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Thousands pick up free vegetables on Colo. farm

Susan Notes:

The good news is the
generosity of this farm family.

PLATTEVILLE, Colo. - A farm couple got a huge
surprise when they opened their fields to
anyone who wanted to pick up free vegetables
left over after the harvest - 40,000 people
showed up. Joe and Chris Miller's fields were
picked so clean Saturday that a second day of
gleaning - the ancient practice of picking up
leftover food in farm fields - was canceled
Sunday. "Overwhelmed is putting it mildly,"
Chris Miller said. "People obviously need

She said she expected 5,000 to 10,000 people
would show up Saturday to collect free
potatoes, carrots and leeks. Instead, an
estimated 11,000 vehicles snaked around
cornfields and backed up more than two miles.
About 30 acres of the 600-acre farm 37 miles
north of Denver became a parking lot.

Some people parked their cars along two nearby
highways to take to the field with sacks,
wagons and barrels.

"Everybody is so depressed about the economy,"
said Sandra Justice of Greeley, who works at a
technology company. "This was a pure party.
Everybody having a a great time getting
something for free."

Justice and her mother and son picked 10 bags
of vegetables.

Miller said they opened the farm to the free
public harvest for the first time this year
after hearing reports of food being stolen from
churches. It was meant as a thank you for

Farm operations manager Dave Patterson said
that in previous years the Millers allowed
schoolchildren and some church groups to come
to the farm during the fall to harvest their
own food.

He estimated some 600,000 pounds of produce was
harvested Saturday.

— staff



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