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Published: 5/22/2013 - Updated: 11 months ago

Toledo Farmers’ Market will be in full bloom this weekend

BY TAHREE LANE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Martha Bradley of Toledo buys flowers from Andy Keil, of Andy Keil Greenhouse in Swanton, at last year's Flower Day event at the Toledo Farmers' Market. The market is at Superior and Market streets, on the south end of downtown. Martha Bradley of Toledo buys flowers from Andy Keil, of Andy Keil Greenhouse in Swanton, at last year's Flower Day event at the Toledo Farmers' Market. The market is at Superior and Market streets, on the south end of downtown.
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Plants grown locally will star at Flower Day Weekend, Saturday through Monday, at the Toledo Farmers’ Market.

Eighty vendors, including nearly three dozen growers, will fill the stalls and spill into nearby areas adjacent to the Erie Street Market, said Dan Madigan, market manager.

Hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.

Thousands of flats and baskets of flowers, pots of heirloom vegetables and herbs, will be available as well as spring vegetables such as asparagus, rhubarb, and greens, and garden art, baked goods, jams, salsas and sauces, goat and cow cheese, meat, and organics.

At least 60 percent of items sold by a vendor must be homemade or homegrown, said Madigan, although a few home improvement companies will display their services this weekend.

An interesting first-timer at the market will be the Michigan Native Butterfly Farm of Petersburg, Mich., which will set up a mobile exhibit that people can enter and feed monarch butterflies with nectar sticks.

“We’re butterfly farmers,” said Tamara Menas, a co-owner with Mary Bird. She’ll sell monarch pupae (the chrysalis) and larvae (caterpillars), butterfly kits (with milkweed plants, two caterpillars, and a book), and native plants that serve as hosts and nectar providers for the winged beauties.

“We really like to promote conservation and education,” about these native pollinators, said Menas. The farm also raises Buckeye, Eastern Black Swallowtail, Red Admirals, American Ladies, Painted Ladies, and Question Mark native butterflies.

Making merry Saturday and Sunday morning will be Cottonwood Jam String Band playing a blend of mountain and Celtic music. The market plans to have a “Second Saturday Serenade” with live music on the second Saturday of the month during the growing season.

And Boy Scouts will help carry plants to shoppers' cars.

Like farm markets around the country, the Toledo market has gotten bigger in the last decade thanks to an increasing appreciation for local food. Ten years ago, about 50 vendors participated in Flower Day, Madigan noted.

The market is at Superior and Market streets, on the south end of downtown.

Contact Tahree Lane at tlane@theblade.com and 419-724-6075.



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