Down on the farm, a frenzy over free food

Is this the beginning of the the worst famines in the history of mankind the US will experience in the coming years?

Want one more palpable sign of a desperate economy?

An estimated 40,000 people came to a Weld County farm Saturday to collect free potatoes, carrots and leeks.

Cars snaked around cornfields and parallel parked along Colorado 66 and 119 early in the morning to get free food from the Miller family, who farm 600 acres outside of Platteville, about 37 miles north of Denver.

As this prolonged Indian summer continued, the Millers had decided to give away produce because so much was left over at the end of their annual fall festival. Any day now, a few deep freezes would kill it off.

They expected between 5,000 and 10,000 people spread out over a couple of days. Instead, they found themselves on Saturday morning inundated with cars and people with sacks and wagons and barrels ready to harvest whatever was available.

The Millers canceled the second day of the giveaway originally planned for today because, as Chris Miller put it, “the pickins’ are very slim now.”

At one point, 30 acres of family farmland had become a parking lot. Their crowd estimate of 40,000 plus was based on the number of cars. Sheriff’s officials said they “wouldn’t be surprised” if that count was accurate.

Traffic was backed up almost to Interstate 25, and police ticketed people who had illegally abandoned their cars in the frenzy.

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