It's finally springtime here in east Tennessee and I spent the day yesterday scouting my area. I made one pass thru the middle of one ridge and one pass on the next ridge and found 142 three and four prongers just ready for opening season. This stuff hasnt been touched in years and there was just patch after patch downhill from the top patch where the berries have washed downhill. I hope it will be a banner year. I was wondering if it is best to dry my roots inside in the cool air or outside in the shade. Anyone suggest the best way to dry.
Inside is best I think. The commercial guys start at about 75 degrees and advance the temp as the humidity (moisture from the roots) lessen until they hit 100 degrees...never more and always with forced air systems.
At home, you can put together a really nice rack with some firring strips and screen. Make a frame with runners to hold the trays. Make the trays and cover one side with fiberglass screen. I always set a small fan under them blowing up through and a small heater to keep the temp from falling below 70 in the evenings. I cover them with a canvas tarp which is open on the sides at the top.
You can keep also use cardboard for the bottom of the trays as long as they get good air flow across the top.
I made a small one last year that set on a counter top. About 20\" x 36\" and about 10 racks high.
You can keep them on windows screens or in shallow cardboard boxes also as long as they stay about 70 degrees or more and get enough air.
I keep it simple myself... dry mine inside, on window screens.
The room I do that in is on our HVAC system (central air), low humidity, usually around 72 degrees.
I wash it appropriately, and then let it air dry for a few hours spread out on a towel and then I just spread it out in very thin layer on my window screens and let it be until I remove it just before I take it to sell.
On some larger thicker roots, it can take 5 weeks to fully dry. The smaller stuff will dry sooner.
I don't usually sell until around Thanksgiving so there is no need to rush the drying up.
If you needed to rush it, you could use a small space heater (forced air type) to raise the room temp up to 80-85 degrees and increase airflow.
That would be a safe way to speed up the drying process without compromising root quality.
Sounds like you have some good location to hunt this year. Best of Luck !