Around the Nation

Around the Nation

Monday, November 24, 2008

40,000 Swarm Farm To Gather Free Food

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 food."

She said she expected 5,000 to 10,000 people to 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.

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

Richardson Said to Accept Post

President-elect Barack Obama has decided to appoint New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) as his commerce secretary, and Richardson has accepted, according to one Democratic source with knowledge of the situation. Obama transition officials and aides to Richardson declined to comment Sunday. Another Democrat close to the transition confirmed that Richardson is the "leading candidate" but said an announcement on the Commerce position was not likely to occur Monday.

Work on Shuttle Water System

HOUSTON -- Astronauts tinkered with a troublesome piece of equipment that can convert urine and sweat into drinkable water and allow the international space station to grow to six crew members. Station commander Michael Fincke and Endeavour astronaut Donald Pettit changed the way a centrifuge is mounted in the $154 million water-recycling system.

Suspect Sought in Mall Shooting

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