Since we have moved to this area known as “South Holland” which is on the South Lincolnshire / Cambridgeshire border we have been looking for auctions for supplies for the garden and also good vegetables. When we lived in Warrington there were auctions in Knutsford / Chelford to go to; they sold vegetables, plants and livestock like chickens, pigs, sheep and cows. Here in Spalding the auction is not of any livestock they sell vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, horticulture supplies and plants and trees. The company has a website here where you can also read the latest prices that things have sold for.
Before taking part or bidding in any auctions you usually have to go to the office/reception and register (Just some details of name, address etc). So the first time you go to the auction, go about half an hour early – to register and have a look around before the start of the auction. Some places will give you a buyer number but here in Spalding you get given a nickname, which is a bit cute…
Things are sold in “lots”. Lets look at an example to explain this; when we have been to the auction Cauliflowers are sold in boxes of 6. But a “lot” might be 2 boxes, or it might be 5 boxes (or whatever)! When you look around the auction you can see how big the “lots” are because every lot has a unique number stapled to the box. This is a bit of a problem for someone who doesn’t want such a big quantity. We have to look for smaller lots or ask people who bought a lot to sell you a box, that is sometimes fine. When the bidding takes place it might be for a box or for a single vegetable – you better make sure, they will say(quickly) – so many prices to calculate!
The auction is very seasonal, as are the prices. Things in short supply are more expensive and then some things that are being harvested and there are lots of are very cheap, it all depends! We have just had a lot of very cheap cauliflowers, cabbages and onions. Tomatoes and salad crops are more expensive right now.
The cut flowers and plant auctions follow the fruit and vegetables auction. We like to look at the plants and have bought 10 orchids last time we went along. The lot size was 10, so we couldn’t have got less! As we are coming up to Christmas there are lots of Christmas focused plants brought to auction by the farmers and nursery owners. As well as plants there are plants that are decorated and also decorations made from plants such as holly wreaths and crosses.
So if you are looking for plants or fruit and vegetables it’s a good place to go; check the times and dates on their website, currently it runs 3 days a week. If you want to go to an auction for chickens and poultry in this area the best we have found is in Sutton St James it’s called D&B Poultry Auctions. They also sell some brik-a-brak at the start of the day, we got some useful planks of wood there to construct some shelves.
So our advice is for an interesting day out and maybe you will save some money on some items you would have bought elsewhere – find your local auctions and go along! They aren’t always easy to find because a lot of the auction businesses don’t have very good or very up to date websites, they aren’t that interested in websites! Good luck, happy bidding!