Produce Auctions

I had never heard of a produce auction before last week until Sara over at Learning the Frugal Life blogged about them. Her post intrigued me. She’s a fellow Iowa blogger but from a different area of the state. I wondered if I could find a produce auction close to me. A quick google search confirmed that I could!

A friend said she like to go with me and on Friday my friend Michele and I loaded up our collective 5 kiddos and drove together to Yoder Produce Auction in Frytown, Iowa (9 miles south of Iowa City or 6 miles north of Kalona). I had no idea what to expect. My mood was somewhat solemn because of a phone conversation with my baby’s potential surgeon on the way there. I’m so not looking forward to her hip surgery and weeks (or months) in a spica cast.

But as soon as we found the auction, all sad thoughts left my mind. I love watching Amish people. And they were everywhere. And so were their horses and buggies and babies and barefoot children. It was their produce being auctioned.

It took a few minutes to figure out what was going on. We got there a bit late and they were already bidding on a wagon filled with gorgeous mums. The auctioneer would call out something like, “These mums from here to here. 6-12.” And that meant the mimimum you could purchase was 6 and max was 12. Then the bidding would start. And in a flash it was over. Holy moly auctioneers talk fast. When the first person won mums for $3 – I thought that was all 12 mums for a grand total of $3. I couldn’t believe my luck! But then I realized it was $3 each. Still a good deal, but not so great anymore.

I spent almost the entire auction looking at the produce, watching the people who were bidding, chasing my children, and watching the cute little Amish kids. My friend Michele jumped right into the bidding and got some fabulous deals! You can read about her experience here.


  1. Fabulous!!! I love how you edited the photos by the way. :) I had so much fun! Tuesdays and fridays at 10am! lets go again! Next time I will be prepared with a list!
  2. I live in Alabama and I went to the Amish this summer and purchased all my produce. I bought a box of canning tomatoes for $6.00, yes $6.00. I canned 18 quarts of tomatoes for 12.00. I love organic food and I stocked up on peas, corn, tomatoes, squash, okra and lots of misc. fruit. We have an Amish community in Ethridge, Tn.
    • That's awesome, Melissa. We drove by all kinds of signs for Amish produce for sale. I thought it might be worth it to check out their prices and compare them to the auction!
  3. I went to the produce auction twice this summer and got some great deals. tomatoes are headed out of season right now so prices will be higher. I got pecks of tomatoes this summer for $3.50-6 each both times I went. Can't wait to see what you bought!
    • The thought did cross my mind...but I still like gardening and honestly, I didn't enjoy having to pay for tomatoes I usually am able to grow for much less... ;-) This year has been a bad year for my garden. Next year will be better!

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