Tuesday, July 10, 2012
My Return to the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction
One of the highlights of the “agribusiness internship” I signed up for last year was our weekly trips to the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction down in Dayton, VA. I think I’ll pause a minute right here to say thanks again to David at Public House Produce for introducing me to this affair – I enjoyed the experience so much I made a point of taking Mary with me to check it out during our extended July 4th weekend.
Between the heat wave and the fact that it is still early in the summer produce season, I didn’t quite know what to expect to see at the market – or what quantities to expect. No need to fear, though – there was plenty of produce, both bulk sellers in the drive through section as well as in the small lots area. While attendance wasn’t what I’d experienced last year in August, there was plenty to make for a great experience.
Even though I only went four times last year, since I was left to my own devices while David attended to business I did manage to establish some auction routines for myself, so I’m going to organize the posts about the auction around that concept. This “through Cabin Jim’s eyes” approach means there won’t be any photos of delicious produce today, sadly, but I hope that I don’t disappoint with the ones I will put up tomorrow and the next day.
So, as I mentioned, upon arriving at the auction and after we unloaded whatever David happened to be bringing to market (mostly tomatoes - he is the tomato king, you know), I would have some time on my hands to take a look around while he went off to take care of business. Mary and I strolled around while I pointed out the office, the posted auction rules, and while I went in to get a price sheet from the last auction, which had been Tuesday, July 3. I pointed out the Shenandoah Valley “Virginia Grown” sign, some of the old-timers’ horse and buggy carts outside, and then the little board where you can find daily pearls of wisdom – this time, the sign read:
When there’s action in the swimming hole,
And vacation’s not a dream;
When the fisherman takes his fishing pole
And starts out for the nearest stream –
Summer days are here!
Funny thing – I still have notes from last year’s visits, so I will close today with these two:
Loving thoughts are little seeds
Let them blossom into deeds.
Summer is made of such wonderful things –
Bright golden sunshine and butterfly wings,
Fresh as the fragrance of newly mown hay,
A beautiful sunset at closing of day.