Local Farmer Fighting Hunger With Free Harvest

By Melissa Garcia

PLATTEVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – One of the largest direct-to-consumer produce farms along Colorado’s Front Range is fighting hunger with a free harvest.

The 120 acre Miller Farms in Platteville is packed with potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, and a variety of other vegetables.

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(credit: CBS)

After a fruitful year of growing, the farm’s owner is offering up all of his excess crops to feed families at no cost.

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(credit: CBS)

Jessica Golden and her three kids, who live in Johnstown, were among hundreds who showed up at the farm Sunday to dig up pounds of potatoes, among other produce.

For Golden, the free harvest will help to not only put dinner on the table, but also to teach her children about the value of fresh food.

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(credit: CBS)

“It has helped with them understanding how to grow food, and make their own food, and live off the land,” Golden said. “And then they like vegetables more, too. If they grow it, they’ll eat it.”

Sunday’s event, which was open to the public, was the first time in nine years that farm owner Joe Miller has put on the free harvest day.

“We could have turned our cows in and had them eat the (vegetables), but I just would rather have people come out and get it that can use it,” Miller told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

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Sandy Reyes (credit: CBS)

“That actually has helped us feed not only us, but (also) our neighbors,” Golden said.

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“I’ve actually seen people cry out here, out of gratitude,” said Sandy Reyes, who came to the farm from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Reyes collected vegetables that she planned to donate to a local food bank to feed people in need.

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(credit: CBS)

“Food is expensive,” Miller added. “Vegetables are really expensive.”

By Sunday night, truckloads of veggies remained unharvested at Miller Farms. Miller decided to extend the free harvest event through the upcoming week.

Anyone interested was invited to show up at Miller Farms located at 13912 CR 19, Platteville, CO 80651 during daytime hours with a bag and a shovel.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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