The Amish-Run North Missouri Produce Auction (30 Photos)

Amish take part in produce auctions all across America, in places like Ethridge, TN, Leola, PA, and Hart County, KY. Don Burke takes us to one in northern Missouri today.

Two things that jumped out at me are the unusual horse-drawn haulers…and one odd vegetable in particular. See if you catch which one I mean. Over to Don!


Okay, so you read Marie Graber’s post about the Arbor House Country Inn and you’re thinking about visiting Jamesport for a couple of days. But you’re wondering just what is there to do in this small town of less than 600 people? I hope over a few posts in the near future to offer you some suggestions.

One place you should check out is the North Missouri Produce Auction. It is owned and operated by the local Amish, and is less than two-minutes from Arbor House Country Inn and from the heart of Jamesport.

The Auction Season

The Produce Auction’s normal operations run from mid-March to the end of October. There are typically two auctions scheduled each week, except for the earliest weeks of the auction year (only 1 per week), and the peak of the produce season (July and August) when there are three per week. Consignment auctions are scheduled through the off-season winter months.

Each auction offers a wide-range of items for sell, although each part of the produce year does tend to highlight certain types of items.

Before the routine auctions begin each year there are a couple of pre-season “plug auctions” (seedlings and very young plants) during the sometimes-still-frigid months of February and March.

A team of horses pulling a wagon into the plug auction in 2°F weather.

Plugs/seedlings remain popular in the early part of the regular season. Nursery-raised hanging flower baskets and bedding plants become prevalent as the temperatures rise in the spring.

Vegetables and fruits show up as the weeks progress, and are a main auction staple through much of the summer.

Who Participates?

While the Produce Auction is Amish-operated, it is certainly not just for the Amish. The auction is self-described as being primarily focused on produce grown within 100 miles, whether by commercial growers or small gardeners with surplus vegetables.

And while the Amish do appear to make up the largest portion of sellers, I’ve seen a wide range of folks there including Mennonites, German Baptist, and others – of course including many English.

Such a broad seller-base allows the Produce Auction to be a nice size – large enough to have plenty of sales action to attract buyers, yet small enough it still maintains a friendly, neighborly atmosphere.

The auction draws a number of smaller and mid-size wholesalers (local grocers, smaller chain stores), which it is primarily designed to appeal to. However, any adventurous individual is quite welcome to obtain a buyer number at the office and join in the bidding. Even my wife, on her first visit to the auction, jumped right in and bought this small lot of five pints of gooseberries.

Getting to Market

For folks like me who are not so much into buying or selling, but who more enjoy just observing Amish culture, the auction activities are a must-see. On auction morning the local countryside is often scattered with wagons and other vehicles as sellers make their way to market.

And at the auction ground there are various kinds of buggies and wagons – some which you might not see anywhere else during your visit.


Check out more of Don’s auction photos and other Amish photos on flickr. And stay tuned for another post on the annual mum and pumpkin auction.

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Join the Amish America Patreon for bonus videos & more!

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    26 Comments

    1. Thanks Erik!

      Thanks Erik for sharing my pictures and experience with the folks here on AA. It is always a joy to a part of the group here.

      1. Appreciated Don! Your photos are top-notch.

    2. Auction (30 photos)

      Dear Mr. Burke,
      Thank you for providing such friendly and comforting photos to help those of us who cannot travel, to see the wonderful sights of the Amish life. The vegetables you showed would make our Lord proud! What a happy thought to consider the Amish contribution to our world… both with farm produce, and with images of wholesome and peaceful communities. May the world be blessed with more of the same.

      Thanks
      Mrs. L. Bilder
      Tulsa, OK

      1. Thank you...

        Lisa, first off, please feel free to call me “Don.” I think my grandfather was the official “Mr. Burke” of our community growing up, and so “Don” is just fine. ha

        Thank you for our kind words. It is a joy to get to make my occasional trips into the Amish world. It doubles that enjoyment when I know others enjoy it as much as you do.

        I have to wonder if the produce here and its growers reminds our Lord of His first-fashion fellow back in Eden. They are certainly ones who “tend the garden” in such a special way.

        1. What are the dates for auctions in 2019 beginning in September please?

          1. Dates....

            Karen, I think you’ll find that information at this link:

            http://agebb.missouri.edu/hort/auction/nomo.htm

    3. Brad

      Very nice photos

      Those photos just make me want to visit. The photos truly humble me with their honesty, and the harvest bounty photos are just wonderful.

      Thank You

    4. Howard Landis

      Amish Produce Market Near

      Can you tell me an address for the northern Missouri produce market nears Jamesport and what days they are open? We’re living in Springfield and are headed to Kansas City for a weekend in mid September and would like to see the market. Thanks.

      1. Auction info...

        Howard, the address is

        32643 State Highway F
        Jamesport, MO 64648

        The September schedule is Tuesday and Friday each week, according to http://agebb.missouri.edu/hort/auction/nomo.htm.

        If you can swing it to be there on Sept. 18th, that will be the annual mum and pumpkin auction — probably the single biggest auction day all year (to my knowledge, anyway). I don’t know the anticipated post date, but AmishAmerica will post part 2 of this Auction article soon, and it will highlight that one auction. I’d recommend making plans to attend that day if you can.

