Fresh Picks
October 16, 2008 | Visit the Farmers Market online at

Market News for This Saturday, October 18

Falling Up
Yep, the 2008 Lansdowne Farmers Market season is quickly winding down. Only two more Saturdays and then it's gone, gone, gone until late May 2009. Kind of unsettling when put that way, isn't it? (Might have been that last “gone” that pressed the point a little too much. Sorry.)
To make the transition easier, we're throwing what might be considered a pre-going-away party this Saturday, our second annual Fall Festival, featuring a load of entertainments for kids and adults sure to make the next-to-last Market extra special. For starters, there will be free face painting and “tattoos.” In addition to free face painting, chalk drawing, and a candy count guessing game, one slim dollar will get you a little pumpkin to decorate at the Market or a chance on a big pumpkin already professionally painted by local artist Marcus DiSciullo. These activities will be going on all day, leading up to the judging of the Sweet Endings Dessert Contest at 12:00, with the winner announced around 12:30. If you want to enter the contest but are lacking an ingredient from the Market, you could head over bright and early Saturday and grab something, or, in a slight amendment to the original rules, you could pick something up at the Farm Fresh Express store Thursday or Friday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. (Consider this FFE tip a bonus for reading the newsletter.)

Once the Sweet Endings winner has been determined, we're going to sell the remaining desserts ($5 each, with proceeds going to the food bank), announce the winner of the candy contest, raffle off the painted pumpkin, and (drumroll, please) pick the winner of the Growing Gift Basket. As predicted last week but never expected when we started this crazy thing, the Gift Basket has topped $2000 in value, pushed well over the edge by two Adelante CDs and a whole stack of knitted Christmas decorations from Meredith Parker of 79 West Designs. It's also raised more than $1300 for the Farmers Market, and we're super grateful to all of you who bought raffle tickets. Consider those tickets both chances for you to win and chances for the Market to continue to grow and thrive. (We'll spend it wisely, we promise.)

Contributing to Saturday's specialness is that it's also the season's final Community Day, which always promises new and interesting temptations. A full list of participants and their offerings, from Autumn salad to Zen meditation, is here. Be sure to stop over and visit all the eager Community Dayers. We'll also be collecting packaged food again on Saturday to restock the local food bank. Think pasta, sauce, cereal, sugar, powdered milk, pancake mix, syrup — that kind of thing. Drop off a bag of food at the Market Manager booth and get a Market Buck for your generosity.

Still Going
John Wilson of ever-evolving John's MiniCakes is continuing to tweak his Market wares (let's hope in preparation for returning next year). In addition to chili, he now has homemade macaroni and cheese, all hot and gooey and ready to be eaten. And this is great because (1) it's macaroni and cheese!! and (2) even though we're having a celebration this week, the Market doesn't end until next Saturday, October 25, and it'll be going strong until the bitter end. Plus, that evening the winning Sweet Endings dessert will be on the menu at Mission Burrito, the truly sweet ending to the 2008 Lansdowne Farmers Market.

Stuff It
One of the most plentiful vegetables at the Market right now is peppers, and they're also a terrific bargain. (Teens4Good, back this week, usually has an impressive selection of hot ones.) Yesterday's New York Times included some inspiring recipes for filling these versatile veggies and turning them into appetizers (poppers) or a complete meal (stuffed with white beans and mushrooms). This article links to recipes under “Related,” right beneath the photograph.

Aftermarket Add-On
We were remiss last week not to tout the opening of Celebration Theater's current production, The Laramie Project, a docudrama centered on the hate crime killing of Matthew Shepard 10 years ago in Wyoming. However, that lapse has given Mayor Jayne Young the opportunity to weigh in with this rave: “I went to last Sunday's performance and it was without a doubt one of the best productions I've seen of any play by any company.” That is, Jayne gives it two thumbs up. The subject matter is dark and not appropriate for little ones, but it's a compelling and provocative piece that adults and mature teens should see. It's fitting that Shepard's story is being retold here in Lansdowne, where we are proud of our No Place for Hate designation. Like the Farmers Market, Celebration Theater is the product of volunteers working very hard, and it needs your support too. Get to this play if you can. See it this Friday or Saturday evening at 8:00 pm, Sunday afternoon at 2:00, or next Friday or Saturday, also at 8:00 pm; all performances are at the Twentieth Century Club. Tickets are $12 to $17, and student tickets are two for one through the website.

October Surprise
Hey, how about those Phillies?! Go, Phils!


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 elder of the Just Mom and Me duo is Jacquelyn Ryan Simpson, born and bred in Lansdowne, and the younger is her daughter Kathryn. They ply their face painting and cheek art trade at craft fairs, farmers markets, art shows, park days, birthday parties, church picnics, and other special events. They'll be turning babies into bunnies, kids into kittens, and teens into tigers (or whatever you want) all day at the Market and all for free.

Artist of the Week: Charlotte Hummel keeps threatening to stop making her signature Mobis — circular knitted scarves with a twist midway that can be shaped and slouched around the shoulders and neck — but we don't believe her; they're too popular. Just to be safe, however, perhaps you better pick one up this weekend. She has also declared that what's not sold on Saturday is getting stored in a very inconvenient place, so this is your last chance to get some for holiday gifts. Don't say you weren't warned.

Musician of the Week: Earlier this season, on Dog Day, we enjoyed the exuberant performance of Elaysha, a female duo who were great sports as were as terrific musicians. This week we're getting only the “El” part of the group — Elinore Speeks, singer-songwriter and guitarist - and that'll be just fine.

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


Upcoming Local Events

Celebration Theater: The Laramie Project
Friday, October 10 - 25, 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

This is Spinal Tap!: Sing Along & Costume Contest
Lansdowne Sofa Cinema
October 25, 2008, 6:45 & 8:45pm, Tickets $5
17 E. LaCrosse at the Lansdowne Baptist Church, Lansdowne

Fourth Annual Paws for Kindness Day
Sunday, October 26, 10:30-3:00
Sycamore Park on Lacrosse and Wycombe Aves., Lansdowne

Click for a complete listing of upcoming local events.