May 28, 2009 | Visit the Farmers Market online at LansdowneFarmersMarket.com | Subscribe to Fresh Picks
Market News for This Saturday, May 30
But Wait -- There's More!
Late in the day last Saturday, someone in the Market Manager tent asked, "Did anything go wrong today?" and the only right answer seemed to be, "Can't think of a thing." Sure, strawberries ran out earlier than we'd hoped, but Fruitwood brought all they had, and what they had were fantastic. The weather was steamy but bright, the crowd was steady and patient and friendly, the vendors were busy and therefore happy, and the merchandise was fresh and pretty and delicious. It was a great day at the Lansdowne Farmers Market, if we do say so ourselves. (And here's a slew of pictures from unofficially official Market photographer John Green to prove it.)
But the best part is this: that wasn't even all there is to it! This Saturday, you'll get to meet a pair of new vendors who are sharing spaces with two merchants from last week. The first, Bone Appetit Barkery, is, as the name suggests (a couple of times), a bakery specializing in dog treats. Owner Mary Lou Novitski uses veterinarian-approved recipes to make cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and candy -- all for the canine set -- that contain no sugar, salt, preservatives, or flavor or color additives. She also sources wheat- and gluten-free treats from other providers to round out her offerings for dogs with tender tummies or allergies. The second new vendor is Flint Hill Farm, the LFM's first dedicated dairy producer. They pasture raise both cows and goats at Flint Hill and will be bringing preservative- and hormone-free milk, yogurt, and soft cheeses from both species, as well as butters made individually from the milk of two different cows, which they say taste different. Try them both to find your favorite. Bone Appetite Barkery and Flint Hill Farms will each be at the Market every other week in general, but get a schedule from them or at the Market Manager booth or check online to know for sure when to find them throughout the season. Look for them in the spaces occupied last week by Greenwood Kitchen and Lupine Valley Veggies.
The first of the Market's seven (seven!) special events this season is next week, June 6, with what we're calling Earth Saturday (seems plain old "Earth Day" was already taken). Here's a list of what we're planning, and more is likely to get added to it. In preparation for the perennial exchange, we'll be collecting and distributing plant containers this Saturday at the Market Manager booth. If you have unneeded containers hanging around from plantings you've put in this year or pots that have built up in your garage or under your porch, bring them to us and we'll give them out to folks who need them to convey their trade-in plants next week. We'll also take cleaned-out containers from sour cream, yogurt, ricotta -- anything you could stick a plant in to get it to the Market. So if you have or need pots to use for the perennial exchange, come to the Market Manager booth on Saturday. Also, as you're potting up your plants, it would really help us if you could include information for each one saying what it is, whether it prefers sun or shade, and how big it gets. By this Saturday, we hope to have more details available on how exactly the perennial exchange will work.
Somethin' for Almost Nothin'
We have a Val-Pak ad going out soon, so we expect to see lots of new faces at the Market starting in June. We're greedy though and would like to see some even sooner. If you can find a friend or neighbor who's never been to the Lansdowne Farmers Market (or maybe came once in 2007 and then ditched us, unimpressed), bring them this Saturday to the Market Manager booth to meet us and sign up for this newsletter, and we'll give you each a Market Buck. You introduce them to the Market and get them free money -- your guest better remember your birthday this year!
Plenty LFM apple lawn signs are still ripe for the picking, and we'd especially like to get them into the hands of more farflung marketgoers -- you folks from Yeadon, Upper Darby, Aldan, Clifton, Springfield, Drexel Hill, Havertown, and so forth. If you meet this minimal criterion or even if you live in Lansdowne and would really like to display a sign, just come by the Market Manager booth to pick one up. It's that easy. We're also collecting zip codes as part of the reporting for a grant the Farmers Market received from the state, so please peek in at the Market Manager tent soon to give us yours. We started this last week, but we weren't very thorough. From our count, it looks like only 52 people came to the opening market, and that seems a bit low, doesn't it?
There's still time to reserve the Market chalkboard for your own personal message this Saturday. The space costs $20, and as long as your message is nice not nasty or naughty, we'll run it (it has to be pretty short also). Shoot us an email if you want to be the first person to take a personal message public at the LFM!
If you tried to access last year's Dog Parade video through the link on the website Photos page, you were no doubt left parade-less. Happily, that glitch has now been corrected, so you should be able to dawdle over the doggies whenever you want going forward.
Likewise, we told you here last week that blog postings would begin Saturday after the opening market. (But really, after last year you should know better than to trust us about the blog.) We had some interweb-type trouble with the blog too, but that also should be under control now. So go check out the blog, by all means. Would we steer you wrong?
We Dare Ya
Last year we suggested you bookmark a blog called Farm to Philly for good ideas on what to do with the haul you bring home from the Market. For the second year, that site is host to the One Local Summer Challenge, which dares home cooks to prepare one meal each week using purely local ingredients (grown or raised within 100 miles; salt, pepper, spices and oil not included) and then to write about it in a blog or an email to the regional coordinator. Farm to Philly will then highlight some contributions every week. The Challenge goes from June 1 to August 30, and you have to register by May 30 (that's just two days from now) if you want to do it officially. (As far as we can tell, registration seems to require just an email saying "I'm in.") Boy, would we love to see some suppers (or brunches or whatever) posted there that were made from ingredients from the Lansdowne Farmers Market!
We were recently alerted to another nice source of recipes for fresh local fruits and vegetables -- the Online Community Cookbook at PhillyHealthInfo.org. The site is a community service of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and provides regional health information for the five-county area. Free of advertising, the site is partly funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and offers credible health information and links to regional health resources and services, covering health and wellness in the broadest sense. Go for the recipes, and then poke around and see what else you can find there to interest and benefit you.
Once you're done at the Market this Saturday, you'll have plenty of nearby options to keep yourself engaged for the rest of the day. We're not even in June yet, so cramming in as much as possible still seems like a good approach. You can slow down in July.
Starting first on Saturday is the Global Warming Conference that Penn Wood's honors physics students are holding at the high school. That's from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and is free and open to the public. There are multiple sessions throughout the day in which you can participate (see the brochure at the website linked above). If you were unsettled by An Inconvenient Truth and have wondered where you fit into the global warming picture -- causing, experiencing, and preventing -- a couple of hours with these bright students and other concerned citizens will be time well spent.
Next up chronologically is Lansdowne Games Day at the Garden Church, Stratford and Lansdowne Avenues. From 11:15 am to 8:45 pm, all are invited to come play games, meet new friends, and basically have a nice time. It's free, but donations for snacks are of course appreciated. Children are welcome so long as adults stay with the little ones. Call 610-623-1645 for more information.
At noon, on the playing field off Green Avenue, across from the high school, Cow Chip Bingo "happens." It's too late to purchase a square to be part of the game, but watching the bovine make her way around the grid until she settles on a winner will make for a good story at the next family get-together. And maybe they'll have Cow Chip Bingo T-shirts for purchase again this year, also excellent conversation starters.
Finally, a reminder that they'd like your reservation for the LBPA-sponsored Wine Tasting and Tapas Party at Mission Burrito by this Saturday. The event's next Saturday, June 6 at 7:00 pm, and there may still be seats available then, but to be certain you'll get in, make your reservation now: 610-622-6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $39 each, and credit cards are accepted.
The Recipe Booth
This past Saturday, before working in the garden for hours, I was at the first Lansdowne Farmers Market of the season and was overjoyed to see fresh spring radishes, along with lettuces, asparagus, and homegrown vegetable plants. But let's just focus on the radishes for now.
Radishes were first believed to have been cultivated in Asia well before they showed up somewhere in the Mediterranean, most likely in Italy, some time before the Roman Empire. So let's just say that these little root vegetables have been around the block a few times.
A radish crop can be had pretty much any time of the year, but that versatility makes them especially valuable as a spring time harvest. Related to turnips, carrots, and horseradish, radishes are a member of the taproot family. Ranging in size from the mighty dikon to the small red European radish, most of these vegetables are enjoyed raw but tougher varieties can benefit from a quick steam or sauté. A little-known fact is that radishes can also vary in color from the typical red and white to pretty much any other color, including black but probably not blue.
So let's finish with the long-windedness and get down to the brunt of it. What can we do with radishes besides toss in some bland salad in an attempt to spice things up with their relative heat? In the linked recipe and photos, I pair radishes with mangos for a mildly spicy and refreshing salsa served on top of grilled shrimp, aka Grilled Shrimp with Mango-Radish Salsa. I've gotten compliments on the salsa being served on burgers, but I would combine it with chicken or fish off the grill as well. So, fellow cooks, with a chef's knife in one hand and a cool beverage in the other -- off to your kitchens!
(Editor's note: If you decide to do the One Local Summer Challenge, don't submit a meal including these shrimp, since they're sure to call you on the shrimp. And the mangos. Also the limes and oranges. Okay, so not totally local, this recipe, but tasty and impressive nonetheless.)
Featured This Week
Artist of the Week: At first glance, the nicely framed photographs of NatureScripts are intriguing for their clarity and attention to detail, but on second look they're something else altogether: words. Photographer Lisa Ochwat finds letters in twigs, railings, puddles, shadows -- everything -- and puts them together to form terms like "hope," "love," and "family" -- familiar sentiments conveyed in a most unusual way.
Musician of the Week: Adelante's website describes their output as "an eclectic musical mélange . . . fusing jazz-world-roots-classical-funk-ambient-electronica and trance music." Suffice it to say that there's something for everyone, everyone's mother, and everyone's mother's funky backyard neighbor.
Blog: Our blogger's recap of the opening market of the season and an interview with this week's musical guest, Adelante. Also, another complaint from Old Man Marlsbury.
Check out what’s coming in the weeks ahead, music- and art-wise, by visiting our continually updated on-line schedule.
Upcoming Local Events
Movies at Cinema 16:9
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.
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