Tuesday at the Mohawk Valley Produce Auction is one of my favorite days of the year, because it’s such an off-the-wall day for one piece of the local farm community.
It’s the annual pumpkin sale, when tens of thousands of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes overtake every piece of the auction property in Minden. Auction manager Ben Fisher said he expected to sell 300 to 500 bins of pumpkins — and by bins, I mean a box the size of a pallet which needs to be loaded by forklift. Jack Be Littles, Fairytale, pie pumpkins — more varieties than you could possibly know what to do with.
Where do they come from? Mostly, from Amish farmers from within 25 miles of the auction house in Minden, just on the Herkimer-Montgomery County line. Who knew there were so many pumpkins here? They’ll come by flatbed trailer, on horse-drawn wagons, and in small boxes pulled off buggies.
Where do they go? Mostly, other farms or farmstands. I pass three farmstands on my way to the auction whose owners source their pumpkins — and lots of other stuff — from the auction.
I may come home with some pumpkins, but I plan on continuing to buy tomatoes, beans, squash and peppers as we stock the freezer for the non-growing season. We’ll be seeing the last of the corn, which we will buy if the price is right, but apples should start coming strong.
The sale is open to anyone; you’ll need to register your driver’s license to get an auction number and you’ll need to pay after the sale with cash or a check. It’s simple and straightforward.
The auction house is at 840 Fordsbush Road in Minden, about 3/4-mile southwest of Route 5S and 5 miles west of Fort Plain.