Fresh Picks
September 25, 2008 | Visit the Farmers Market online at

Market News for This Saturday, September 27

Well, some Market news anyway. There's a gaggle of goings-on around town this weekend that merit your attention, and we're going to try to cover them all. So grab your day planner and let's go!

At the Farmers Market
First up: a new lunch is coming to the Market! The dropping temperatures have finally moved us into chilly chili territory, and this Saturday, MiniCakes will be offering beef chili made according to proprietor John Wilson's award-winning recipe. Pair it with one of his dandy little corn muffins or a chunk of Metropolitan Bakery bread, and you'll have a meal Mom would approve of.

Bonnie has announced that the long-awaited winter pansies will be showing their pretty faces this Saturday. The Wondergardens spot will also have mums, perennials, and culinary herbs again, plus fresh flower arrangements in actual pumpkins for only $10. Martha Stewart couldn't do it better.

Another week, another $150+ in swell booty added to the Growing Gift Basket. To wit: a necklace from Anne Cranmer, a Noel Schmidt Furniture gift certificate, and a Mobi from Charlotte Hummel. The merchandise is now valued at almost $1675, and we've had to take over the big table in the Market Manager booth to display it all (and even then it's cramped). This is the last week that tickets are $2 apiece or three for $5. Next week they go up again. In this case, procrastination definitely pays (more).

Final Apple Recipe
This adults-only recipe was submitted a while ago by Lansdowne's Steve Wagner, but it's taken some time for the Stayman Winesap apples he recommends to come into season. If we're lucky, they'll show up this week. If not, it gives us a little more time to pick up a bottle of Belle de Brille, the pear-infused cognac used in this sophisticated yet yummy cocktail that Steve calls The Lansdowner. Steve says that if you miss getting the Winesaps at the Market, don't bother making the drink with apples from the grocery store, which produce a decidedly substandard beverage, a veritable waste of Belle de Brille.

Around Town
These events are listed in start order so you can schedule your day to hit them all. First the Farmers Market, naturally (pun), then . . .

At 9:30 am, the 4th Annual Paws for Kindness Day kicks off (or should we say “bounds,” “lopes,” or “scampers” off) in Sycamore Park at Lacrosse and Wycombe Aves. It's a fundraiser for Animal Friends of Lansdowne, a group committed to “responsible management of our domestic and feral animals and to making Lansdowne a safe haven for people and animals to live in harmony.” Clearly, they're also committed to having a good time with critters, as the day's events include a 1.5-mile dog walk (starting at 10:00 am; register early on their website), a pet costume parade, stupid pet tricks, dog training demonstrations, advice from a pet behaviorist, face painting (we're assuming this means human faces), and a nondenominational animal blessing. Newton the Wondercat and foster parent Kevin Lee, candidate for State Representative, will be making a special appearance. Animal Friends would love it if you'd bring a donation of pet food and will thank you with a free “I'm an Animal Friend” bumper sticker. Paws Day runs till 2:00 pm, and the raindate is Sunday, the 28th.

Over on the other side of town, a guided tour of Marlyn Park (Willowbrook and Stratford Aves.) begins at 10:00 am. The free tour will cover the unique geology, history, and environmental challenges of this serene 3-acre "passive park,” one of nine parks in the borough. Raindate is Saturday, October 4; call 610-284-1493 for more information.

Then, from 2:00 to 6:00 pm is the Heifer International Fundraiser at the First Presbyterian Church at Lansdowne and Greenwood Aves. Along with a barbeque, live music, and a bake and book sale will be a petting zoo featuring more than 20 animals, including ducks, sheep, goats, and llamas. (Bring a camera and think funny Christmas card!) The event is rain or shine, and all the money raised goes to benefit Heifer's mission to fight hunger and poverty worldwide.

If you're still standing at 6:45 pm (or 8:45 pm for you diehard night owls), Lansdowne Sofa Cinema's fall season starts with Who Killed the Electric Car?,” an award-winning documentary that examines the birth, short life, and ultimate demise of battery-powered vehicles in the United States in the 1990s. A special environmentally minded guest host (Al Gore?!? well, probably not) will lead the movie discussion, which starts at 8:15. Tickets are $5 and are available at Noel Schmidt Furniture and . . . coming full circle . . . the Farmers Market!


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: The Salt and Light Learning Institute is a new program of the Garden Church that provides a variety of academic services for area students, including homework and writing assistance, tutoring, study skill workshops, and after-school and day-off-school care. Plus snacks! Meet Director Rachel Slaughter, M.Ed., this Saturday.

Artist of the Week: Under the business name Buttons Moffit, Cybele Perry sells adorable baby quilts, dresses, and onesies that she sews herself on Etsy and now also at the Farmers Market. Any fashion-forward wee one would be tickled pink (or blue) with a Buttons Moffit outfit.

Musician of the Week: To be honest, we don't know diddly about Slim Jim and Big Guy, but that doesn't dampen our enthusiasm for seeing them because so far, so good with the musical acts at the Market. Actually, so far, so great. No doubt we have the most happening farmers market music-wise in the area, courtesy of music coordinator Bob Beach. Thanks, Bob, for talking talented folks into getting up early on Saturdays and playing for tips. You have a gift.

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: Karen & Amy Jones at Regency Café
Thursday, September 25, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Free
14 S.Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne

Fourth Annual Paws for Kindness Day
Saturday, September 27, 9:30-2:00 (rain date: Sunday, September 28), Free
Sycamore Park on Lacrosse and Wycombe Aves., Lansdowne

Lansdowne Sofa Cinema: Who Killed the Electric Car?
September 27, 6:45 & 8:45 pm, Tickets $5
17 E. LaCrosse at the Lansdowne Baptist Church, Lansdowne

Music: Bob Beach with Hoots and Hellmouth
Saturday, September 27, 9:30 pm, Tickets $12
Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., Philadelphia

Pet Blessing at St John's Episcopal Church
Sunday, September 28
10:30 am, sanctuary: Mass to Bless Working Service Animals and Partners
12:15 pm, church lawn: Blessing of Pets, Free
St John's Episcopal Church, Lansdowne and Baltimore Aves., Lansdowne
Contact: Father Ken Wissler, 610-823-3731 or

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

Click for a complete listing of upcoming local events.