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Produce auctions

Posted by Mary_Mary_2 Ohio Zone 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 24, 04 at 9:42

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 many other auctions like this are there?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Produce auctions

I don't have your answer, but I live in NW Ohio and have a small garden center on a major highway. Where is the auction located at? sounds very interesting.

RE: Produce auctions

The auction takes place near Shiloh, Ohio. (Just North of Mansfield.)

It is a pretty interesting event. I haven't been there for about four years (ever since I moved) and am really curious as to what extent it's grown since I was there last.

Where is your garden center? I was located more in North Central Ohio before I moved.

Here is a link to the web page of the auctioneer (who is based in Clyde) and if you scroll down to 'Blooming Grove Auction' you can get a link which has a map and a calendar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Auction information.

RE: Produce auctions

thank you for the information about the auction. I don't know if I will make it, it is quite a ways for me. I used to go sailing on Lake Erie out of Cataba Island which was about 2 hours and half drive, so it is quite a ways to Clyde. ,( sailiing was before the Greenhouse)
I am located between Toledo Ohio and Fort wayne, Indiana on US highway 24 in Antwerp, Ohio. Very small town, three stoplights. My season is winding down now. My annual flowers are half price, and my concrete statuary has had better years, too much rain, most people say they haven't planted anything yet.

If I get a chance I will look into the auction, I would like to go to Ashland soon for a little R and R.

thanks again

RE: Produce auctions

Yeah, you are pretty much right up in the corner of the state!

The produce auction is actually fairly near Ashland, Ohio...if that's the Ashland you're talking about.

RE: Produce auctions

I'm sorry I can't help you locate an auction near you, but thank you for posting this information - what a cool event! I will definitely check it out, as I am not terribly far from there - we just bought a place on 11 1/2 acres about 30 miles east of Cleveland. I would LOVE to somehow earn a living growing things, but, having worked in the customer service industry and retail previously, have shied away from getting back into "retail." Maybe Farmer's Markets are different... Have been trying to figure out a way to do something wholesale, and this might work.

As a buyer at an auction like this, do you have to be prepared to buy large lots? Or are there smaller lots, too? Say I wanted to buy a bunch of something to can, but it's just the 2 of us here, so we don't need too much. Probably the best thing to do is just go have a look-see in person.

Thanks again for posting this!

RE: Produce auctions

Actually, I emailed the auctioneer and he responded with a list of other produce auctions that he knew of. He also commented that it wasn't unusual for people to come from several hours away for the Blooming Grove auction!! (And later I'll find the list of other auction sites and post it too.)

Last time I attended the auction there were lots of all sizes as a general rule. And there were even times when someone would buy a rather large lot and then sell off some of it to other people on the spot. I can remember bins of sweet corn or Jack-Be-Little pumpkins going this way!!!

However, you're right, just going and taking a look is a good way to go. Especially as the mix of what's available changes with each auction day. In the past I've purchased tomatoes to can but I can't remember what size lot I got. Of course the great thing about canning is that it DOES keep a while!! I'm still working on tomato sauce I canned three years ago. (Have to do more sauce this year...)

Maybe I'll see you at the auction come fall!

RE: Produce auctions

hunting for the amish produce auctions in ohio i hear their is one near greenfield ohio on 41

RE: Produce auctions

Not sure where greenfield is, but there is one in Wayne County, OH. Usually near most of the Amish communities.

Good luck


RE: Produce auctions

Where I am in central Michigan, there are 3 produce auctions within 20 miles. All done by Amish and Mennonites. I love them. I don't sell often, but I do buy. I buy things that I don't grow, so I have an even greater variety of things to sell at markets. It's worth it to sell there if you have a LOT of something that you wouldn't be able to get rid of otherwise. For example, I have 450 Mountain Fresh tomato plants. I won't be able to sell all of them at markets or to my customers, so I'll take everything else to the auction. I'll only get probably half the price though... but it's better than having them go bad!! Also if you can bring in early produce, you can do really good. This week, a Mennonite guy I know brought in early tomatoes, and they sold for $35 per half bushel!!! That's some serious money!!! Anyway, I hope this helps you out.

RE: Produce auctions

They sell produce @ our local chicken auction. It brings a good price if there is only a little. When people bring in large amounts it goes for WAY cheap.

RE: Produce auctions

I read in the Columbus Dispatch last year, that the amish community has a produce auction every year. If anyone out there has info on this please respond with any input. Would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance....

RE: Produce auctions

If you are in the area, then just ask someone. I searched the internet for columbus dispatch, to discover that the paper is in OH, since you did not include that in your request. You can also search, 'amish auctions, columbus, OH' to find more about your area amish. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing.

Usually, they will have an auction between 1-5 times per week during the produce season. Beyond that, each community does things their own way.

RE: Produce auctions

  • Posted by luke_oh zone 5 NE Ohio (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 18, 11 at 19:54

Nancy, The best produce auction that I know of is in Mt. Hope, Oh. It is great. Very organized and professionally done. It is actually a couple of miles, maybe 4-5 miles west of Mt Hope. I think that they are running 4 days a week right now with all of the crops coming in at this time. Every week day except Wed. They don't want to compete with the auction in Mt. Hope. Let me know if you need more info. Luke

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