Fresh Picks
October 23, 2008 | Visit the Farmers Market online at

Market News for This Saturday, October 25

Futures Market
Drat! What crummy luck that October ends on a Friday this year! If the tenth month could have squeezed out just one more day, we'd have had another Market Saturday in 2008. But as it is, this is the last Saturday in October and thus the last Saturday of the 2008 Lansdowne Farmers Market. We better make the most of it! (Even if it rains, as currently predicted. We know you have umbrellas and slickers though, so no weather-related absences will be excused.) This is your final shot at local produce from some vendors you've come to know and trust, so bring extra shopping bags and extra cash and go to town - tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, pears, broccoli, sweet potatoes the size of hoagie rolls - it's all there for the taking. Most importantly, don't forget to purchase lots of “futures” - the stuff that'll keep for a while and that you'll be glad to have down the road.

Start by stocking up on apples. No local grocery store or produce market is going to have anything close to the varieties or quality of the apples you'll find at the Market. The more you buy, the better the deal, so think in terms of baskets this week rather than quarts. Stored in a cool place, apples keep well, and if some start to get soft, simply core and peel them, chunk them up, and cook them in a pot with a little water or apple cider to make applesauce. Mmmm, warm applesauce.

How about a few gallons of apple cider to freeze? Remember that it will expand during freezing, so pour off a cup first or put it into smaller, more manageable containers. Then you'll have Market cider on hand for mulling or reducing to syrup or adding to recipes for the next few months. Schobers' peach cider doesn't even need refrigeration, making grabbing a few for the pantry a no-brainer.

More pantry items: honey and jams from Fruitwood Farms, fruit butters from Schobers, maple syrup and pickles from Farm Fresh Express, fruit syrups from the Regency, hot sauce from Mission Burrito.

If you heed our advice and really do it up big this week, the volunteers in the Market Manager booth will be happy to help you to your car with your purchases. Just ask us.

Hanging Around
Even though the Farmers Market is about to end for the year, you can still visit Bonnie's Wondergardens, the Regency Café, and Farm Fresh Express at their year-round Lansdowne locales. The latter two also have websites and will send you a weekly email if you ask them to, so there's no reason to miss out on anything they're offering until the FM starts up again.

Likewise, Lansdowne Sofa Cinema would be glad to email you reminders of their upcoming shows. You'll be relieved to know that their now-famous popcorn will be available at each film they screen, including Saturday night's This Is Spinal Tap singalong and costume contest events at 6:45 and 8:45 pm.

If, hopefully, you're now committed to the whole farmers market idea, a couple of nearby markets can help tide you over. On Wednesday afternoons from 2 to 6 pm, the Oakmont Farmers Market happens just up Lansdowne Avenue in Havertown. Our own Fruitwood Farms is a vendor there. Plus, if you want a fresh, farmers market-supplied turkey for Thanksgiving this year, you can get one by reserving it now (don't delay) through their vendor Lindenhof Farm and picking it up at Oakmont the day before Thanksgiving. The turkeys are $3.50 a pound and a $20 deposit is required to reserve one. The Oakmont Market ends November 26, but the Clark Park Farmers' Market, at 43rd and Baltimore Avenues in West Philly, runs all year on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. (Just don't show up early because, unlike Lansdowne, they won't sell to you before the official start time.)

Finally, even Fresh Picksdoesn't disappear completely during the off-season; it just transforms into an every-other-week e-newsletter called Discover Lansdowne in which we do our best to fill you in on things in the area that are worth knowing about and that you might enjoy. (And just in case you happen to be looking for a recipe or something from one of the 2008 Farmers Market newsletters, they're all archived here.)

If you missed last Saturday's Fall Festival and Community Day at the Market, you missed a good time. Fortunately, trusty photographer John Green captured the day's events so well his photo album LFM Community Day Photos will have you feeling like you were there. But be sure to make it next year, okay? We missed ya.

We've been waiting a long time to see who'd walk away (more like stagger away) with the Growing Gift Basket, which finally topped out at $2071 worth of goodies and which raised about $1500 for the Market. With the help of a tiny child named Caitlin, we have our winner: Donna Vickers of Windermere Avenue. A 4-year resident of Lansdowne, Donna bought two tickets on the Basket and then forgot all about it until we called her with the news. She seems like a delightful person, so we can all be genuinely happy for her. Congratulations, Donna - enjoy it all! Many thanks to everyone who played. Shall we do it again next year?

There were seven entries in the Sweet Endings Dessert Contest, which wasn't bad for the first year, and they all looked delish (scroll down on the third page of the photo album). After trying all of them, judges (Mayor) Jayne Young, (chef) Javier Bendana, (Market Manager ) Rick Grocott, and (newsletter reader) Christine Carpenter gave the winning score to the Moore Apple Delight Pie, submitted by Mickia, Ashley, and Tiffany Moore, who made up the recipe as they went! Second place went to Heather van Heusen's Apple Cake and third to Marty Hoover's Autumn Pears. Your one chance to sample the Moore pie will be this Saturday evening, October 25, between 5 and 9 pm at Mission Burrito. To give them an idea of how many pies to make, send Jackie and Javier a quick email if you're planning to stop in for a slice or two. So congratulations to the ladies of the Moore family, thanks to everyone who entered a dessert or judged, and gracias to Mission Burrito!

Couple More Things
Two of the Farmers Market's friends - Epiphany House, who sponsored the kids' activity tent, and Animal Friends of Lansdowne, who twice brought adorable adoptable kittens to the Market - have fun fundraising events this weekend.

First, from 7:30 to 11:00 am this Saturday, there's a Halloween Pancake Breakfast, featuring plain, chocolate chip, and pumpkin pancakes, along with a bunch of breakfast sides. Kids under 5 are free, 5 to 17 are $5, and over 17 are $7, with the proceeds benefitting Epiphany House and its mission to help needy children. At the Garden Church, Lansdowne and Stratford Avenues.

On Sunday, the much-postponed Paws for Kindness Day will be happening, for sure. Sign-up for the 1.5-mile dog walk starts at 10:30, and events continue at Sycamore Park until 3:00, including a Halloween costume parade, Ask the Behavioralist, dog training demos, and stupid pet tricks. Food will be available for purchase, as will kittens for adoption, so all needs are covered. Bring pet food for donation and get a free “I'm an Animal Friend” bumper sticker. Proceeds benefit Animal Friends of Lansdowne, committed to making the borough a safe haven for both animals and people.

One Last Thing
Recently, we developed a mission statement for the Lansdowne Farmers Market: “To bring fresh, local food to Lansdowne; to foster economic development in the borough; to promote Lansdowne and its events, businesses, artists, and musicians; and to provide a community gathering place.” We'd really like to know how you think we're doing in this regard and what suggestions you have for next year. Please take a minute and let us know. See you May 23, 2009!


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: Around Lansdowne, red Keller Williams signs in front of houses that are for sale are very likely to direct you to the Carpenter Team - Gloria, John, and their son Michael - who've probably been responsible for more than their fair share of home sales around town. They live here and know the borough and would like nothing better than to find you just the right house or buyer.

Artist of the Week: Children's book illustrator Megan Halsey has a wonderful seasonal book, Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night, that's a great gift for that special trick-or-treater, plus loads of other books, all tricked out with her beguiling illustrations and 3D constructs. Buy it straight from Megan and she'll sign it for you!

Musician of the Week: It's fitting that the Bob Beach Trio will be bringing the Lansdowne Farmers Market 2008 season to a close, since he's been responsible for all the music we've enjoyed ever since the Market started. Do we hear a request for "Auld Lang Syne"?

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 and Saturday, October 24 and 25, 8:00 pm, Tickets vary in price
The Twentieth Century Club
84 South 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 & 8:45 pm, 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.