Fresh Picks
September 11, 2008 | Visit the Farmers Market online at

Market News for This Saturday, September 13

Festival Fervor
One of the nice things said about Lansdowne is that we make our own fun, and that's never truer than when it's applied to the Lansdowne Arts Festival. In 2003 some locals got together and, in a charmingly old-fashioned move, decided to put on a show, and that show was a big hit. Such a big hit, in fact, that the Lansdowne Arts Festival has grown into what is probably the event of the year in the borough. Dozens of artists and musicians, teams of writers and actors, a gaggle of food vendors, a bevy of activity booths, and hundreds and hundreds of happy attendees converge on the Twentieth Century Club for two days of immersion in, well, art and music and writing and acting and food and activities, all made possible by some supremely dedicated and talented volunteers. Although several of the artists are established and known beyond our borders, this may the only opportunity to view and purchase works by many others, so don't miss your chance. The music under the big white tent is varied, plentiful, and changes every hour or so, and poetry readings and dramatic performances are scheduled throughout both Saturday and Sunday. All events are entirely, utterly, completely free, though a burrito and a painting will cost ya, so bring some cash and maybe your checkbook. The fun is made and waiting; just come get some.

P.S. If you've been missing the walking-around food that Mission Burrito provided at the Farmers Market, they'll be at the Arts Festival both days, as will Bonnie's Wondergardens (bouquets, arrangements, and gift baskets) and the Regency Café (coffee and baked goods), both of which will be at the Farmers Market Saturday as well. And you thought cloning was a bad thing.

Falling or Not
We found out last week that a surefire method of getting some attention at the Farmers Market is to mosey in with a big white container with spigots and pipes and flexy tubes and whatnot sticking out of it. People stop to look. Available by order through Bonnie's Wondergardens, that contraption was a locally made rain barrel, a good way to save water and energy and to be just a bit greener. In addition, this week the Wondergardens booth is the place for a fresh selection of culinary herbs for your fall and winter cooking needs (three or four on a sunny windowsill will get you a long way). Other timely offerings include some plants that say, “Yeah, I'm ready for fall”: asters, sedums, mums, ornamental cabbages, and winter pansies. If you're resisting the season change, however, Bonnie is also bringing those tropical-looking elephant ears from the Bell Telephone Building and cut sunflowers, which lazily reply, “Nah, I'll take a bit more summer, please.”

Kittens and Heifers and Books, Oh My!
The dogs have had their day at the Farmers Market, and this week cats, so impressive at our first 2008 Market, get another chance to shine. Animal Friends of Lansdowne is returning with mama cat Libbi and her three kittens, Mimi, Eli, and Dennis (that one sounds like trouble), now 7 weeks old and ready to go to their forever homes. Adopt one of these cats and get a special bonus — extra toes — as all four are polydactyls, like the famous Hemingway cats in Key West. See these and other available kitties here. (The AFL website also provides the great service of posting images and information on animals found or lost in the borough.)

In a lead-up to an event on September 27 at the Lansdowne Presbyterian Church, representatives will be at the Market this week on behalf of Heifer International, a group that helps hungry people around the word feed themselves. They'll answer questions about the organization, tell you about the event on the 27th, and take donations. Best of all, they're collecting books in preparation for a fund-raising book sale. So if you have “overstock” volumes cluttering up your home, bring them to the Market this Saturday or next, give them to the Heifer folks, and know they're on their way to being enjoyed as more than just a good read.

Save the Date
October 18 has been officially declared the date for our second and final Community Day of the 2008 season, your chance to bring your thing, whatever it is, to the Market. Spaces are $20, and you must submit an application. The last one was hugely popular, with many participants hoping to come back, so get your application in early to save your space. The deadline is Friday, October 3 (and we mean it this time). New applicants will be given priority until the deadline, then, if spaces remain, repeat applicants will be scheduled in the order of receipt. Applications are available here or at the Market Manager's booth.

Also on October 18 will be the Fall Festival, which is still in the planning stages but which'll no doubt be some kind of fun. We're just not sure which kind yet. Stay tuned. And while you wait, how about volunteering to help that day? We really need some extra bodies this year, and yours looks great. We're not just saying that.

If you've been paying attention, you'll recognize that October 18 is also when the Growing Gift Basket raffle ends, with one winner taking it all. And that “all” has just topped $1400 worth of stuff (!!), with a very generous donation of two tickets for each show in the January to June 2009 music season at the Lansdowne Folk Club. That's six shows and a $180 value. Again we say “(!!)”. Thank you, Lansdowne Folk Club! Raffle tix are $2 each or three for $5 at the Market Manager booth for all of September.

We're out of space, so Apple Recipe #2 will appear in the next Fresh Picks.


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

Business of the Week: Lansdowne resident and New York Life agent Marc M. Singer is looking forward to meeting some neighbors at the Market and to talking with you about what he and his company have to offer that may make you feel a little more safe and secure. Now who couldn't use that?

Artists of the Week: This week will offer a glimpse of Lansdowne Arts Festivals to come as we welcome three St Philomena's students to the Artist booth, 8th graders Brionna Barrett and Genevieve Naklicki, and 6th grader Vincent Biche. We've been told that they'll be offering “art.” Bring it, kids!

Musicians of the Week: The musicians are also sharing space this week, but sequentially instead of concurrently. Around 10:00, the Mansfield Brass will be blowing Market customers away (we know you get it, so we won't say “get it?”) with a full-on ensemble of two trumpets, a trombone, a tuba, and a French horn. Then, around 11:30, Terry McGrath and Dante Bucci are going to perform using a Hang drum, a newish instrument from Switzerland that resembles a steel drum but that's played with the hand. Brass band and steel drums — it's heavy metal day!

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: Dana Alexandra at Regency Café
Thursday, September 11, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Free

Art: Works of Abdul A. Ahmad
Art Gallery @ Noel Schmidt Furniture
Through October 4
32 East Baltimore Ave., Lansdowne

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.



Volunteers are needed to promote Lansdowne Sofa Cinema – a Lansdowne film first – at the Lansdowne Farmers Market, 8:30 am to 1:00 am Saturdays till October 25. Responsibilities include setup and teardown (lifting involved), as well as making and selling the popcorn, chatting with customers about the film series, and accepting donations toward the purchase of a new projector. Steve Wagner, chair of the LSC committee, will be available to help with setup and teardown, as well as to train and orient volunteers. To volunteer, send an email to