Friday, August 24, 2012

A New Kind of Gardening

In July I was introduced by a friend to the Chesterhill Produce Auction.  This kind of gardening is right up my alley.  Someone else plants the food, weeds the food, grows the food, harvests the food and I get to bid on the food and buy it at a great price.  As an added bonus, much of the food is grown by the Amish. That means I don't have to spend time worrying about gmo seeds or questionable farming practices.

Not only is the auction beautiful and tasty, it's exciting.  I love inspecting all the vegetables being auctioned and deciding what to bid on and what to save for next time.  This decision is based more on the time available for processing my purchases than on what is actually available.  This past week I really wanted tomatoes for canning but didn't purchase them because there weren't that many available so the cost was driven up at auction and because of my other purchases were going to be pretty time intensive. 

The auction has offerings for large lots and for small lots.  There are people their buying for restaurants, cafeterias, retail and home use.  Some people go home with truck loads.  Others leave with a single egg plant.  My purchasing falls in the middle.  This week I bought a bushel of green beans for canning, 3 pecks of sweet red peppers to chop and freeze and 10 dozen ears of corn to freeze.  My total cost was $25. 

I like buying my vegetables from the auction much more than I like gardening.  I get a wide variety of produce with much less work.  I can provide my family with wholesome produce with only the additives and preservatives that I choose.  My goal is not to become a survivalist. I don't have any interest in stock piling food indefinitely. Rather, my goal is to preserve a variety of food from local, homegrown sources so my family can enjoy my efforts year round.  So far I have 27 quarts of green beans and 6 quarts of corn toward that goal.


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