Fresh Picks
August 28, 2008 | Visit the Farmers Market online at

Market News for This Saturday, August 30

Going Into Labor (Day)
That's right, people, it's Labor Day weekend, and even if you're headed to the shore or the mountains, ya gotta eat! Be sure to stop at the Farmers Market and load up on all the easy summer essentials before you go (or as you stay, whichever). These would be corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, basil, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, apples, burgers, cheese, and bread, at a minimum. Part of what makes these summer essentials is that can be cooked over a fire to excellent effect. We're thinking an appetizer of bruschetta made from grilled bread rubbed with garlic and laden with chopped tomatoes and basil, burgers stuffed with goat cheese and topped with roasted red peppers and onions, and grilled peaches over ice cream, maybe drizzled with dark honey, for dessert. That's if we're trying to impress guests. If it's just us, then it's late summer tomato sandwiches and watermelon until we can eat no more. It'll all be gone too soon not to overdo it while we have the chance.

Because you've come to expect it, here's the grape update: Concord grapes have arrived! These are the purple ones that taste like grape juice since that's mostly what they're grown for. Like but also infinitely better than commercial juice (and you can tell Welch's we said that). Get em at Fruitwood Farms while they last, which is rarely beyond 11:00.

Won't it be nice when Bonnie's kids graduate from college so we don't have to go a week without her colorful and happy Wondergardens booth at the Market? Even if you don't typically head home with an armload of flowers, you could feel it -- last Saturday was definitely missing something. Not this week though; Bonnie'll be back where she belongs, plants and flowers and shrubbery in tow.

No one brought us an apple recipe last week, so now that we've stopped sulking about that, we're extending the offer another week. Bring your favorite apple recipe to the Market Manager booth, and, along with the possible fame and fortune that'll come from having it appear on the Farmers Market website and maybe even here, you'll get a Market Buck to spend as you wish or to save for posterity since they're so cute.

This is the last week that tickets for the Growing Gift Basket are $1.50 or four for $5.00. Next week, the price goes up. The Basket just exceeded the $1200 market with the addition of two eyeglass cases from Kathy Curtius. When the drawing happens on October 18, you're going to want to have your name in the box, even if it's just one chance. We're only drawing one ticket, so that's really all it takes.

Finally, we'd be remiss (especially under this heading) if we didn't announce that Heather and David Prince of The Ideal Hand Laundry have welcomed a daughter, Nora, born two weeks early on August 22. Word has it that she's a beauty, and she no doubt smells great. Congratulations, you Princes!

No More Suffering Succotash!
When we were kids, we could see the succotash coming a mile away. One meal we'd have abundant corn as our vegetable and within a day or two we'd have too many lima beans, and then, tada!, the succotash would put in an appearance as inevitable as bad hair on picture day. We thought that's how it always happened: two meals' worth of leftovers got combined for that third and (hopefully) final showing. It never occurred to us then that you could set out to make succotash fresh, without spinning it off from -- let's be frank -- previously unwanted food. But that's the idea here: Lima beans and corn are both at the Market now (sold separately!), so how about making yourself some fresh, never-before-served-as-independent-veggies succotash? And while you're at it, why not add a little color with some of the red peppers that are also in season and maybe some bite with a jalapeno or a little depth with herbs? Here's how: Boil a cup or so of shelled limas until cooked through (just keep trying them to know for sure; don't wander off and let them get mushy though), then drain. Meanwhile, cut the kernels from two or three raw ears of corn and sauté in butter briefly until almost cooked. Add the limas and some diced red pepper and jalapeno or fresh thyme or another herb -- whatever you like. Heat a few minutes more until the peppers are tender and the flavors have a chance to blend. For a more decadent version, saute the corn with a couple strips of chopped bacon and add some half and half or light cream along with the lima beans. Now that's more like it. Succotash: no longer just stuff you didn't eat the first time you had the chance.

Mark Your Calendar
The increasingly awesome Lansdowne Arts Festival is only two weeks away. Do whatever you have to do to make sure you have some free time the weekend of September 13 and 14 to take in this very cool and totally free event, now in its sixth year. If stop by the Market Manager booth in an Arts Festival tee shirt this week or next, you'll get a Market Buck for your impeccable taste in attire.


The Lansdowne Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm in the parking lot next to 28 North Lansdowne Avenue, rain or shine.

Visit our sister market, the Oakmont Farmers Market, Wednesday afternoons in Havertown for more local produce, bread, meat, and other products.

Featured This Week

Artists of the Week: You get two artists for the price of one this week, as jewelry makers Cathy Pregmon and Barbara Monley bring their handcrafted work to the table (a table they'll also be bringing, in fact). They work separately with semiprecious stones, bone, horn, amber, and other tidbits to create their pieces. This is their first Lansdowne Farmers Market appearance.

Musicians of the Week: Also new to the Market are this week's musicians, LisaMarie McGrath and Tania DeVizia, two flutists with solo, chamber, ethnic, and orchestral performances under their belts. Expect a sweet change of pace from the acoustic guitar music we've been enjoying so far this season.

Check out what’s coming in the weeks ahead, music- and art-wise, by visiting our continually updated on-line schedule.


Upcoming Local Events

Music: Christopher Morse at Regency Café
Thursday, August 28, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Free

Art: Opening reception for Abdul A. Ahmad
Art Gallery @ Noel Schmidt Furniture
Thursday, September 4, 4:00 to 8:00 pm; exhibit runs until October 4
32 East Baltimore Ave., Lansdowne

Festival: Clark Park Farmers' Market 10th Anniversary Festival
Featuring Farmers Rock live music show, prepared food, and activities
Saturday, September 6, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Clark Park, 43rd St. and Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia

Lansdowne Arts Festival
Saturday, September 13, and Sunday, September 14, Free
See website for complete schedule of events.
Twentieth Century Club, 84 South Lansdowne Avenue

Click for a complete listing of upcoming local events.