In many areas of the country, there are regular produce auctions that enable growers and buyers to meet in a pretty informal setting. We’re just about in the middle of Amish country, and there are lots of traditional farmers in the area. In Geauga county, there’s an auction in Middlefield three days a week (twice weekly in October), and I finally went to my first one last week. It’s a pretty neat place, but unless you own a store or restaurant, you’ll probably need to go in on things with multiple people, or get really busy canning, because most of the lots are large quantities, like 200 pie pumpkins, 24 bushels of tomatoes, or 48 head of cabbage. They do have some smaller lots, but even the small are pretty large for one person or family. I was mostly an observer for this one, but did end up with about 60 lbs of potatoes (the smallest potato lot they had there). Right now, obviously, they’re very heavy on squash and other standard fall fare, but I’d like to go during different seasons to see what’s available. Of course, buying in bulk and direct from the grower yields some pretty good deals, but again, definitely for multiple people. If there’s one around you, I’d check it out sometime, if for no other reason than the experience.
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