Teresa Baldonado sells what she grows. For me, this is the best type of vendor at the weekend markets. There is something so right about someone who actually raises the plants or produce that they then cart down to the market to sell. They can speak to you about the care of the plants, the conditions under which they thrive, how much water and fertilizer they need, and where they might like to tan themselves (i.e., shaded or full-sun; the plants, that is). Teresa has been at the market for years, I believe first at the Magallanes outdoor markets in the late 90’s, which moved to TESDA then on to FTI on the weekends.
I interviewed her briefly the other day and found out she raises almost all of her plants, orchids and herbs in a farm in Silang, Cavite on the way to Tagaytay. She mentioned she had a restaurant and its address is Km 48, Lalaan 1st, Silang Cavite. Contact numbers are 0916-7532372 and 0916-7669354. Just up the road from my favorite bangus place LZM. I passed by and took this photograph of the entry way but we didn’t get a chance to stop and eat due to a previous appointment. Though I haven’t tried her food, I can vouch for the wonderful orchids, herbs and plants that I have purchased from her over the past 7+ years.
What did she have on offer last weekend? She had a wonderful purple cattleya with a double bloom that she is standing next to in the photo above. I purchased a Hawaiian sunset oncidium at right (a relative of the more common yellow dancing lady oncidium) that I placed into an antique cachepot and it looked great instead of a flower arrangement. It was P400 and should last 2 weeks at least. She also had herbs (rosemary, mint, tarragon, etc.), bromeliads, oncidiums, impatiens, and other interesting and unusual plants. Last year she was one of the first ones at the market selling hybrid colored calla lillies. They were all the rage last year in the U.S. and were often featured in interior and architectural magazines. The best specimens are raised in New Zealand but we were also able to raise them here.
I have ordered garden plants from her before and she has delivered to my home if the order is large enough. Always gracious, always informative, she is one of the gems at the FTI market. Even more impressive is that she is almost always personally present at her stall. Her memory is better than mine and she asks where I have hied off to when I do not pass by her stall for several weeks. Her stuff is clearly raised with a lot of personal attention — no factory feel to any of her plants on offer. As seasons change, you will notice that her plants change as well. At the AANI FTI weekend market she has a stall right near one of the entrances, just where the alley of flower and plant vendors begin. Look her up the next time you are there…we need more Teresas in the market!