UNION COUNTY, Pa. — It's hard to say just how many pumpkins and gourds are at the Buffalo Valley Produce Auction near Mifflinburg. There are thousands of bins filled to the top, and everything goes to the highest bidder.
Like the yearly Christmas tree auction held here, people come from all over the east coast to buy pumpkins and other fall décor.
"We're shipping as far north as Maine and as far south as Alabama," said Ben Courtney, the auction's operations manager.
Carl Herold is shopping for his farm market stand near Wilkes-Barre.
"Mostly gourds, pumpkins, we're looking for a lot of pumpkins, big ones and small ones. We might even be looking for corn."
Buyers like this auction because they can get pumpkins, gourds, and fall décor at wholesale prices.
Auction officials say supply is down this year.
"Due to the drought and due to the extreme heat during pollination, some of the plants didn't produce like they should have. One pumpkin versus two or three per plant, which they should have," Courtney said.
Courtney says while prices are higher this year, the quality of the pumpkins is great.
"Actually, pumpkins like dry weather. If you can irrigate, you can give them the right amount of water versus three, four inches of water from a rainstorm is not good for the crop."
Buyers say their customers are excited to buy these pumpkins.
"Holiday decorations much earlier than in the past years," Eugene Reelick said. "We've been getting phone calls for pumpkins as of two, three weeks ago. 'Do you have your pumpkins yet? Do you have your pumpkins yet?'"
The pumpkin auction is every Tuesday and Thursday through October, and then the big Christmas tree auction is in November.
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