August 6, 2009 | Visit the Farmers Market online at LansdowneFarmersMarket.com | Subscribe to Fresh Picks
Market News for This Saturday, August 8
Having teased us with a single box last Saturday, Lupine Valley Veggies will bring more (hopefully lots more) heirloom tomatoes this week, and Louise says they'll probably have them all the way through October, so that's something to look forward to. As is the nice selection of organically raised herbs they keep bringing to Market. These are great for making herb-infused vinegar, which is both inexpensive and super easy. (Thorough infusion may take some time and Lupine's not at the Market next week, so don't delay getting started if you want to use homemade infused vinegar for summer grilling and salads or hostess gifts for Labor Day events.) Here are some links that will help: general guidelines about making and storing infused vinegars, a few recipes (lemon-thyme, Italian, blackberry-mint, chive-chili), and a video of Emeril making basil-infused vinegar. If you'd prefer to use your herbs while they're fresh, Louise and Dan keep lots of recipe handouts in their booth; just ask for a suggestion.
We've always said that Community Day is a great chance to promote your business, church, or group, since several hundred people come through the Market each week, and we're sticking with that story, especially since our last count showed well over 1000 Market customers. Applications for the season's second Community Day, to be held the last Saturday this month, August 29, are available here, on the website for download, or at the Market Manager booth starting this Saturday. Applications are due by August 22 to the address on the form, and spaces are reserved on a first-come basis. Once they're gone, that's it. Please note that because so many baked goods are already available at the Market, bake sale fundraisers are not permitted during Community Day except for items that cost at least $4. See the Market FAQs for more information about LFM Community Days if you're considering participating.
We've Been Blogged!
Last Saturday a Philadelphia farmers market enthusiast, Ben Bergman, visited Lansdowne, hobnobbed with Market Manager Rick Grocott, shopped, got down to Cowmuddy, and then went home and wrote up a nice blog post about the LFM. Seems he and his family were much impressed with the bright produce, the sunny people they met, the background music, and the tidy Market set-up. (While he credits Rick with this, it's important to note that our Market is a community affair, with 10 people serving on the LFM committee and many, many more citizens helping every week, from the teens who put out our signs, to the volunteers who help put up tents, to the people who go pick up the first round of coffee, to the crossing guards — all of whom are needed and appreciated.) In a separate post, Ben mentions upcoming farmers market-focused "Sunday suppers" that will be held at the restaurant Supper in Center City in August, September, and October. The price is reasonable, and if you pay a bit more you can go to the Headhouse Market with the chef and help plan the meal! All in all, we think Philly Food Feed is worth bookmarking.
As Ben the blogger mentions, August 2 to 8 is National Farmers Market Week (the 10th annual such week, actually). We didn't plan anything special to celebrate this auspicious event, since as long as it's not raining, the Market always feels a bit like a party to us (and we're still beat from Kidcentric Day). Still, we'd love to add a page to the website featuring fan mail, so if you'd like to bring a card or note to the Market Manager booth this Saturday wishing the LFM a happy National FM Week and telling us what you like best about our Market, we'll give you a Market Buck. (Is that paying for praise? We like to think of it as a sincere thank you, sincere enough to buy a mini muffin or a couple zucchini.)
Flower gardens are usually past their prime by early August, with most of the best cutting flowers gone to seed, faded, or otherwise unfit for display. But it feels like something's missing when you don't have a pitcher of fresh flowers on the table. Bonnie's Wondergardens has just the thing — colorful bouquets for only $5. Last Saturday, each bargain bunch contained a small sunflower, a rose, and a lot more bright and cheery posies, and you can expect something similar this week. At this price, pick up one for yourself and another for a friend. It's a guaranteed smile.
Though it feels too early for the fruit that's synonymous with fall, Schober Orchards already has apples at the Market, having started with the yellow-green variety called Pristine a few weeks ago and adding Paula Reds last Saturday, which were gone in a snap. Some of these early ripening varieties in particular are available for only a few weeks, and all are worth trying.
Turns out that once people realized that Wild Flour Bakery was carrying peach pies, everybody wanted one, and demand quickly exceeded supply last Saturday. We're sorry some of you missed out, and they've promised to send quite a few more this week, so give them another try. Or, if you're good at planning ahead and want more flavor options, the Regency Café is happy to custom bake a pie on your request. Give them a call at 484-461-9002 or drop by the storefront, where you can take a gander at the displayed artwork by participants in the upcoming Lansdowne Arts Festival, September 12 and 13, while you're waiting to order your pie.
Mark of Natural Meadows Farm was delighted with the warm welcome he and his meat, poultry, cheese, and eggs got last Saturday ("people were nice" and "your market kicked butt" are actual quotes), so we've penciled the farm in weekly for the foreseeable future. Look for the fellow with the big coolers across from Schober's stand, and note that Mark's happy to have the cardboard container back to reuse once you've eaten all those colorful eggs.
We managed to muddle through last week without Farm Fresh Express, but we're happy to have them back this week, with their organic produce, dairy products, chips, sodas, noodles, pickles, etc, etc. Maybe they should have called themselves Farm Fresh Excess.
