Charlotte Co., VA - It's a big day for growers in Charlotte County and all over Central Virginia. The Southside Produce Auction unveiled its brand new facility in Cullen Tuesday, and some have waited a long time for this.
The facility has been four to five years in the making. The S.P.A. spent all of last year renting a much smaller building to hold auctions. Now, they have their own. But they didn't come this far, without a few hurdles.
This isn't your typical farmers market. This is a whole sale auction. When you buy, you buy in bulk.
"We've got fresh kale," said Christy Callas, grower and seller.
Christy Callas is a grower and seller. But Tuesday, she bought.
"Buying local is everything. We have everything we need in our circle. We just need to develop it," said Callas.
But marketing the new location had its challenges. The S.P.A. is made up of mostly Amish farmers. Their religious beliefs don't allow for today's marketing on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
"So a lot of it has been word of mouth actually getting out and riding and stopping," said Bob Jones, extension agent, Charlotte County.
That's also why we can't show you their faces. Bob Jones is an extension agent in Charlotte County.
"Folks say, 'Why is it out in the middle of nowhere?' But it's central to their community, so they can reach it by horse and buggy," said Jones.
The new facility is equipped with its very own covered food stand where they sell everything from a ham and cheese sandwich to a turkey caller.
With all of the locally grown options here and everywhere, Callas says there's really no need to shop at a big box.
"Oh Absolutely, unless you need toilet paper or Clorox wipes or something," said Callas.
Jones wanted to make it clear that anyone can sell and buy at an auction, if they meet grower buyer requirements.
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