We decided to get up early and head toward Crab Orchard to the farm auction run by the Amish community there in Lincoln County.
The auction was interesting with a separate parking lot for horses and the iconic black buggies they pull along one-lane roads.
We saw bearded, hat-wearing men and women in dresses and white bonnets. We saw their children peering bashfully at us, probably amazed at the number of people who’d invaded their rural communities to see what was for sale at the fall farm auction.
There was plenty—five simultaneous auctions with hay, livestock, produce, antique farm machinery, yard-sale type junk—and food--going to the highest bidder.
Like Court Days or any of the other area fall festivals, that’s the one thing most people buy. Soup and chili lines were long, as well as the coffee and hot cocoa lines, because the weather forecaster flat-out called it wrong. We were supposed to get sunshine and 60 degree temperatures, but skies were overcast and the air chilly.
The only thing I bought was a loaf-sized black-walnut cake, and I was a bit disappointed when I sampled it. The cake tasted like it was made from a mix, and there wasn’t much of a black walnut flavor.
On the way home, I spotted an old farmer and his wife selling sorghum molasses from a small stand by the road. They said they raised their own cane—no syrup or artificial flavorings added.
Best of all, I got to sample before I bought, and they sure tasted like the real thing.