The farms around which a city has grown: Tom Strain and Sons and Daughter Too

By Chris Galford

Tom Strain & Son's SP smallThere was a time when farms were commonly a family endeavor—generations of labor to realize that productive dream. Tom Strain and Sons and Daughter Too is a remnant of those days, a five generation business that has seen Toledo rise around its fields.

Becky Strain, fifth generation grower, said, “We’ve been 63 years in the retail business and over 120 years in the wholesale business. For us, it’s all about quality, service and low dollar. We grow and farm for ourselves, and we farm for our customers. We aren’t a box store, we don’t sell to box stores; it’s fresh from our fields to your tables.”

It’s also a year-round undertaking, with time split equally between field-borne produce and greenhouse creations, as well as poinsettias. In all, the farms include roughly 160 acres around the Toledo area, presently hosting everything from sweet corn to mums.

Their advantage over the bigger box stores? For one thing, their staff is consistent, their history is unbroken, and the staff at the farm knows exactly what they are there for.

“It’s fresh here,” Becky said. “You go to box stores, it might still be local, but it’s local a week ago. We’re strictly farmers here. We’re here to grow, we’re here for quality—we’re not here to win contests.”

Show your support for local businesses! Call Becky at 419-531-8183; visit the website at; or visit Tom Strain and Sons and Daughter Too at 5041 Hill Ave, Toledo, OH.