I had no idea such things even existed until this year. My mother informed me of a place near her cottage that auctioned off local produce every week. Needless to say I was intrigued. Yesterday I grabbed a friend of mine, swung by my mom’s cottage to pick her up and off we went.
What a great experience! When we arrived, we entered a warehouse filled with rows and rows of produce. When the auction started, we learned that there are even some baked goods and a few random items up for bid. You follow the auctioneer down the rows and bid on beautiful, local produce from nearby farms. It appears as if the majority of the farms are Amish or Mennonite as you could see the farmers themselves when the “drive by” portion began.
We all moved outdoors to an elevated platform. Soon, trucks and buggies drove up on either side of us to sell their goods. I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome this was. Buyers bid on pints, quarts, flats or pounds. If you won, you took as many as you wanted. Between the three of us, we ended up with potatoes, peaches, cherry tomatoes, gold plums, blueberries, packaged Thomas English Muffins ($.85 each!), a few spider ferns in hanging baskets and some candy onions.
Needless to say, I’m a canning/preserving fool today. So far I have frozen three quarts and canned two pints of blueberries, canned most of the plums (about 6 quarts so far), and canned two pints of peaches. Of course we had fruit salad for lunch and I just took a peach/plum/blueberry pie out of the oven. I will continue to freeze the blueberries in batches and might freeze one of the last two pints of plums. The remaining peaches will also be frozen, with the exception of what we will consume in the next few days (hubby already ate three today).
Tomorrow I will turn my attention to the 25 lbs of potatoes and some zucchini that I have been gifted after a great neighbor came into a bounty and knew about our war with squash bugs. Yay! After all of that, I’m hoping to have time to replant a few things before we have to leave the farm tomorrow night to head back home.
Love canning season, but love it more when I grab a jar of summer goodness in the middle of winter. It’s all worth it in January!