        1. Howard Landis

          Produce Auction

          Thanks for the info on the auction.

        2. jandee neel

          Windsor missouri produce auction

          There is also an Amish produce auction at Windsor missouri. I don’t know the days and times but it looks just identical to the one in the pictures. We also have two Amish grocery stores and one that is like sewing supplies and such plus more (but different than the grocery ones). As well as other Amish businesses. They are such nice gentle people and I find that even when they don’t have time to stop and chat they have never been rude or hateful about it. Lovely neighbors they make.

          1. Windsor...

            Yes, I made a passing visit through Windsor about five years ago. It seemed like a nice place. If you’re interested this link will take you to the pictures I took there, included a couple of the auction you mentioned….

            https://www.flickr.com/photos/ozarkinspirations/sets/72157651658199047/

      2. Jim

        Amish produce markets

        There is also one in Windsor Mo which would be on your way to (or from) Kansas City. Windsor is about 10 miles east of HWY 13 between Clinton and Warrensburg.

    5. Howard Landis

      Market Schedule

      What days are you open in mid September? Thanks.

    6. Kathy Rowe

      Produce Auction Photos

      Thank you, Don, for sharing your pictures. I really enjoy all that you share of your various travels especially since you get to go to Amish areas that I probably never will get to. All the best to you and be safe traveling.

      1. Thank you...

        Thanks Kathy for your kind words — it’s knowing that it means so much to folks like everyone here that makes it all worthwhile.

    7. food.

      Thank you so much for all the photo’s. It was so nice seeing all the different kinds of vegetable’s and flower’s. It reminds me of all the food we grew and canned for the long winter months where I grew up. Do you ever post about the Amish in Minnesota. Thanks Don.

      1. Hello, Joan. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. I’m afraid I have never been to Minnesota, so no I haven’t don’t any posts on the Amish there. Erik has links at the end of the article to my collection of Amish pictures to the many places that I have been, and you’re welcome to look through those if they would interest you. But maybe one day I’ll get an opportunity to go up to that area and get a few pictures.

    8. Athanasia

      I didn’t see any odd vegetables.

      1. I’d never seen purple peppers like that before. Beautiful. Wonder how they taste.

        1. Nicholas

          Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Purple Peppers

          I’ve never seen purple peppers before either. I suspect they cross-bred with another variety or something in the same family. While generally said not happen to happen by scientists, I have seen cucumbers cross-breed with pumpkins in my garden. The cucumbers were often orange, sometimes round, and had thicker skin than usual. My friends and I called them pum-cumbers.

    9. Nicholas

      Auction Participants

      Don, would you happen to know which group of German Baptists participates in the auction? I belong to the German Baptist New Conference and I don’t think we have any members near there. There might be a few of the original group nearby, or some from a very, very small split off group. I believe there’s a horse and buggy Brethren group near Jamesport and I wondered if this was their members. Thanks.

      1. Nicholas, in a word, no, I don’t know. To be honest, I know very little about German Baptist at all. I know the GB young ladies that I knew in this auction have since sold their mum business to a local nursery, and I’m not sure if the nursery owners are GB or Mennonites. I know at least three families of GBs there, two are a part of a congregation that will allow limited modern conveniences (such as cash registers, maybe some computer/internet?). The congregation that the sellers I knew didn’t allow any online presence, and that forced the family to sell their sheet metal (siding/roofing) shop because it was limiting their business. Maybe that will help you know which group it is — that’s about all I can offer.

        1. Nicholas

          Thanks, Don. Only the New Conference and maybe the Old Brethren allow internet. The original/main group doesn’t allow internet or third-party usage. GBs aren’t limited on modern conveniences with the exceptions of entertainment devices, internet and smart phones, with the New Conference limiting only entertainment devices at this time. There are some that willingly limit themselves more and a district in Idaho that chose as a group not to have internet or smartphones. Based on your photo, I suspect these are part of the main group. Lack of collars on the dresses and your info about internet are the main clues.
          Thanks!

    10. Randy

      Grateful

      Many thanks to Don, Eric and others who post here, for making this blog such a valuable source of interesting info and, equally important (actually more important, a my opinion), a place where participants are kindly helpful to each other, making the blog an extraordinarily pleasant one.

    11. Al in Ky

      Thanks, Don, for sharing these pictures. I have been to several Amish/Old Order Mennonite produce auctions in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota and the pictures are similar to what you would take at these auctions also.

      There is a somewhat informal organization of Amish/Old Order Mennonite produce farmers called the Truck Patch Connection. They usually have an annual one-day fall meeting in two locations that rotate among the states I’ve mentioned above, also Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and there may be others. There is usually a “western meeting” and an “eastern meeting”. I’ve attended the meetings several times and always found them very interesting with several presenters/panel discussions, etc., on topics about produce and flower growing, food/produce safety, challenges produce auctions face, etc. Their publication is called Truck Patch News, P. O. Box 101, Mt. Hope, Ohio, 44660. I believe subscription price is $15 a year for twelve monthly issues.