Sunday, April 29, 2012


The move to Mucky Boots was the start of a new life for us. We swapped heels for rubber boots, days filled with schedules and bells for days that unfold according to the seasons and evolving priorities. Instead of being teachers, and only teachers, now we call ourselves chicken wranglers, food growers, music makers. We have learned how to start seeds, bake bread, make soap, preserve food, hatch eggs, build gates and make compost. I've done things I never would have imagined: jacked up a chicken coop, picked rocks at a quarry, won ribbons at the country fair, and split cords and cords of wood with The Log Boss.

But there's one thing I haven't done, something missing from my country-girl credentials. Somehow, I've never been to an auction.

We fixed that by driving up to Coombs for their annual spring farm auction. I had no idea what to expect, but this being a farm auction, there's weren't any antiques or art. Instead, there was a plethora of chicken gear (cages, nest boxes, feeders, waterers), tools (garden tools, farrier tools, blacksmith tools, construction tools, logging tools), and kitchen paraphernalia, including boxes and boxes of canning jars that were the object of a fierce bidding war.

I didn't buy anything, but I did come home with something invaluable. I learned the secret for dealing with all those perennials that need dividing but that I don't have room for - I just need to plunk them in plastic pots or old feed bags and bring them to the auction, because people will buy them. Sellers brought rhubarb plants, and mint, and raspberry canes, and clumps of daisies, and people bought them - $7 a pot for some nice looking rhubarb. 

Do I need to remind you how much rhubarb I have? 

I could pay off our mortgage.


Paula said...

Oh very good. It might actually become a good source of income for you. I would think that especially perennials would be a good thing to concentrate on, because they're hard to find for people. Most nurseries want to sell annuals because of the built-in repeat business.

Alison said...

I can just see Kim salivating over all that chicken equipment! Of course, she'd probably rather build her own, wouldn't she?

Charade said...

I'm drooling over your rhubarb - mine never gets very big before something invisible eats it in about a week. I would definitely buy plants at an farm auction.

Lyssa said...

Brilliant! I wonder if we have farm auctions around here...I would love to buy feed-bag sized plants for $7.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry I didn't know about the farm auction! It's on my calendar for next year. I would love to look at chicken cages and waterers and garden tools... :)

And I hear you about the perennials; when I see pots of rhubarb at the nursery selling for $10, I can hardly believe it. But when you don't have ANY, you have to start somewhere. Good luck with the mortgage! :)

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