Auction revives vegetable farms, builds Amish communities

OXFORD, Pa. — In box trucks and horse-drawn wagons, Amish farmers and others carry corrugated crates of bright vegetables and fruits to an open-sided auction house in Oxford, Chester County, to meet buyers for grocers, restaurants, and caterers three mornings a week. It seems like a scene out of time. But the Oxford Produce Auction LLC, owned by 40 Amish farmers, is only 10 years old. It signals a surprising shift in the 300-year-old farm communities of western Chester and southern Lancaster Counties, where young families are making a living from smaller pieces of ground, instead of leaving the region or seeking wage jobs.

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