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July 23, 2009 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, July 25

Hear ye, hear ye: only two more chances remain to catch free outdoor concerts courtesy of the LEDC this summer (well, until the Lansdowne Arts Festival anyway). Tonight's performance in the Lansdowne Summer Concert Series is by John Lionarons, a multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with the hammer (or hammered) dulcimer. What's a hammer(ed) dulcimer? It's a stringed instrument something like a harp or autoharp but for which the strings are struck (as for a piano) rather than plucked. Unlike with a piano, however, the striking is done with mallets that are held in the hand, not hidden, so it plays like a percussion instrument while sounding like a stringed. Kinda sneaky of it, don't you think? If you're lending an ear to an altogether new kind of music, it's always best if the performer is an expert, and Mr Lionarons has won actual awards in addition to accolades for his abilities. In short, this may be your best shot at hearing a hammer dulcimer played as it should be. The concert starts at 7:00 pm on the lawn at St John the Evangelist Church on Lansdowne Avenue and refuses to be foiled by the weather; if it's rainy, head to the Regency Café, 29 N. Lansdowne Avenue for the show plus a dynamite peanut butter cookie.

Kidding Around
If you have any young children at home, chances are pretty good that your life revolves around them — making sure they're safe and fed and entertained and relatively clean, among other concerns. This Saturday, the Farmers Market wants to help with a couple of those things — the fed and entertained parts anyway — as we hold our first Kidcentric Day. We like to think that the Market is pretty good on both counts even on your average Saturday — there're lots of good things for children to eat, from fresh fruit to mini muffins, and the wee ones are wonderfully unself-conscious dancers and easily distracted with our bucket of sidewalk chalk — but this week we're putting some extra effort into the youth fun quotient.

All day and all for free, kids will be able to play a few carnival-type games — and everyone gets a prize; Mommy and Me will be on site to paint faces and "tattoo" young-uns with images of their choosing; staff and volunteers from the Lansdowne Public Library will be reading stories in a special tent with rugs and pillows for settling in and listening; Celebration Theater will be offering fun paper projects to promote their upcoming production of "Bunnicula"; kids will be able to decorate their own pair of paper glasses for wearing around on this special day; nice folks from Jojo the Grey Parrot Rescue will have several parrots available for handling and picture posing; and Flint Hill Farm is sending some baby goats to literally put the "kid" in Kidcentric Day. In addition, Mission Burrito is bringing one of their famous hard-to-break piñatas. The whacking will begin at 10:30, and candy showers will eventually ensue. Then, at 11:15, the baby parade starts. We admit, it won't be much of a parade - more of a line-up, short stroll, and photo opportunity — but it'll still be fun. Just complete this form and bring it to the Market Saturday so we can announce a name, hometown, and fun fact for your "baby" (no age limit). (We'll also have forms you can complete at the Market.) Our esteemed photographer John Green will be on hand to capture images from the parade that will be available online this time next week (or soon thereafter) for free download. (See his pictures from the past few Markets here.)

To add to the fairground atmosphere, the Mansfield Brass will be playing and they're the closest thing the Farmers Market has to a parade band, with plenty of oompah-pah to go around. Finally, we'd love it if you'd silly-it-up some with your attire. Wear a funny hat, goofy glasses, a costume, a cape, something out of the ordinary to express your inner kid, and we'll give you a Market Buck at the Manager tent for playing along.

Meanwhile, Back at the Farm
Oh yeah, the regular Lansdowne Farmers Market will also be happening on Saturday, even amid the wildlife and craft projects and funny outfits and baby parade. This is a Lupine Valley Veggies weekend, and Louise and Dan will be on hand with their greens and herbs and beans and other goodies, all grown organically with care and patience and a hint of poetry.

This is also a week for Bone Appetite Barkery, Mary Lou Novitski's gourmet dog treat stand. Her wares may look like yummy cupcakes, tacos, and brownies, but they're all made for canine companions — except for the ones that are intended for cats. Originally scheduled to be with us about every other week, Mary Lou has added extra Saturdays to her Market season starting August 1, so check out the revised vendor schedule we just posted to see exactly when you'll be able to find her in Lansdowne.

Speaking of August 1, Farm Fresh Express will be out next Saturday. Yes, it's a bummer because they have a bit of everything and it's all good, but Pam and company will return the following week, and Lupine Valley Veggies has agreed to come on the 1st so organic produce will still be available, plus Flint Hill Farm will be there with cow and goat dairy products. So it's not like we won't miss FFE, but at least we won't go hungry without them.

