Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Today I went down to the Lamoni Produce Auction.  My goal was winter squash and boy did I succeed!

I put the CD in the picture to give it scale.  Otherwise the squash looked like little ornamental gourds!  These 8 butternut squash weigh from 7.5 lbs to 8.5 lbs!  Huge!!!!

On the other end of the spectrum, I got 36 of these little baby butternuts.

They average of these little ones is about 1.5 lbs a piece.  There were also a few in the middle that were around 2.5 lbs.

I realize that I haven’t spoken about the Lamoni produce auction here before.  It’s more or less what is sounds like.  A produce auction held in Lamoni, Iowa.  The interesting thing about it is that the bulk of the sellers are Amish (read the link, it’s interesting).  Thus, much of what is done is with horse and wagon and man power.  Just seeing all the wagons and horses come through is fascinating!

The auction site itself has all the modern conveniences.  Electricity, phone, internet, but it also isn’t run by the Amish themselves.  However, they do work a lot in it and are obviously on-site during the selling.  I wanted to show how the auction is run without taking pictures of any of the Amish themselves.  You see, I’m not completely sure what this group of Amish’s beliefs are as they pertain to photos.  I couldn’t find any good way to photograph this experience without getting any of the Amish in the photos.  So, I compromised. Any Amish in the following photos have had their faces obscured if they were at all visible.  There are lots of pictures of the Amish online, but these people aren’t exactly strangers to me and I sincerely don’t want to offend them.  However I really wanted to show you all this as it’s really interesting.  It’s a tricky tightrope to walk and I hope that I have done ok with it.

You can see here that the wagons pulled by the horses go through an alley of sorts.  On one side of the alley there is the auctioneer with his motley crew of assistants that sort out what is being sold, display it, and record the sales.  On the other side of the alley are the buyers placing the bids for the produce.  It’s really a pretty slick way of doing it and reminds me strongly of the Dutch flower auctions!

In this photo you can see how the big speaker is really quite close to the horses heads.  It’s amazing how patiently they wait while all this bidding is going on!

The Lamoni Produce Auction is open to the public, if you would like to take a look.  However, if you want to bid on anything, be prepared to buy in large lots as it intended for wholesale sales.  At the auction today most of the pumpkins were sold in lots between 32 and 100.  Often, the produce is sold in groups of cases, so be prepared to eat a lot of whatever you buy!  In my case, squash!

2 thoughts on “Squashed!

  1. Barbara says:

    Very interesting. I’m glad you reported on this. I/ve never seen anything like this. Although, coincidentally, I am going to a Navajo rug auction later this month in New Mexico. Two very different regional groups selling their work at auction…

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Hello! I know that this post is about 3 years old, but I just wanted to let you know that this auction is still going strong! I’m working at the auction this year, and there have been a lot of great improvements. (I also have to slip in here that I’m in love with your Shetlands! When I can afford a farm, that’s the breed I’m going to get.)

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