Local produce auctions can be an important sales outlet for Amish farmers. An Amish person from Ethridge, Tennessee explains for a story in the Tennessean: “We nearly have to keep the auction going to keep our families together. It’s for our future. We want our kids to have an outlet to sell at a fair market.”
The Plowboy Produce Auction is one such venue serving the Amish growers in Tennessee’s largest community. Susan Ayers-Kelley took over the auction last year after the previous owner decided to sell. The auction has been running since 2006.
In the video below, Ayers-Kelley discusses the weekly event, describing it as “an Amish-based produce auction”. According to Ayers-Kelley the vegetables and fruits for sale are “99% Amish-grown”.
(Note: I removed the video because it annoyingly auto-plays when you load this page. You can view it at the link in the first paragraph)
Ayers-Kelley reports that up to 100 growers sell throughout the season. The venue did over $1 million in sales in 2013.
The auction is held Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It “starts at 1 p.m. and ends when the produce is gone.” Try to arrive by 12:30 for registration. The address and contact:
Plowboy Produce Auction
469 S Brace Rd
Ethridge, TN 38456
Amish help auction owner rebuild farm
The Amish of Ethridge appreciate Ayers-Kelley. That much was obvious in a gesture of aid from the community earlier this month.
In a companion piece, the Tennessean tells the story of how Ethridge Amish helped clean up Ayers-Kelley’s Alabama farm, following storms which caused almost $100,000 in damage.
An auction employee and her husband drove 24 Amish men and their sons to Ayers-Kelley’s farm in New Market, Alabama. From the story: “It is not customary for Old Order Amish to drive or ride in an automobile, so this gesture was part of their offering.” To clarify that detail, most Old Order Amish will in fact ride in an automobile.
However, Swartzentruber Amish, the group found at Ethridge, generally do not do so, except in special circumstances. The point is that the Amish saw helping Ayers-Kelley as one of those occasions when they ought to get in a private vehicle and go.
The men’s explanation when asked why: “We wanted to respect Susan.”