Jan 142016
 

produce auction collage

This post in part of a series about produce auctions across the USA.  While this is not a comprehensive list, I have tried to include auctions about which I can find information.  If you know of any others, feel free to leave a note in the comments section.

While the weather is turning down right frigid in various parts of the country, before you know it Spring will be knocking at your door. While you are looking through your seed catalogs and planning out your new garden’s beginnings, try adding in a bit of fun and adventure – check out a local produce auction. In the Spring, you may find plants as well as fresh spring vegetables.  Some of the auctions start in April others will hold off till May.

Wakarusa Produce Auction  Open 3 days a week: Monday 1 p.m., Wednesday 11 a.m., Friday 11 a.m.  From their website:

“We are open from the last week in April to the end of October. We auction produce grown in Elkhart County by local farmers. “

 

Adams County Flower & Produce Auction LLC – from their website:

Opening for business in July 2004, our purpose is to sell high quality produce grown by local farmers specifically for wholesale buyers such as stores, roadside stands, farm markets, distribution companies, etc. Located in Northern Indiana, auctions are held April thru October EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY AT 10:00 AM, with specialty auction dates for Hay, Straw and Firewood.

 Wayne County Produce Auction – located in Williamsburg, Indiana.  According to an article written in 2013 on Amish365.com , “The auction is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Oct. 19. The only exceptions are Oct. 3 and 10. The auction opens at 1 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.”

 

Rockville Produce Auction is located in Rockville, Indiana.  A Midwest Living article shares the following information:

“The auction schedule varies, but generally sales are held May through October, at 2 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. (Call ahead to confirm.) If you’re planning to bid, buy a number in the front office ($10 per season) before joining the action.”

Daviess County Produce Auctionlocated at 5667 N County Road 900 E, Montgomery, Indiana begins their auctions in mid-April and end in October.  The year starts off with items you can use to decorate your yard, as well as plants for the garden.  As the year continues you will be able to find in season vegetables and fruits.  Their phone number is 812-486-2445.  Sales begin at 1 p.m. on Mondays, 9 a.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Dec 192015
 

1450541470242-1576262166My kids are rough on toys. They are getting better, though we still are not the house for “be gentle” things.

George got this suitcase at an auction, paying with his own money. He was so happy. My hope was that these two things would lead to it lasting a long time, you know, like about 6 months.

It has been well played with this past month, and the source of a few arguments. It has held cars, secrets, stuffed animals and the makings of a ‘trip’.

This morning Jack comes into the kitchen while I am cooking breakfast. “Mom, is there such a thing as mirror glue?”

No,” I replied, not really paying attention.

“Does super glue work on mirrors?” His inquisitive mind honestly wanted to know.

Now, my attention has been gotten. “No, but great thinking. Why do you ask?”

“The mirror fell out of the case.”

(Sigh) Crisis averted. “I’ll come look when I finish here.”

“Okay, I’ll tell George.  He wants to drill holes in different pieces for a project.”

I turn off the stove immediately.  Crisis back on. “Let’s go look.”

Once I get to the playroom I find George sitting cross legged in front of the suitcase. Lap full of broken pieces of mirror. Playing with them!  “Sweety, put down the pieces.” Wow, I have a great calm voice.

“Why?” … seriously?! What is up with this response.

“Broken pieces of mirror are sharper than knives.” Thankfully that got his attention and he put them down carefully.

1450542146967-1294067738

I noticed the little ‘glitter’ sparkles on the floor. Yippee, more fun! George got brushed off and all kids sent out of room. A wet paper towel later (after breakfast) and all was safe again.

Behind the mirror was an old advertisement with a date of February 1953.  This cute case lasted 62 years in someone else’s house. It took my kids all of 1 month to break it.

That is a great example of why we try not to buy the cheap plastic toys, nor pay full price if avoidable.

One more lesson down, millions more to go.

May 012015
 

produce auction collage

This post in part of a series about produce auctions across the USA.  While this is not a comprehensive list, I have tried to include auctions about which I can find information.  If you know of any others, feel free to leave a note in the comments section.

Cedar Valley Produce Auction – according to their brochure, the first auction this year is April 17th.  Auctions are held on Mondays at 4 PM, and Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 AM.  Cedar Valley Produce Auction is located at 18072 Addison Ave, Elma, IA 50628.  This is in the northern part of the state, near Minnesota.

From their website:

“In 2001 a group of farmers built the Cedar Valley Produce Auction by the town of Elma in northeast Iowa, and in the following years it has grown and now sells over $3 million annually! Selling flowers in the spring and then produce in the summer. All produce and flowers are grown locally and sold at the auction. … The auction also supplies local produce it wholesale prices. In the spring the Auction sells flowers in flats, and hanging baskets and mid summer changes over to sell fresh produce.”

