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How time flies at the auction! I meant to give you all an update at the end of October, but I got so caught up in all the action. In the last post, I talked about our Harvest Days events, but that was only one element of the very busy last month of this year’s regular auction season.

Harvest Days was a success! We had a total of 6 different schools come out to the CPA grounds for a rotation of fall activities, including two homeschool groups. Some of them had been to the CPA before, for School Days at the CPA, an educational program we provide for local elementary students in the spring. The corn maze was definitely a hit, as was the pumpkin bowling and hay rides. We sent all the kids home with their very own pumpkin and, hopefully, the memory of a day they won’t forget.

On October 9th, we held our Annual Pie Day fundraiser before one of our regular produce auctions. To raise money for School Days, we invite local businesses and community members to enter a couple pies (one for tasting and one to be auctioned off afterwards) into a competition for the best pie of the year! We line all the pies up and welcome community members to purchase raffle tickets with which they can vote on their favorite pies (after having tasted them all, of course). The 1st place winner receives the Joyce Reeves Strohl Award, named after the winner of the first, 1st place winner in 2016. The 2nd and 3rd place winners are also recognized for their stellar contributions. Once the winners are announced, all the pies are auctioned off in support of School Days. We had so many good pies this year! If you were one of our donors, thank you!

And if you were around the auction any time in October, you may have seen a big green machine down by the livestock barn and wondered, what could that be? It was a black walnut huller from Hammons Black Walnut Company in Missouri. Hulling is the process of removing the fleshy green shell from walnuts, so they can be processed for food. Throughout the month of October, the CPA served as a walnut hulling location for Hammons, welcoming people from Southeast Ohio and beyond to come have their walnuts hulled for $0.16 a pound. Doesn’t sound like a lot until you fill a whole truck bed! One of our biggest customers brought in over 1,000 pounds (and that’s after hulling). In total, we collected over 18,000 pounds of walnuts for Hammons! Featured below is Sam Watson, the Food Access AmeriCorps member, standing a top our walnut hull mountain.

October 26 was our last produce auction of the year, but as you man know we had a consignment auction earlier this month! We had all kinds of miscellaneous goods and beautiful handmade furniture arrive for the sale. One of my favorite pieces was this handmade table and bench set. Truly stunning.

We have the last auction of the year on December 9th, the Holiday Auction! It will also feature a selection of handmade items, including furniture and delicious baked goods. I expect there will be some produce and livestock as well. If you didn’t make it to the last Saturday auction, you may not have seen the new improvements made to the livestock barn! We contracted one of our producers to create a more functional space for our livestock auctions, and he designed and installed a sturdy set of large livestock pens for larger animals and an enclosed ring from which the modelers can showcase the animals up for auction. It turned out beautifully! They will be adding a few more additions before the project is done, and we can’t wait to see it.

There’s one last thing I would like to make sure you know about. The CPA is offering Holiday Bundles again this year. If you would be interested in a handpacked bag of locally made goods for this holiday season, you can sign up here! Below is a picture from a previous year’s selection. The bags are assembled with items from CPA producers, Integration Acres, Shagbark Seed & Mill, and Snowville Creamery! The deadline to sign up is this Friday, December 1st!

Emily Elam is a Hocking College graduate and the current Community Development AmeriCorps Member with Rural Action’s Sustainable Agriculture Program.


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