June 27, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Hundreds of Amish men build produce auction house

Less than a week ago, the northwest corner of state Route 301 and West Salem Road was an empty farm field. Today, it’s the site of a 28,000-square-foot Amish produce auction house in Homer Township.

The transformation was the work of hundreds of Amish men who are hoping the auction house will help support their families’ traditional rural way of life.

Hundreds of Amish workers participated in the “barn raising” of a 28,000-square-foot produce auction house at state Route 301 and West Salem Road, in Homer Township. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY DAVID KNOX)

“Two hundred-plus families are counting on it for their source of income,” said Nick DeFelice, who will be the auctioneer at the market, which is expected to open by the end of the month.

DeFelice said the auction house will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the produce for sale will include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including strawberries and melons, squash, tomatoes, onion, zucchini, cauliflower and cabbage.

He said prospective buyers include major supermarkets from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

John Covender, the construction manager for the project, said the Amish community leaders “specifically designed the building to accommodate the horse-drawn wagons” used by Amish community, which shuns modern technology.

Covender said speed of the Amish “barn-raising” construction was amazing. The concrete and posts that support the building were installed on Wednesday and Thursday.

More than 150 Amish workers arrived in buggies and wagons on both Friday and Saturday to raise the building.

By nightfall Saturday, the entire complex was under roof.

Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.