 Sara, at Learning The Frugal Life, shares her experience going to a local produce auction in Iowa for the first time.  I love hearing other’s experiences and how other auctions are run.

Southern Iowa Produce Auctionis located in the southeast  portion of the state at 19141 Ice Avenue, Bloomfield, IA. Their first auction for the 2015 Season was Friday, April 10, followed by a second auction on April 17.  After the first two auction, they moved to twice weekly auctions through mid-July, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 AM.  For a market report or schedule information, call 712-432-8593.

Curving Back has a great post with lots of pictures if you are wanting to see a photo representation of this auction.

Lamoni Produce Auction/Farmsong Produce Auction, located at 16340 Farm Song Road, has produce auctions every Tuesday and Friday at 10 am.  In July they change to having three auctions – Monday at 4 PM and the Wednesday and Friday auctions at 10 AM.  In September they change  back to twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Located in south central  Iowa, they are right on the boarder with Missouri and would be a convenient stop for those living in either state.

Produce Auctions In Ohio – A sampling of 10 various auctions found across the state

 Gardening, Planning, Selling  Comments Off on Produce Auctions In Ohio – A sampling of 10 various auctions found across the state
Apr 252015
 

produce auction collage

This post in part of a series about produce auctions across the USA.  While this is not a comprehensive list, I have tried to include auctions about which I can find information.  If you know of any others, feel free to leave a note in the comments section.

Ohio produce growers and those in search of produce, have several choices of produce auctions to attend.  Rural Action has a map of 9 different produce auctions across Ohio.  There is a new auction (Scioto Valley Produce Auction) that is not on Rural Action’s map, bringing the total to 10 different produce auctions. While the majority are found in the northeast part of the state, there are several found in the southern part as well as on auction in the northwest part of the state.


Chesterhill Produce Auction, in Morgan County is located at 8380 Wagoner Rd, Chesterhill, Ohio, is a example of having the right people in the right place at the right time to fill a need of a community.  The video here explains how and why this auction was started.  They also highlight the benefits to the community and the farmers. Starting in May, on Mondays and Thursdays at 4 p.m, the auction will continue into October.

On a side note, I was really thrilled to see the effort and results put into this auction by those who first thought of idea and those who have joined to make it a success.  It would have been easy to give up and throw in the towel any  number of times along the way.  Instead, perseverance has paid off and now there is a thriving auction in place that benefits all involved.

Here are two more links about the auction in Chesterville :

Chesterhill Produce Auction: A Rural Appalachia Case Study

Chesterhill Produce Auction from Rural Action

 

Bainbridge Produce Auction in Ross County is located 5 miles south of Bainbridge, Ohio 45612 on St. Route 41.  This is in the southwest portion of Ohio, about 1.5 hours east of Cincinnati.  Auctions are held 3 times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  For further information call 740-634-3451.

 


Owl Creek Produce Auction, in Marrow County, is located at 20999 Waterford Rd. (St. Rt. 22) Fredricktown, Ohio 43019.  The 2015 Season began in early April.  In May the auctions move to taking place on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Fridays at 9 a.m.  From June through the beginning of October auctions take place 3 times a week.  Check out their website for times.

Ohio’s Country Journal wrote an article in 2014 highlighting the Owl Creek Produce Auction.

Scioto Valley Produce Auction in Hardin County if a fairly new auction, locate a few miles east of Kenton Ohio.  This auction is fairly new, having started in 2011. The auction is located at 18031 State Route 309, Kenton, Ohio 43326.  

The first auction of the 2015 Season was April 17th.  Check their Facebook page for more information on upcoming auction dates and times.

Here is another video featuring the Scioto Valley Produce Auction.

 

Captina Produce Auction is located at  39050 W. Captina Highway, Barnesville, Ohio in Belmont County.  Auctions are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.  Here is an article from written by the Barnesville-Enterprise that tells a bit more about this auction and what you might find.

 

Mt. Hope Produce Auction in Holmes County is located at 7701 St. Rt. 241 Millersburg, Ohio 44654

From their website: “The Farmer’s Produce Auction was started in 1995 as a wholesale market for local farmers to grow and sell their produce in bulk to buyers throughout the state. The Produce Auction was the first of its kind started in Ohio and is currently one of the largest in the state.”

Looking at their auction schedule, I would have to agree.  They currently are running produce auctions twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), though say they will be “running Monday @ 11:00 AM, Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays at 10:00 AM.”  

Here are some further articles, experiences and photos from the Mt. Hope Produce Auction:

Homerville Produce Auction is found in Medina County.  Their address is 9430 Spencer Rd. Homerville, Ohio 44235

To see when their next auction is, check out their Facebook page.

