updated 11/23/2008 4:09:57 PM ET 2008-11-23T21:09:57

A Colorado farm couple say they got a huge surprise when they opened their fields to anyone who wanted to pick up free vegetables left over after the harvest.

Forty thousand people showed up yesterday and picked the fields so clean that Joe and Chris Miller had to cancel a second day of gleaning.

Chris Miller says she had expected as many as 10,000 people might show up for the free potatoes, carrots and leeks. Instead an estimated 11,000 vehicles snaked around the cornfields, creating a back up of more than two miles. About 30 acres of the 600-acre farm turned into a parking lot.

One woman taking part says with everybody "so depressed about the economy," the event turned into "a pure party" with "everybody having a great time getting something for free."

The farm's operations manager estimates the visitors gathered 600,000 pounds of produce.

Owner Chris Miller says "People obviously need food."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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