I apologize for my absence, someone changed my password and was unable to get online.
Gleaning is a wonderful and cheap way to get food stuff for your pantry.
Definition of Gleaning;
To gather grain left behind by reapers.
When it comes to gleaning there are some simple rules to follow;
1 ask first
2 be polite
3 respect others property
4 don't take more than the owner allows
Gleaning isn't just about grain as the definition states, it is about any food item left in fields and orchards.
When you approach the farmer, do so before harvest. Ask if it would be ok to go over his fields after harvest and gather any leftovers. Many farmers, especially those that have a root veggie, will be more than happy to allow you to do so. Make sure you bring your own tools.
When it comes to fruits, finding the orchard is as simple as driving down suburban streets, looking for neglected trees. Most the time the owner will be grateful that you are willing to clean up their yard of all those unwanted apples. (and crab apples make great jellies).
Always talk with your family and friends. Some people have too many of something (like grapes) and would be more than willing to share with you. Older couples that have small backyard grape vines or orchard are also a good resource. I always offer to share fruits, jellies, jams and pies with them in exchange for allowing me to glean. And sometimes they are willing to share their special recipes with you.
Here is a story of my family gleaning, Called Gathering Apples in Eden. And I got all those apples, and more every year simply by asking around.