Note: There will be, in the next week or so, a series of fairly technical posts about the Solar Dryer built in Palestine during the Tamera Global Campus.
As a member of the team of the Tamera Global Campus in Israel-Palestine, my main role was to coordinate the design and construction of a “Solar Dryer,” a solar-powered food dehydrator, on the farm of Fayez Taneeb in Tulkarm, Palestine.
This project had a number of goals, one of which was to provide the Taneeb family farm with a food dryer, to allow them to preserve seasonal surpluses of fruits and vegetables. The other main intentions of the project were pedagogical; our wish was that the young Palestinians working with us leave with a full understanding of how and why to build a Solar Dryer.
The construction of the Solar Dryer was successful completed within the time-frame in Tulkarm, Palestine. It was built almost exclusively of recovered materials (most fasteners, the polyethylene sheeting, the photovoltaic panel, were purchased new). The students reported at the end that they had a complete understanding of the Solar Dryer, having fully participated in every stage of its design and construction. The students also engaged deeply with the more complex human and ecological questions raised by the Global Campus. For example, the political significance of local food and energy autonomy, was readily appreciated and discussed.
In the time we had, we were not able to see the Solar Dryer put into use. The important question of how this technology will be integrated into the lives of the people that use it, will have to be a subject for follow-ups, and further visits.