Return to the produce auction

watermelons watermark
Watermelons, anyone? Lots of 72 count or 36 count. They probably sold for less than half of what the grocers charge.

I met my brother and his family at a produce auction. While I have attended in the past {and recorded my first produce auction visit here exactly two years ago [and at (here and here)]}, this was their first time. Everything was pretty much as I remember it, but the physical space was better. Lighting, abundant ceiling fans, an awning in case of rain, bleacher seating instead of folding chairs — you get the idea.

it was a little hot
it was a little hot

Lessons learned:

  • You know the saying about buying in season because it’s cheaper? That’s what happened at this auction. There was one lot of cucumbers, not picklers, that didn’t sell at all. Cucumbers were a tough sell. I’ve also seen zucchini not sell. Several of the higher priced lots were still lower than grocery store prices. The crops that were at the end of their season sold high. Peaches may have sold low a month ago, but today, only one small lot of peaches was available and it sold very high.
  • Have you heard the other saying about waiting until the end of a farmers market for deep discounts because producers don’t want to haul anything back to their place after the market. I saw this with my own eyes. The second half of the auction had lower prices. Everyone was ready to move on — tomatoes that brought $7/20# sold for 75 cents/20# by the end of the auction.
  • Prices haven’t changed much in the last two years.
  • I still struggle with knowing how to purchase items that are sold by weight and volume. I can visualize one cup; I cannot visualize one pound.
  • Packaging has to purchased from the auction house before the produce can be sold. I saw maybe two exceptions to this in the small lots.
  • If I ever have big event that requires food, I’m headed to the produce auction.

A few more photos to share from the day —

farm all kum and go
tractor at the gas station. classic.
amish drive home
riding home on the highway
horse drawn vehicles
sign that tells you you’re close to the auction site


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