 

Middlefield Produce Auction/Geauge Growers Produce Auction, in Geauge County, is a very action packed  place to be.  Found at 14575 Madison Rd. (St.Rt. 528) Middlefield, Ohio 44062, this auction can have up to 3 different auction rings going at the same time by the high of summer.  Even through the winter they are selling items, though no produce.

The first auction for the 2015 Season was April 6th. Through the month of April Monday auctions are held 5 p.m.  Begining May 1st, 10 a.m. Friday auctions will also be held.  In June, the 10 a.m. Wednesday auctions will be added.

Here is an article from Cleveland.com concerning the Middlefield Produce Auction – Monday Is Auction Day In Middlefield.

Blooming Grove Auction, located at 1091 Free Rd. Shiloh, Ohio 44878 is in Richland County.  To find time of auctions, check here.  A phone number can also be found at the same link, if you are wanting to double check whether an auction is take place at a certain time.

Jun 262012
 

I have mentioned before about obtaining produce from other sources, especially if you are unable to grow it yourself.  One of the places I do so is the local Amish produce auction.  This is something that I have not been able to do in previous places we lived.  We were never near the Amish nor produce auctions.  Actually I had never heard of them till someone at church mentioned going.  I loved auctions, so adding in produce only could make it better.  Right?

So far this year I have gotten flowers – both hanging baskets and bedding plants, herb plants, beets and strawberries from the auction.

Pecks of beets for $4.50 or $4.75 each

Before you decide to drive two hours and spend a lot of money at a produce auction, let me give you an idea of how one works, some of the benefits and some of the drawbacks.  As with most things you have to decide for yourself if it is something that works for you or not.

One of the things that helps make it doable for me is that a friend of mine also likes to go and we often split the produce or plants.  This is also how my stand got started.  We had extra produce that we weren’t sure what to do with.

For those who have never gone to an auction like this, it can be a bit of an adjustment.  Ask questions when  you get there to get an idea of the set up.

The produce is placed in rows, on carts.  Each cart is usually one particular grower, who is identified by a number.

Each buyer also has a number, which they must get before bidding.  At our local auction, the numbers stay the same from one time to the next.  Some people I know by their numbers rather than their names.  That is a sure sign that I have been there too much.

Also, remember the people running the auction are Amish or Mennonites.  Cash or check is probably the way to go.  At least at the one here, they don’t take credit or debit cards.

Parsley from the auction last year, still producing this year.

One detail that is hard to figure out at first is that you are not bidding on the stack or row of items.  You bid by the item.  Say it is a stack of 4 boxes of 24 count cucumbers.  If you bid $15, then it will actually be $15 x 4, or $60 for the stack.  If you bid $8 for the hanging flower baskets and there are 5 in that row, your total will be $40 ($8×5).  This seems to get people at first.  The auctioneer is sometimes understanding if you bid not knowing this, but usually only once an auction and you can’t be guaranteed of his grace.  They often go over the rules at first and expect people to know this detail by the time bidding starts.

I would suggest going once or twice to just listen and get a feel for the flow of the auction, what price items go for, and how it all actually works.

One of the reasons I like going is the potential for wholesale prices.  I am not a large buyer.  I do not have a store or two or three to supply.  I do not make a living going to farmers’ markets. However, I do have a family to feed and if I can do it cheaper by going there, then I will.

I have also spent money there only to get home and regret it.  For example, the strawberries I just bought.

That brings up another point.  Look at the produce.  Turn the tomatoes over.  Open the box and look at the cucumber/zucchini/squash.  Don’t just look at the ones on top.  Be nice about it, but look further down in the box or even the second box in the stack.  Listen to what others are saying to get a feel for certain growers or catch something they saw but you missed.

Overall I enjoy going to the auctions.  You never know what will be there, what the prices will be, but they are always fun.  We are close enough that at times I go just to socialize.  When the end of fall arrives, it feels as if I am leaving a whole other world behind.

Michell, over at Simplify, Live, Life wrote a post last fall about her first experience going.  As I have been going for a few years, it was great to hear someone else’s first time experience.  It is also amazing to see how similar the set-ups are.  The carts holding the produce and the boxes being used look the same even.

The Penny Pantry also shows some deals she got at the auction near her.  This is a great example of what you can get at the auctions.  Just keep in mind that no two times going to the auction are the same.  It will depend on what the farmers bring in, who is there, and the weather.  I find that on cool rainy days there are fewer people willing to go to the auction, but also less stuff.  That is part of the adventure.

I will be posting some more in the coming weeks about the auction. So keep your eyes open if you are a bit more curious about it. If there is something particular you want to know about I will try to address it.

Would you go to an auction to buy produce?  Have you even done it?  What has been your opinion of them, if you have gone?