Bidders have ball buying up bargains

Thousands flock to farm's sunny pastures

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 07:24 28/01/2013
Farm
Faith Sutherland/Fairfax NZ
POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS: Christine Smith, left, and Claire Currie from Pahiatua look at what's on offer at a smallholder's auction.

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MacDonald's farm in Ashhurst has once again turned bidder's paradise, with thousands flocking to its sunny pastures at the weekend to get anything from a wheelbarrow to a pony.

About 3000 people were estimated to have attended the perennial small holders' auctions on Saturday, run by the Lions Club of Ashhurst/Pohangina.

People turned out in droves hoping to get their hands on items up for auction ranging from livestock and trees, to trampolines, furniture and garden tools.

The event has been run for more than 30 years and raises thousands of dollars, which the Lions Club passes on to community projects, making money from the 10 per cent commission charged for the winning bids.

Shona Cullen, of Woodville, was a first-time attendee and had collected enough birds to turn her garden into a menagerie. By lunch-time she had more than 30 birds and counting, paying $6 for a batch of eggs while her husband bid on sheep elsewhere.

She had her eye on a Frizzle hen as she didn't already have one and they were "pretty".

"It's just a bit of fun, my husband's not here to stop me. He's expecting disaster," she said.

Lynda Hills-Brown had 3-year-old daughter Lexi in tow, who had delighted in meeting a few ducks and a donkey. Last year the family picked up a puppy at the auction but had decided one was enough.

"It's been a terrific day," organiser Tony Beard said. "We had all sorts of things - old horse-drawn vehicles and carts, to motorbikes, fencing gear - everything really, you name it."

Auctioneers were surprised to sell some stock at higher prices than they were getting in the weekly stock sales at the Feilding saleyards, Mr Beard said. He encouraged people who missed out to go along next year.

"If you want something unusual that you haven't seen in a long time, you want to come here."

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- Manawatu Standard

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