Fresh Picks
October 2, 2008 | Visit the Farmers Market online at

Market News for This Saturday, October 4

It's been a dilly of a week, hasn't it? The best that we can say for the economic turmoil and uncertainly that's clouding practically everything is that it makes one more appreciative of the simple, dependable pleasures, like the gentle autumn that's just starting, and of surprise freebies, like a few new, fun things that we have planned at the Farmers Market over the next few weeks. Then there are the simple, dependable freebies, like Schobers' “taster” apples and the Market Buck we'll give you this Saturday if you stop by the Manager booth and say something nice about Lansdowne or the Market. Read on and be fortified by the knowledge that, no matter what's happening on Wall Street, good stuff is just around the corner in Lansdowne.

Feeling Bookish
In celebration of Book Week, the Lansdowne Public Library — perennially at the forefront of providing no- and low-cost entertainment — will be the Market's guest this Saturday, giving us the opportunity to thank the people who keep the books and the DVDs and the magazines and the computers coming and available. But the special treat will be provided by Christine Du Bois-Buxbaum — library trustee, Girl Scout leader, author, and book-loving mom — who'll be reading children's books all the livelong Market day in the small park right off Lansdowne Avenue. She's bringing stacks of storybooks about farming, food, and cooking that will appeal to various ages, and promises to ham it up good. The weather should be perfect, the air will smell like leaves and apples; it's no good rushing the day. Don't miss this chance to indulge your kids or yourself in this oldest and least guilty of pleasures — being read to.

Serious Bragging Rights
How'd you like to have one of your own recipes professionally prepared and offered by an actual restaurant, with credit given to you? Just the thought is making you puff up a little, isn't it? Us too. Well, that's top prize in the Farmers Market's first-ever Sweet Endings Dessert Contest, so it could happen. As part of our Fall Festival on October 18, the Farmers Market is giving you the opportunity to make a favorite dessert — pie, cake, pudding, whatever — and put it up against other hopefuls' efforts in a taste-off. It doesn't have to be baked, but it must include some ingredients purchased at the Farmers Market (fruits, honey, maple syrup, cider, goat cheese, jam — again, whatever), and it should be seasonal (ie, now's not the time for strawberry shortcake).

Rules and entry forms can be downloaded from the website or picked up at the Farmers Market or Mission Burrito, since if you win, that's where your dessert is going to appear on the menu for a night! It will be prepared by chef Javier Bendana and featured in the restaurant on Saturday, October 25. We're also going to plaster your photo and the recipe (if it's not a family secret) all over the Farmers Market and Mission Burrito websites. Fame and fortune will no doubt ensue, though we don't guarantee that in writing. So if you've been boasting about your Apple Brown Nancy, now's your chance to prove once and for all that it beats Betty.

Three of the four judges for this event have already been selected: chef Javier Bendana, Mayor Jayne Young, and Farmers Market Manager Rick Grocott. But there's still one more slot and we're offering that to you. If you'll be available October 18 and think you're a good judge of sweets, send us a note saying so. Don't delay; this Saturday we'll randomly pick one person who responds, and we'll announce the final judge right here next week.

Cotton Pickin'
We've been avoiding mentioning this, but we're in the final month of the Farmers Market's 2008 season. Our colorful and charming fair-market goods vendor, Guatemalan Cotton, is acutely aware of this, however, and is eager to unload what remains of their merchandise. As reasonable as their prices already were, they'll be offering a 25% discount this Saturday off everything they have. You've wanted that hackysack all year; deny yourself no longer.

With the addition of two embellished baby onesies from Cybelle Perry and a gift certificate for a dozen mini corn muffins from John's MiniCake's, the Growing Gift Basket is teetering perilously close to $1700 ($1693 to be exact). We're in the final three weeks of ticket sales, and they're now $3 each or two for $5. At the Market Manager booth, as always.

Last Call
Applications for Community Day on October 18 are due right about now. Some spots are still open, but not many, so if you want to share your occupation or preoccupation with the community, you gotta get your application in and your space reserved. It's now or not until next season!

Tenth, Take 2
Several weeks back, we promoted Clark Park Farmers' Market's 10th Anniversary Celebration, but then Hannah or Gustav or Britney or one of those pesky storms rolled through and it was postponed. It's finally back on the boards, for this Saturday, October 4, down at 43rd and Baltimore Avenues in West Philly. They're promising arts and crafts, a rock show (including Paul Green's School of Rock), and cockroaches (among other things) from the Philly Zoo on Wheels. The event is free and takes place rain or shine (but they said that last time too).

Borough Beautifiers
One of the truly free pleasures in Lansdowne is the impressive planters that stand along Lansdowne Avenue and put forth displays of shrubs, flowers, vines, and grasses as long as the weather permits. If you thought about it all aside from “Oh, isn't that pretty,” you probably assumed that the Borough tended those plants. Nope; it's a better story than that. For the past 5 years or so, the care and tending of those giant pots have been a labor of love by Lansdowne siblings Helen and Larry Marcarelli, who thought that our town would look nicer with flowers in those tubs rather than cigarette butts and candy wrappers. So they undertook their upkeep. Using donated plants or thier own purchases, they fill the planters and then stop by several times a week to freshen them up, all the while — and this is major — toting water from home because spigots aren't common on storefronts. The impact of their generosity is enjoyed every day by pedestrians and drivers on Lansdowne Avenue, and we thank them for making the borough better. But they don't have email, so you thank them yourself when you see them, too.


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

Artist of the Week: Despite using the decidedly down-home business name Dinette's Dishrags, Diane Orleman lived for a couple of extended stretches in Paris, and it shows in her sophisticated one-of-a-kind knitted, crocheted, and felted items. She creates purses, scarves, hats, and dishrags, which she embellishes with “glitzy stuff” like glitter and eyelash yarns, beads, and Deco pins and buttons. With dishrags this nice, you'll be unplugging the dishwasher.

Musician of the Week: The Farmers Market will fall under the spell of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra - or at least of some members thereof - this Saturday, as they gear up for their Autumn Concert, featuring works by Brahms and Mahler, on Sunday, November 2.

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: Craig Ebner & Lenny Seidman at Regency Café
Thursday, October 2, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Free
14 S.Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne

Celebration Theater: The Laramie Project
Friday, October 10, 8:00 pm, Tickets vary in price
The Twentieth Century Club
84 South Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne

Lansdowne Friends School Annual Book Fair
Thursday, October 16, 3:00 - 6:30 pm, Friday 3:00 - 8:30 pm, Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, Free
Lansdowne Friends School
110 N. Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne

Halloween Pancake Breakfast & Parents' Award
Benefits Epiphany House
Saturday, October 25, 7:30 - 11:00 am
Adults $7, children 5-7 $5, under 5 free
The Garden Church
Lansdowne and Stratford Ave., Lansdowne

Click for a complete listing of upcoming local events.