Bonnie's Wondergardens is back this week with many pretty, healthy, happy plants for your garden or pond. (And there was great rejoicing.)

We now have information at the Market Manager booth and at the LFM website about Farmers Market vouchers for seniors and for WIC participants. If you think you might qualify, be sure to check these documents. Vouchers are accepted by both Fruitwood Farms and Schober Orchards, and now's a great time to use them, when the produce is varied and abundant.

The Market's second Community Day is on the books for about a month from now, on August 29. Applications will be available electronically the first Thursday of the month, August 6, and at the Market Manager booth the following Saturday, August 8. Applications will be due August 22.

Salad Days
The New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman has just produced another of his occasional "101" recipe lists, this one being 101 Simple Salads for the Season. He helpfully breaks it down into categories like "Mostly Vegan" and "With Noodles" and provides a separate listing of eight dressing recipes, including Real Ranch and Ginger Vinaigrette. Some of the salads are simple twists on the fairly obvious, like #71, which is basically tomato, mozzarella, and basil topped with bacon, but some are both inventive and intriguing, like #38 — watermelon combined with mint, feta, and olives (if you didn't already know that watermelon benefits from salt, this'll learn ya). Or how about idea #44, which suggests using cubes of a crispy grilled cheese sandwich for croutons. Brilliant!

The Recipe Booth
This past Sunday afternoon I was getting ready for a friend's potluck birthday party when this combination of flavors struck me — Grilled Lemon Parsley Chicken. What says summertime more than grilled chicken? And when combined with the aromatic flavors of parsley and lemon, how could this not be a hit?

For the chicken: Combine in a bowl two chicken breasts, each cut into three pieces, with the zest of half a lemon, two cloves of chopped garlic, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, a ¼ cup of olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and black pepper Let this marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator and up to one day. Grill the chicken over medium heat, turning and alternating the pieces to ensure even cooking and classic looking grill marks. This should take 20 to 30 minutes.

For the parsley dressing: Whisk together in a bowl the juice from one lemon, the zest of half of a lemon, one clove of garlic finely chopped, and a ½ cup of chopped parsley.

Combine the chicken on a plate with the parsley dressing.

MAPThe 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: Even if there were no such thing as Kidcentric Day, we'd still want Cybele Perry to bring her terrific onesies and little-girl dresses and baby quilts to the Market. She makes them with such unexpected fabrics (brown baby dresses — so cute!) and such nontraditional images (Buddha, Frida Kahlo) that you're not apt to find anything like them anywhere else.

Musician of the Week: Gladstone Manor's own Mansfield Brass has been blowing the doors off the Market (if we had doors) for three seasons now. They're shiny, bright, and bold and always makes the day feel like a carnival. Welcome back, Brass.

Blog: Culture lesson, crossings, lunch truck escapades.

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
July 23 to 30, various times; $5 to $7.50
The Drummer, Coraline
Free cartoons, Saturday 10:00 am to noon
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

John Lionarons at the Lansdowne Summer Concert Series
Thursday, July 23, 7:00 pm; Free
Lawn at St John's Church, Lansdowne

Vegetarian Cooking Class at Life More Abundant
Thursday, July 23, 7:00 pm; Free
25 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Minas at WXPN's XPoNential Festival
Friday, July 24, 4:30 to 5:00 pm; $25 to $60
Wiggins Park, Camden, NJ

Minas at Rose Tree Park
August 9, 7:30 pm; Free
Route 252 and Rose Tree Road, Media

View From Lupine Valley


What is an heirloom?

This question is asked frequently both in workshops and at markets. Many people have a vague idea that heirlooms are good, but not a precise idea of why.

An heirloom is a variety, usually over 100 years old, that has been nurtured, selected, and handed down by virtue of saving seeds from one grower to another for generations. Until the end of the Second World War, when hybrid varieties began to flourish, most plants were of the heirloom variety. Unlike hybrids, which do not produce the same fruit from their seeds but some variation on one of their parents, heirlooms are open-pollinators and always reproduce themselves exactly. Because a grower will select seeds to save from the strongest plants, over time the seeds begin to develop a hardiness to that particular climate and soil. [Piece continues here.]

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