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August 27, 2009 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, August 29

Going It Alone
A seldom heard, nearly magical term has been bouncing around a lot this week: "unassisted triple play." You probably all know by now that the Phillies' Eric Bruntlett singlehandedly dispensed with three Mets — a batter and two base runners — to end an increasingly close ballgame last Sunday, and thereby strode into both baseball history and the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Well, the jersey he was wearing made it to Cooperstown anyway. He'll have to do quite a bit more to get elected himself.) What does this have to do with the Lansdowne Farmers Market? Not much really, though we've have been trying for a couple of days to think of a way to tie it in. Could we compare a second stringer's shining moment and sudden fame to Lansdowne's rebirth as an inner-ring suburban success story? We could, but it's a stretch. How about likening that 1, 2, 3 effort to a farmer's growing, transporting, and selling produce? Again, not inaccurate but pretty weak. In the end, that unassisted triple play was just such a bright spot in a slow week — a (temporarily) local guy doing something so rare and unexpected and, let's face it, lucky that it's the talk of the nation — that it seemed worth mentioning and marveling over once more here. To celebrate it further, wear some Phillies garb to the Market Manager tent this Saturday and we'll give you a Market Buck. Maybe that's all the Market connection we really need.

It Takes a Village
There's nothing unassisted about the Farmers Market, however. It takes a slew of people — from volunteers to vendors to shoppers — to make it successful. One of the things that seems to work especially well in Lansdowne is when we expand that involvement even further to accommodate residents and shoppers who are interested in having a Market presence but who don't fit as regular vendors. Hence Community Day, an opportunity for small businesses like Griswold Special Care and massage practitioner Donna D. Diakité to connect with new customers, groups like the Upper Darby Police Relief Association and Jojo the Grey Adoption and Rescue for Birds to promote their causes and solicit donations, and civic organizations like Neighborhood Watch and No Place for Hate to get the word out. (The UD Police Relief Association will be selling raffle tickets to win a 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid, by the way. Are you feeling lucky?) The complete list of Community Day #2 participants is here. Be sure to take a moment this Saturday to meet holistic health counselor Alexandra DiFilippo, who makes a three-pronged, compelling argument here for shopping at the Lansdowne Farmers Market. We couldn't agree more!

Market Shorts
This should be the week that Fruitwood Farms brings Italian prune plums for the first time this season. These little delights, while plenty moist, are a bit less gushingly juicy than regular red plums and therefore make for neater out-of-hand eating. They're also good for baking, as this recipe for Italian plum cake demonstrates. Rachael Ray also has some nice ideas for Italian plums, including grilling them and serving them on an antipasto platter. If nothing else, buy a bunch to put in a bowl on your counter or to take to a host in lieu of flowers, for they are as pretty as can be — purple and blue and dusky — and they beg to be photographed, captured in pastels or oil paint, or just admired.

Chili is going to make an unusual midsummer appearance this Saturday at John's Minicakes, and there's also been a rumor — unsubstantiated but from a good source (John) — that individual bread puddings may also come for the day. The chili will be especially welcome if we get the rain that is in the forecast at this point. Remember, unless the authorities say to stay inside, the Lansdowne Farmers Market takes place rain or shine.

There are still just a few spots open in the September 5 canning seminar being sponsored by and held at the Lansdowne Baptist Church and led by Philadelphia foodie and personal chef Lindsay Gilmour. It's $35 per person, all supplies are provided, and you'll go home with a picked item, a tomato item, and a fruit item — a super deal. The application is here, but please get it in soon.

Next Saturday, September 5, Sycamore chef Meg Votta will be showing us how to make gazpacho, a cold soup, using whatever is available at the Market that morning. The demo is at 10:30 and will be held, uh, somewhere in the Market. Look for the smiling crowd and keep your eyes open for Sycamore promotional material. It's the new local hot spot.

Speaking of hot, three Lansdowne Farmers Market vendors (that's almost 25% of the Market!) are in the running for Best Something in Fox 29's Hot List competition. Vote for Farm Fresh Express for Best Gourmet Grocery here, for the Regency Café for Best Coffee Shop here, and Mission Burrito for Best Burrito here. Voting continues until September 11, which is longer in fact than Mission Burrito will have a restaurant. (Sob.) Remember that tomorrow is Jackie and Javier's last day of operation in the Lansdowne Center storefront, and they'd love to see you at their Farewell Dance Party, which starts at 8:00 pm. The $10 cover gets you free margarita mix for the tequila you bring and the music of Jimmy Jorge and Latin Express, playing outside under the stars. Plus, the full menu will be available for you to order your favorite dish one last time. (The Bandito food truck will still be at the Farmers Market every Saturday through the end of the season though.)

Hope you've been checking out John Green's Market photos each week. If not, you've got a lot of catching up to do! His most recent batch is here, and all can be accessed through the links on the Photos page of the LFM website.

Viewing Eclipses Without the Funny Glasses
Here's something you don't get every day: an invitation to a public screening of vacation photos. But these are no average vacation photos. Lansdowne residents Marty von Rosenstiel and Elliot Borgman have been "chasing eclipses" since 1991, traveling all over the globe to get the best seats for these cosmic special events (including a more than 8-hour drive to the "front row" in Mongolia). They're picky though — they only pack up and head out for total solar eclipses, none of this minor lunar stuff for them. They will be showing photos from their two most recent trips — to Mongolia in 2008 and to China just a few weeks ago (accompanied by recorded Mongolian throat singing and other folk music from China, naturally) — in two screenings at Cinema 16:9 this Monday evening, August 31, at 7:30 and 8:30 pm. It's free and open to the public, and the snack bar will be happy to serve you. Also, if you have an unusual hat from your travels, please wear or bring it, so Marty doesn't stand out so much in the Chinese concubine headgear she's been sporting lately.

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: Jack Hallock had the terrible misfortune of losing a loved one on 9/11, but it got him involved in a group promoting global citizenship. And from the resulting travels have come the interesting, insightful, and touching photographs from around the world he'll be showing at the Market.

Musician of the Week: Two youth groups, Brandywine Fiddlers and TREGL 5, will be bowing and fluting and otherwise playing their little hearts out for us this Saturday. Have your cameras ready.

Blog: The regular LFM blogger returns and turns his thoughts to ciabatta, Market redevelopment, and blenders.

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
August 27 to September 3, various times; $5 to $7.50
Somers Town, Sunshine Cleaning
Free cartoons, Saturday 10:00 am to noon
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

David Falcone at the Regency Café
Friday, August 28, 8:00; Free
29 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Farewell Dance Party at Mission Burrito
Friday, August 28, 8:00 to 11:00 pm: $10
32 W. Baltimore Avenue, Lansdowne

3rd Annual Community Block Party at St. Paul Lutheran Church
Sunday, August 30, noon to 3:00 pm; Free
50 E. Plumstead Avenue, Lansdowne

7th Annual Lansdowne Arts Festival at the Twentieth Century Club
Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Free
84 S. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Lansdowne Games Day at The Garden Church
Saturday, October 3, 11:15 am to 9:00 pm; Free
82 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Click for a complete listing of upcoming local events.

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