The Washerwoman

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Harvest produce auction

Wonderful arrangement of dried Hydrangea in the church (another of my favourite flowers).

I promised "rural ramblings" when I started this blog, and so far it seems to be all work & no play. However last night was the annual auction of Harvest Festival goodies at the village church in aid of Water Aid. This longstanding tradition always provides great entertainment as the women of the village squabble and bid hard for the jars of infamous delicious runner bean chutney or the gooiest chocolate cake! This year the proceedings were livened further by complimentary glasses of wine which certainly got everyone bidding & providing some very funny banter from the auctioneer (don't even ask what one does with certain vegetables!)
The produce is all donated by the local school, and in days gone by when my boys were little the fare usually was all homemade or homegrown, or the most basic groceries (tins of baked beans, pineapple rings or tinned peaches). As the years went by and the larger more affluent cars crunched their way along the lane to the village school, the produce changed to more sophisticated items ( chesnut puree from Harrods, exotic tinned fruits & jars of ginger) now I am pleased to report that we seem to be back to basics once again, and the produce was mostly homegrown, organic and a lot of thought was put into the beautiful little shoeboxes lined with straw & decorated with childrens pictures.
As the evening progressed, we filled our bags & baskets with produce, the laughter got louder and there was a gasp from the crowd as a jar of local honey went for £5. The last lot of the day was grasped by my friend Wendy.... only to discover it was a jar of Italian sauce past its sell-by date!


Teena Vallerine said...

How funny! At my son's previous school they did a collection to be boxed up and distributed to the 'needy' - usually elderly locals. I was equally horrified by the stance of many that this was an opportunity to get rid of short date product and obscure items from the back of the cupboard! Heaven knows what the recipients did with it all! t.x

hammo said...

It seems very entertaining!
If there's a 'harvest auction' in my village, I'd certainly give it a go! ;-)

Just let you know that I've uploaded an article about the antique fair with your stall pictures.
Sorry mostly written in Japanese but I thought you might want to just take a look at pictures any way.

hammo x

Vintage to Victorian said...

Sounds as if a jolly time was had by all. What a relief that the produce has gone full circle and is once again (in the main) homegrown and harvested!

Sue x

BusyLizzie said...

That is a great link to Hammo's blog. Love the dog with the sold sticker on his head!

BusyLizzie said...

oops, I seem to have "lost" a comment from a blogger who came via Jayne. Sorry about that, but in answer to your question. The Noddy cutouts are not mounted on wood, but in mint condition ready to be cut-out & used. Interestingly Michele (Of Cowboys & Custard fame) also has some exactly the same!

Niki Fretwell said...

Hi Busy,
Sounds like a lot of fun - and your friend got the best lot! ;-))

I used to send bunches of dried hydrangeas to my girl's primary school harvest festival auctions, but the Mums obviously didn't 'get it' and thought I'd sent dead flowers.....honestly!
Niki x

BusyLizzie said...

love the dead flowers comment! I am gutted as I only have one lonely hydrangea bloom this year. J. was a little over-enthusiastic with his pruning... so I am off to swipe some from my neighbour (she did the arrangment in the church, so I have asked!)

The fabric of my life said...

Lovely post Lizzie, sounds like a lot of fun ;-)

It has made me want to go out and cut some hydrangea right now. Our bushes are stuffed full of blooms due to the lovely rain we had this summer. I wish you were nearer as I would happily hand you a bunch x

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

I loved reading about your Harvest auction Lizzie..
It took me right back to my memories of school harvest festivals and filling my satchel with tins of peaches and carnation milk to lug to school.
Times certainly have changed a wee bit and I would love to attend such a jolly event such as your harvest auction.. especially if there was a glass of wine on offer.. not that I am a lush or anything..oh no... far from it!
Michele x

Country Cottage Chic said...

What fun that looks! I'm glad to hear that they are returning to the homegrown & homemade produce - much more traditional!

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