Produce Auctions and Food Distribution
Auctioneer David Neville served as the middleman at Wednesday’s Capstone Produce Market in Henry County. Produce picked same-day or within 24 hours, from yellow squash, to watermelons and cantaloupe, to heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers and peaches, filled boxes and baskets to the brim along several long aisles of pallets. Amish farmers milled quietly about as us customers inspected the goods.
Over two straight hours of giveme10howabout10.10okupto1010baaadabeebadabeebaaeeebababababeeeeebaababeeeenowwouldntyoulike somebeautifultomatoesforcanningElizabethhowbout1020for25poundsdoihave1020 badabeebaaabaaabeeebebaaabsold!tobuyer1788for1020 ensued.
How often can we engage in a community, be entertained by an auctioneer, meet the people who make/grow our products, all while getting low prices? Talk about a contrast with roaming the aisles at Kroger.
And even though I thoroughly enjoy visiting local farmer’s markets such as the Beargrass Christian Market, there was something even more authentic and exciting about driving out into the country, seeing restaurant buyers, locals, and newbies such as myself engaged in such a unique marketplace practice.
As the number of farmer’s markets surges due to increased awareness and concern over food quality, environmental issues, and supporting the local economy, I wonder how many other alternative food distribution models will gain traction in the coming years?
I imagine neighborhood produce swap-meets, with interested parties trading surplus garden goods. I imagine more schools like Fern Creek Traditional High School (where I work), piloting food production projects to sell back to school districts and even supply their own cafeterias. I imagine fossil fuels becoming so expensive that purchasing items shipped thousands of miles will become truly unsustainable, leading to even more local and regional food solutions.
In the meanwhile I’ll find a few more opportunities to return to Capstone, ready to flash my buyer #1789, but first I need to buy a chest freezer, especially with deer hunting season looming. Not everyone has the time or space to buy in bulk and process fresh food. I’m OK with the time and effort element, but as my desire to eat locally has increased, I need to rethink storage, use, and preservation tactics with bulk foods. First challenge, watermelons:
Have any of you great food bloggers out there, like Creative Noshing, Anna Brones, Life Is Fare, and Grow It Cook It Can It been to a produce auction? Has anybody else been inspired by a farmer’s market or produce auction? Why do you choose or not choose to buy locally produced foods?