It was Sunday, and I have never been so happy to see Our Jehovah’s Witness in all my life.
The poor man has been stopping by every weekend for quite some time now, but instead of awkwardly interrupting some home improvement fiasco, yesterday he was able to help me destroy the stack of tomatoes that had claimed the territory around our picnic table and were setting up an army to invade our home.
The tomatoes were breeding. I know they were. I’d take a box into the house and two boxes would appear in its place.
But I was able to pawn off a whole peck of tomatoes (roughly 13 pounds, fyi) on his weird-but-lovable, brochure-toting self. In exchange, he pawned off some religion. We talked about salsa, and pastors who use their powers to seduce women. And heaven and stuff. The usual.
Ok, so, no surprises here: I bought way too many tomatoes at the produce auction on Friday. BUT! I did not buy a semi-truck load, so I call it a victory.The good news? The produce auction is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I’m never gardening again. The bad news? 250 pounds of tomatoes is TOO MANY TOMATOES. Even if it WAS only $50 for the whole trunkload.
I think the problem is that Amish tomatoes are different that Teter garden tomatoes. They are the all the size of my head.
Wait. Wait. Wait. I need to focus.
On Friday, as promised, I went to the Owl Creek produce auction in Frederick town off I-71. It was like heaven on earth. Fruits of labor on sale for the cheap. Every type of produce imaginable. Plus pies, dogs and barefoot Amish children running loose. Cash or check only. It was paradise.
So the deal is that about 30-40 people are crowding around to bid on a table at the same time. Once you establish the difference between a bushel, a peck and — what is this?! — a box of tomatoes (10 pounds, fyi) you’re pretty much set. You get a little number, and you hold it up when you want something. It’s like lobbying!
If you know any pregnant woman, especially the kind that look like an unwed teen, send them to do your bidding. The auctioneers are SUCKERS for these kind of people. A couple times he ordered folks to move out of the way so I could hold up my little number. The best part though, was that both times I had the the high bid on the ‘maters, he’d shut down the process a little faster than normal. Most batches were going for $2.25-$3 for a stack of 20 ten-pound boxes (YES, THAT’S THREE DOLLARS OR LESS FOR 10 POUNDS, OR 15-20 LARGE TOMATOES!) Mine went for $1.25.
God Bless This Belly!! It also got me out of a traffic ticket fo running a red light* on the way home from a pleasant and sober evening out at the bars Friday night.
As I was checking out, I met the Amish patriarch who labored for my fruits. His kids helped me load up the Honda.
Did I mention that I love the Owl Creek produce auction?
I’m still a little sore from all the auction aftermath. My tomato-crushing arm muscles are killing me. My back is aching. My dragon burps are pure acid. But I have 21 quarts of spaghetti sauce to get us through the winter. And bruschetta. And ketchup. BBQ sauce. I could go on …
There are still about 8 boxes left. 8/24 ain’t bad, right?
I also won an award for journalism from the SPJ. My story about how self-important bloggers are (APPROPRIATE!) won second place in Public Service, which is pretty ridiculous. I still believe that journalism awards are a scam, but I will get excited about this anyway. If anything, my name got picked out of the hat this time!
They probably just picked me for the belly, too.
* The jury is still out on whether or not I actually ran the red light.
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