So do any of you ever sell at produce auctions? Or even have a produce auction in your area?
Where I used to live (two hours north of here) some market gardeners and farmers got together and organized a produce auction, modeled after the hay and straw auctions that take place on a weekly basis in neighboring towns.
Now mind, this auction doesn't take place in any sort of urban area, it's out in the middle of nowhere, down horrible country roads, and smack dab in the middle of an Amish/Mennonite community. As a matter of fact, I think that some of those involved in organizing it are Amish.
During the winter they do the hay/straw/firewood thing once a week, but during the rest of the year they sell produce three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
I keep looking in vain for a similar set-up closer to where I live now but so far I'm coming up empty. My family, when I mention bringing anything to the produce auction where I used to live, always comments, "Isn't there an auction near you?" Well no, there doesn't seem to be!!!
So I'm wondering if that auction is a really rare thing or what.
On one hand, you have to pick and chose what you take to the auction, and when, if you want to get the best prices. For instance, the year I went fairly often, I noticed that tomatoes started out cheap, when everyone was sure that they'd get a bumper crop in their own gardens, but as the season progressed the prices went pretty high. But they are selling at wholesale prices for the most part. However, it's an easy way to sell a lot of stuff fast. You simply show up, unload and register your goods and leave if you want. You get a check in the mail later that week.
They sell EVERYTHING there though, from chicks to eggs to pumpkins to hanging plants to produce of all natures. And there are people there from the year-round farmers markets in the surrounding towns bidding on all of it. Maybe even some grocery store buyers for all I know.
You can bring in a lot consisting of a basket of mixed hot peppers, or a lot consisting of 150 pumpkins, or ten boxes of tomatoes, or whatever. I haven't been there in several years, but I know that during it's first year of operation the building was generally full and overflowing, with stuff stacked outside to sell as well.
Anyway, this year I planted as many tomatoes as I could, with the idea that any I didn't can myself would go to the produce auction. It's not much, but it's a start for me.
I keep wondering though...how many other auctions like this are there?