Farmers aren't used to seeing the sorts of crowds Joe Miller encountered last weekened when he opened up his fields for free picking. People arrived before sunup and lined up in a 300-foot queue. His five-acre parking lot was full, and cars were blocking the freeway.
Rather than let his leftover crops go to waste, Joe Miller, who owns Miller Farms, a pick-your-own farm just outside Denver, thought he'd give away his leftover crop of potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, pumpkins, and leeks. An estimated 40,000 people showed up and took home 400,000 to 500,000 pounds of food.
I've heard of farmers opening their fields and orchards to food shelves and other nonprofit groups, but never to the general public--I'm wondering if this is something more local farmers might try. Miller seemed pleased with the result and may do it again next year, as long as he has a better crowd control plan in place. He told NPR that the giveway day was "one of the most stressful days I've ever had in my life."