Amish-Owned Oxford Produce Auction Keeps Small, Local Farms Producing the Green
Oxford Produce Auction, owned by 40 Amish farmers, helps revive small vegetable farms in western Chester County and neighboring Lancaster County, writes Joseph DiStefano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The 10-year-old auction is selling produce grown by young families on smaller pieces of land. Using irrigation and greenhouses, they grow everything from glossy tomatoes and sweet corn, peppers, eggplants, watermelons, cantaloupes, and more.
Oxford Produce Auction then sells it to produce-conscious buyers from the Philadelphia area at competitive prices.
Auctions start at 9 AM and within two hours, every lot is gone. Transactions average a minute or two.
“Sweet corn picked at 4 AM; we sell it at 9; it’s on the store shelves by 11,” said Jeff Stoltzfus, who grows strawberries and melons on a 35-acre farm in Cochranville.
The auction also helps build Amish communities, as families remain in the area to profitably farm instead of leaving the region or seeking wage jobs.
The market cannot, however, guarantee good returns. But in the case where prices are too low or produce does not manage to sell, it is donated to the Chester County Food Bank.
Read more about Oxford Produce Auction in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
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