Kolaches are not a well-kept secret at the Toledo Farmers Market.
Every Friday afternoon during market season, customers line up before the opening whistle to be among the first to snatch their favorite flavors of the fruit-filled Czech pastry from market vendors.
Cherry, apricot, prune and poppyseed kolaches fill more than one vendors’ table, along with rohlicky – a crescent-shaped, poppyseed-sprinkled Czech dinner roll – and, a rarity at markets, the traditional Czech buchty, a poppyseed-filled sweet bun, just like grandma used to make.
The Toledo Farmers Market runs from 5-7 p.m. Fridays through Oct. 26, in a scenic setting on the east side of the Tama County Courthouse, against the backdrop of historic buildings in downtown Toledo.
Market master Dawn Troutner writes a column for the local newspaper that chronicles the bounty grown, baked and handmade for the markets.
At this time of year, winter squash, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, peppers and other veggies have made an appearance. Vendors also sell eggs, jam, popcorn, leather goods, art, bird baths, dish clothes, hot pads and more.
The kolaches and other Czech delicacies join more typical baked goods, such as breads and pies, and while other farmers markets sell an occasional kolache, it’s evident that the locals here appreciate these Czech staples.
Related: Kolache quest in Clutier
Part of that can be traced to the Czech immigrants who made this part of central Iowa their home generations ago, giving rise to the “Bohemie Alps” nickname for the rolling hills where they settled and farmed.
That immigrant farming and gardening tradition is evident in the Toledo Farmers Market, as well, with its abundance of fresh produce.
A few Eastern Iowa farmers markets ended their seasons in August, but many more continue this month and through October. Find a list of more than 50 markets, with times, locations and other details.
See more from the Toledo Farmers Market, below, and find out about other Czech activities in Iowa.