Mike at Fruitwood Farms continues to demonstrate his innate (or hard-learned) farmer's ability to pick a good watermelon. The seeded one we bought two weeks ago was possibly the best watermelon ever grown. No kidding. Don't be proud: let him pick for you.
Worldwide Photo Walk Winner
Local winner, that is. Some 35 people took part in the Lansdowne division of the WWPW three weeks ago, and the quality of the photos they took apparently surprised everyone. Some of the best will be featured on the walls of the Regency Café in September and there will also be a showing of participants' favorites at Cinema 16:9 in the not-too-distant future, but the very best single photo — as selected by borough Walk organizers from 50 entries — is ready for viewing right here, right now. Captured by Kathy Reed, "Door to Faith" was taken at the Presbyterian Church and is now in the running for the best photo taken that day worldwide. Wow, no pressure there. The winner will be announced August 17, and we'll certainly let you know if it's Kathy. Congratulations and good luck to her!
Free Children's Theater Tonight!
Whatever you have in mind for this evening, see if you can postpone it a bit to make room in your schedule for a free live musical version of 101 Dalmatians at the Lansdowne Friends School. The show won't be in New York until next year, when the ticket price is sure to be quite a bit steeper. The musical is based on the animated Disney version, meaning if your kids like that movie, they'll love this show. Catch meanie Cruella de Vil and a pack of brave and heroic animals in the flesh tonight at 7:00 at 110 North Lansdowne Avenue. (If you're a parent who feels like you could recite the movie in your sleep, test yourself on how many of the puppies you can name. The full list is here.)
Take the kids to the dog play, but find a sitter for Metropolis, the silent 1927 landmark film directed by Fritz Lang, since they just wouldn't get it. Renowned in part for its Art Deco set design, the visually arresting Metropolis will be playing at Cinema 16:9 for two weeks, starting at midnight tomorrow, August 7, with a special Lens Flare presentation featuring Jesse D.J., who will be mixing music to accompany the film. If midnight's a bit (or a lot) past your bedtime, come Saturday the 8th at 10:00 pm or either of the following Fridays, the 14th or the 21st, also at 10:00 pm, to experience the live-DJ-spinning-on-site Lens Flare treatment of Metropolis. Tickets for these showings are $10 each, and special cocktail mixers will be sold to drink as-is or combined with your BYO contribution. Perhaps, however, intelligent film talk is more your bag. In that case, you have two chances — Thursday and Friday, August 13 and 14 — to see the movie and take part in a discussion hosted by proprietor Dave Titus. And if you just like to sit in the cool dark and take in classic cinema without special add-ons, you'll have plenty of opportunities, with multiple showings each day until August 24. Don't forget that Cinema 16:9 shows vintage cartoons and commercials — for free, just the way Saturday morning cartoons used to be, before cable — every Saturday from 10:00 am to noon during the Farmers Market. And seniors can see daily matinees for a discount.
Don't Waste Yard Waste
Good news, greenies! Starting this month, yard waste pickup will occur twice a month in Lansdowne, except when holidays interfere. This refuse should be placed at the curb bagged in paper, tied with string, or in garbage cans, so it can be collected and composted. Because Lansdowne pays for trash disposal by weight, it's important to recycle and compost as much as possible, which is also good for the planet (in the off-chance you hadn't heard that yet). Having a second opportunity most months to get rid of leaves, twigs, lawn clippings, and garden waste should make it easy to resist the temptation to just put the stuff in your trash, which sends it to a landfill instead of an organic site. The next date for pickup is August 12, followed by August 26, September 16 and 30, and October 14 and 28.
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: Tim Terrell makes gel candles that you might mistake for a fish bowl or a cocktail. Or that would certainly make a great gift for a Philly sports fan.
Musician of the Week: Slim Jim and Big Guy have entertained the Market before with their accomplished covers of artists such as Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, and they're going to do it again this Saturday.
Blog: A triumphant return, fanboy revelations, poetry.
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
View From Lupine Valley
Those who've read my other musings know I'm a fan of hiking, especially in Northern California. While on the trail, my all-time favorite flower is the purple lupine. A flowering bush or stalk, lupines come in many colors and attract lavender butterflies.
Besides Northern California, lupines ramble across coastal Maine. Recently, I have seen stands of lupine in mountainous Berks County as well as along a Lake Erie vineyard in my hometown of North East, PA. Lupines like the fog and cool temperatures created by mountains and large bodies of water.
To my dismay, lupines do not thrive in our hot Philadelphia summers. While I've had great success growing other purple flowers — sage, morning glory, and butterfly bush — I have tried different varieties of lupines for five years with only a few plants blooming.
This year, with the cool temperatures and all of June's rain, we have a few of these difficult-to-grow flowers popping up. My goal is to save their hardier seeds (now more adapted to my specific environment than ones I would order from a catalog) and plant them next to an old springhouse in the valley, the coolest microclimate on my property.
With patience and some prodding, I may soon have a full lupine valley.
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