. At once house I lived there was a shed with a flat tin roof that got very hot, so I would put the glass dish on top and after one day my fruit snacks would be ready to eat!
3. Oven: This is not the most ideal, as far as energy saving goes and flavor - but it does work. I have even made raisins from grapes in my toaster oven by leaving on a very low heat for two days. You have to spread out the slices on a flat pan, and leave the oven door open a crack to let out the moisture quicker.
4. Build Your Own: The ultimate energy saving dehydrator, with the most natural flavor, and safest way of heating is to build your own solar food dehydrator. My favorite is a simple one built out of glass, screen, and wooden frame that sits in the sun.
Here's some links to other ways of making your very own: