SEYMOUR, MO -- Tuesdays and Thursday mornings, starting at ten, buyers drive in by the dozens from as far away as Arkansas. The sellers deliver what they picked at daylight in horse-drawn flat wagons and buggies. The Amish community's bi-weekly auction is a cornucopia of organic, home-grown seasonal produce. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers of various varieties auctioned off by the flat or the case. In an open air pavilion, sellers line an upper deck seated in lawn chairs, as the farmers roll in their loads of produce. On the opposite end of the tin topped building, Amish women monitor prices and offer customers fresh-baked goods, jellies and smaller amounts of fresh fruit. Barefoot children in hand-sewn pants, bright blue shirts and straw hats sported by their older brothers, fathers and uncles mill around or watching passing trains on the main line running along from Highway 60.
Sam and Loretta Hake of Seymour are regular customers because they know the growers and appreciate the freshness, and organic growing methods used. As the auctioneer's chant reeled off the going prices, she was making plans to "make pickles for church" with the case of cucumbers they purchased for $7.