My wife is a scrounge she finds free foods all over the place. I think she knows where every fruit tree within 10 miles is located and who owns it (slight exaggeration). However, she does have a whole network of friends who give her fruits and vegetables all the time and she happily preserves them. A lot of them are people she has met through church, who have similar interests.
They watch for food growing in people’s yards that are not picked and will stop by and talk to them. Often the people are either busy or older and are happy to have someone gather their fruit for a share. If someone has too much, they split it up and everyone gets a share.
Our Excalibur dehydrator seems to run 24/7, she is always drying something and it rarely comes from the store. In the last week, he has dried papaya, persimmons, pomegranate seeds, apples, pears, oranges and lemons. I don’t think any of it came from the store. Don’t ask where the papaya came from; I know they don’t grow them around here in the winter. The other fruits are all local.
She dehydrates, cans or pickles everything she can find and it all taste good. Over the years it has saved us lots of money and is way healthier than what you get at the stores.
Don’t think that you need a huge place to accomplish this. We have a small house and not a lot of property. Try it, you will find it is a great way to add to your food storage and eat well at the same time.