Aren't they handsome?
So this morning I went to the Kirkwood Ag Auction.
Twice a week, horse-drawn wagons line up along with pickup trucks and trailers while they take turns pulling their loads of produce through the auction house. Box lots are auctioned right off the wagons as bidders stand to one side behind an iron rail. After the wagon loads, selling progresses through the aisles of hand carts. Anyone can buy, as long as you need a LOT of any one thing. And all sorts of people are buying - from people like me who would like some produce to "put up", to folks who have stands at farmers markets. At this time of year, you can find quite a few mums and pumpkins there.
I was looking for hot peppers, apples, and cabbage. I did buy a box of habaneros so I can make some hot sauce, but would like to go back and see if I can't get some hungarian wax peppers. They make a wonderfully mild "hot" sauce - just slightly hot while still mild enough to be able to enjoy the flavor of the pepper. I also bought a box of cabbage and a bushel of Crispin apples. So it looks like applesauce, hot sauce, and sauerkraut will be on my to-do list this weekend. I've been wanting to try making sauerkraut and if it works, late cabbages will be on my list of things to grow next year along with more hungarian wax peppers.
Now, those of you that know me know that I normally don't start conversations with total strangers. But I met a couple of very nice people while we were all standing around freezing our butts off. One was an older gentleman who had the most beautiful hand-carved walking stick. He told us he carves them himself and has quite a few of them at home. An Amish lady and I were both standing in a pool of sunshine trying to stay warm when we struck up a conversation. She was there because they raise mums on their farm and had brought a load of them to be sold. They raise most of their own food and have a greenhouse to extend the season. Another woman I met is the gardener for her church and was there to buy mums and pumpkins to decorate with. As we talked more, it turns out we have a lot in common. She also has sheep and dogs. She keeps about 20 sheep and has them to raise lambs for meat as well as for training her border collies to herd. I've gotten better at meeting new people over the years. And you know, usually, in some small way, I'm a better person for it. I need to do it more.