Potatoes, tomatoes, and onions.
I'm just wild about the local produce auctions. What a fabulous win for the farming community and for buyers like me. I was peeping around and found this fantastic video about the Chesterhill Produce auction. This vid is about 12 mins long and really shows what the auctions are like.
On a funny note, I recognize some of the folks here. Yay!
The other day I got:
* Two peck baskets of potatoes for $4/each. Or $0.13/pound
* Two ten-ish pound bags of onions for $3.50/each or or $0.31/pound
* Two ten pound flats of tomatoes for $3.75/each or $0.37/pound
Let that sink in. Around here you are lucky to get onions for under $0.99 pound. It is infuriating. And they are shipped from all over the country. Or I can get them for a third of the price from my Amish neighbor who drove them to the auction in his buggy.
Kai's nose for scale
What a terrific value! But don't I grow all this stuff myself? Sure! But we've eaten all the fresh potatoes so we are out- until these next ones are ready. And sometimes it's easier to get a big whack of maters at one time and do a canning day instead of getting several small baskets from the garden.
As for the onions... I haven't had to buy onions from the store since early this summer. My goal is to not buy any onions from the store until December. Harrumph.
I just love going to the auction. You can find some info here about going. Don't be shy about checking it out. Right now the prices are fantastic. They were selling peck baskets of tomatoes for $3 and less!
One of the great things they have at a nearby auction is the pre-priced section. You can choose from a selection of produce and baked goods that already have a price on them. There is one extra step to buying this way - you take your selections to a guy sitting with papers in front of him at a desk. He will write up a ticket for you and then you can go and pay at the office. The reason is so all of the paperwork is consistent.
Some of these taters were cut - probably by the potato harvester.
So what? At $2/basket I can use the "bad" ones as seed potatoes!
If these items are not sold then they are auctioned at the end of the day. I totally missed out on a pre-priced plate of whoopie pies that were marked as $3.75...that sold for $1. Rats!
But I was thrilled at my purchases and ran right home and started processing them. I also shared some of my finds with some friends (you know who you are!).
If you don't need a bushel of tomatoes why not go in with a couple friends and share the bargains? One person can go and then you can split up the spoils and share the cost.
What kinds of folks go to the auction? All kinds. The great news is that the produce distributor and store produce managers are coming. They bring a huge truck and buy in bulk. Other folks with bigger trucks are farm stand owners who are looking for local produce. Don't forget the restaurateurs.... I spoke with a local celeb restaurant owner who likes to buy all their produce locally. It's a total win for everyone - great prices, extremely fresh produce, and money that goes directly to your neighbors. What could be better?
Then there are the old timers who just like to make it into a social event. The home canners - like me - who want to beef up our winter stores. Local folks who don't want to bid but love the convenience of the pre-priced section. And folks just looking for a good time.
Today, Thursday, is auction day at the Chesterhill Product Auction...and word to the wise.... it's Fry Pie Day!
Happy Thursday everyone! Now get out there and check out your local auction!