The auction takes place on Mondays at 2 pm and Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 am. It is open from the last week of April through the last week of October, with fall being the busiest season due to pumpkins. The auction provides the community with a place to market their produce.
The auction primarily targets buyers for grocery stores, roadside markets and restaurants. Quantities range from a few boxes of garlic and blueberries to large bins of watermelons, muskmelons and sweet corn.
Smaller quantities of produce lined up for sale.
Large bins of muskmelon and sweet corn ready to be actioned. Melons are sold by count and sweet corn by the dozen in the bins.
Manager, Daniel Kauffman, said that on any given day about 30 growers consign with the auction. For most of those growers, the auction is their main marketing outlet; although, others also have their own retail markets. The size of the vegetable operations ranges from a few acres to up to about 15 acres.
We met with Amos Glick who grows a variety of vegetable crops including broccoli, potatoes, garlic, green and other colored bell peppers, sweet onions and tomatoes that he brought for auction on this day. We got to talk to Amos about how he grows his broccoli. He uses a bare ground system with 36 inches between rows and 24 inches in the row for his 'Gypsy' and 'Emerald Jewel' plants. Every 2 weeks he plants up until the first week of August to have broccoli at the auction every week.
Broccoli is sold in a box with 8-10 heads.
Another farmer, Ben Glick, brought several boxes of tomatoes grown in his two double-layer air-inflated high tunnels heated with wood burners. He likes using the determinate cultivar Primo Red because of the large number of #1 sized fruit it yields. Drip tape is placed on each side of the tomato rows to supply water and fertigate. Ben mentioned that he is thinking of purchasing another tunnel that allows the plastic to roll completely to the peak in the winter to allow the soils to flush out. He would use it to grow different crops for the auction.
Tomatoes are sold by size and cartons.
The auctioneer is from Central Auctioneering. Items are tagged with a lot number before the sale and as they are sold, the buyer's number is added to the tag. Within about 2 hours all the produce had been sold.
Five flats of cherry and grape tomatoes in pint containers has a lot number of 555 and was sold to buyer 3.
Sugar Valley Produce Auction provides the local farming community with a marketing outlet for their wide variety of just-harvested and excellent quality produce. New growers and buyers are always welcome.
Thank you to growers of Sugar Valley Produce Auction for welcoming us and sharing their knowledge of farming and marketing with us.
Sugar Valley Produce Auction
702 S. Mill St.
Loganton, PA 17747