Ramble On

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Big Lots at the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction

Large lots of field fresh green beans.
After enjoying a walk around the auction, Mary and I headed over to the canopy area where the farmers drive through with the large lots at auction.  There are two observation areas to each side of the drive through, and then a central area with the auctioneer’s desk and the buyers’ observation area.  Mary and I stood to the side there to watch a couple of lots come through – green beans, cantaloupes, and potatoes. 

There was a quite a crowd of observers on hand Friday, maybe that’s typical for the Friday auction, since it comes at the end of the week.  There were quite a few father-and-son pairings on the tractors, and several school children in the observation areas.    

The father-son team in the foreground brought red potatoes.

We stuck around for about a quarter of the sales, six wagons in all, and there were plenty more waiting outside for their turn.  

Here the father-son team's potatoes getting sold.
Early season tomatoes.
A quick look at the sale sheet from the Tuesday auction suggests what we might have seen if we had stuck around (just the top eight here in terms of how many lots were sold):
·         1,145 dozen ears of Sweet Corn (ave. price $2.19)
·         500 boxes of tomatoes, including large, medium, and small, and heirlooms (ranging from $4.42-$17.00)
·         240 half bushels of summer squash (yellow and zucchini) (ave. price $4.32)
·         300 bags of potatoes ($1.68-$19.00 – high price was red potatoes)
·         300 bags of onions ($3.76)
·         250 half bushels of peaches ($12.95)
·         173 half bushels of cucumbers ($5.25)
·         138 half bushels of green beans ($8.53)

I’m not sure how the bulk sales would be represented here – noting the big crates of green beans we saw being sold and the fact that the quantities being reported were half bushels.  That will be an auction mystery for next time, I guess.

Until yesterday, I’d forgotten that I had made a 20-second video of some tomatoes being sold in the large lot area.  You can find that in this post:  

No comments: