This morning I ran across an article that states that ½ of all the produce grown in the United states is thrown away. Half of all US food produce is thrown away, new research suggests. This is something that I believe based on personal experience. For the last few years we have been able to get lots of free produce.
If you ask, many farmers will let you glean their fields. Sometime the vegetables are not perfect, being deformed, but still taste the same. Late in the season after the main harvest there are often new vegetables and fruit appearing. Because this is a bit sparse, this is often not picked. Get to know the farmers around you and you will be surprised at what you can get for free or little cost.
Another Source of free produce
The area that we live in was a major fruit-growing region 30 or 40 years ago. As more people have moved in and the competition from overseas has increased, many of the orchards have been split up or just abandoned. Some of the orchards are still owned by elderly people who have retired and no longer can maintain their trees.
We have found that when you see trees loaded with fruit and no one is taking care of them, it pays to go talk to the owners. Many of them are more than willing to let you pick some fruit if you share with them.
Over the last few years, we have gotten apples, pears, olives, lemons, oranges, pomegranates and other fruits. These have made a significant contribution to our diet and preps at a minimum cost.
Free produce in your area.
Take a good look at the area in which you live, you might be surprised at how much free produce is available, even if you live in the city. I know people who lived in the San Francisco Bay area and still found free food.
We dry and can a lot of what we find.