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May 27, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, May 29

Strike Up the Band!
Aye carumba, have we been waiting forever for the Lansdowne Farmers Market to return, or what? Memorial Day weekend seemed a perfectly reasonable regular start date when we originally planned the Market, but combine a brutal winter, an unusually warm spring, and a late-as-can-happen Memorial Day and you get a townful of people twiddling their thumbs and moaning about how "all the other" markets have started already when ours hasn't. Folks, twiddle and moan no more -- the day is nearly here. This Saturday, May 29, at 9:00 am, the farmers will be back, along with bakers, producers, and purveyors of all types! Cue the swelling music of relief and joy! Okay, now a few splashy cymbal shots to symbolize the great weather that's predicted! And how about a drumroll as the vendors are introduced . . .

For DIYers
So you like to cook. We gotcha covered. In the east corner, Fruitwood Farms, a Jersey gem that has us hooked on its honey, strawberries, and asparagus, just to start things off. In the west corner, Shober Orchards, an old-time family farm famed for their tree fruit (not yet though), cider (absolutely!), and fruit butters. Both will be packing whatever looks good that morning. Somewhere mid-Market will be Harvest Local Foods (formerly Farm Fresh Express) with two tents filled with greens, root vegetables, pantry items, dairy foods, poultry, and meat. Also returning weekly is Natural Meadows Farm with bins and bins of organic beef, pork, and chicken, not to mention those pretty pastel eggs we all fell for last year. Rounding out the take-it-home-and-create-a-meal-with-it vendors is Flint Hills Farm, coming back to 'Downe Town every other week with its soft, mild, and sometimes exotically flavored goat cheese, mozzarella crumbles, and fresh butter. (Lupine Valley Veggies is on hiatus this year because Louise and Dan just had a little baby boy on May 21, Jacob Daniel Bierig-Krachuk. Send them your congrats if you want! We'll be introducing a replacement organic produce vendor in just a couple weeks.)

Walking-Around Food
The Regency Café will be back in its regular spot across from Fruitwood, holding down the street side of the Market and luring in passersby with those great bread, muffin, croissant, and coffee smells it does so well. Newly located on the east end beside the Regency is MiniTreats (formerly John's MiniCakes), home to those bite-sized yummies and that unbelievable mushroom soup that sold out by 10:45 at last year's final Market. The Greenwood Kitchen is back this year too, and we're lucky to be expecting the Kitchen's vegan and gluten-free gourmet items every week, not just every other like before. Look for that hand-cranked wake-you-up wheatgrass shot around the middle of the Market.

Perhaps most excitingly, two new vendors have come aboard with ready-made items all set for taking home or eating at one of the Market's brand new café tables (yeah, we finally replaced those sad, sad plastic tables; they served us well). First, just as in the storefront, the Market version of Provisions will offer a plethora of baked delights (fruit pies, sweet cream short cakes [you know, for with the strawberries], and Le Bus bread), plus sandwiches, salads, and, believe it or don't, crepes that owner Marnie Miller will make to order right there at the Market. Now that's worth getting out of bed for! Our second new food provider focuses on a favorite of nearly everyone -- cupcakes. Cupcake Dreams, a one-woman Philadelphia-based cupcake-making operation, will have five flavors to start -- classic vanilla, classic chocolate, banana, red velvet and lemon, with proprietress Julie Erlichman adding more as we go. Pinch us!

Don't Put Your Lips on It
Complementing the edible goods at the Market this week are two vendors with items not meant to be eaten. Lansdowne favorite Bonnie's Wondergardens will be back in its usual Market spot with loads of veggie plants, herbs, interesting annuals, and hassle-free roses for taking home and planting. At the other end of the Market, the first of a triumvirate of soap and lotion purveyors will debut this week -- Spotted Hill Farm, which carries natural products made from goat's milk from owner Donna Howard's herd of sheep in Berks County. And eventually she'll have wool! Spotted Hill will be at the Market about twice a month. Check with Donna or the vendor schedule online for her Lansdowne dates. Finally, the Market's special guest this week will be Animal Friends of Lansdowne, which will have AFL goods for purchase plus kitty cats to ogle, cuddle, and maybe even adopt (you know you wanna).

The Blogony and the Buckstasy
Alas, only one volunteer guest blogger has stepped up and offered to write about the Market a few times. We're delighted to have her, but she's going to need some help. You can actually do it anonymously if you're shy. It'll be fun. Again, you know you wanna. C'mon.

We love to give out Market Bucks. It makes the FM committee feel great to give shoppers some money to spend at the Market. Here's how to get one this week: Write down what you missed most about the Market during the off-season and bring it to the Market Manager tent. That's it. Easy peasy. We'll tally the results and let you know next week what ya'll were longing for over the winter (besides a big snow blower).

Next Week at the Market
In addition to the debuts of a couple more vendors (you'll have to tune in then for details), next week, June 5, is Earth Saturday at the Market, when we'll have several special guests emphasizing planet-friendly products and projects, plus the return of the Farmers Market plant exchange, which was a great time last year. We know that many of you already traded plants at the GLFL plant exchange, but we're hopeful you still have a few left to wheel and deal with next week. If you have nothing else, dig up a hosta; every house in Lansdowne has some. We'll have some pots available at the Market Manager tent this week if you need any for transplanting.

The other thing we're super -- and we mean super -- excited about for Earth Saturday is the introduction of the first-ever Lansdowne Farmers Market tee shirt. Or should we say tee shirts? Hmm, what we've got in store is a big surprise, so that's enough said for now; don't want to give too much away. Just know that when we roll them out next week you'll be agog, we promise. Bring some extra cash and, word to the wise, come early. That's all we're saying now. Really, you're not getting any more out of us on this subject. This is us zipping it about the tees. Which, by the way, are awesome.

Have you been to the Lansdowne Farmers Market website lately? Nearly every page has been souped up with lots more pictures, plus we've added and updated information all over the place. The vendor schedule will let you know in advance what alternating vendors are due each week and when regular vendors have decided to take vacation or have surgery or do whatever incredibly important thing keeps them from our Market. The special events schedule will alert you to when we've planned the three Community Days and other fun stuff to keep things lively. And the artist and musician schedule contains information and links about who's coming and who's been. Check out the site, and please drop a line if you think anything was missed.

And Then There's This . . .
So on Saturday you go to the Farmers Market and hang out there for a couple of hours, reconnecting with friends, neighbors, favorite vendors, and that happy and mellow side of yourself that comes out best when you're sipping a cup of iced coffee and listening to live music at 11:00 am in the shade of a big umbrella (we all know you wanna). Okay, that's Saturday. Sunday you should rest because Monday is another big one. If you're not running or walking in the Lansdowne Memorial Day 5k, or volunteering to help during it, you'll still want to come cheer on the participants as they cross the finish line in front of the theater and the big lighted gizmo shows their time. It's fun and inspiring and oddly moving to be at the finish line as a spectator. The run/walk sets off at 8:30 am on Monday, and the speediest runners should be back in about 20 minutes, but it takes a while for the recreationals to trickle in, so there's plenty of time for you to get there, even if you're working a corner. Oh yeah, you can also actually do this event by registering Monday morning on site in the Lansdowne Avenue parking lot if you haven't already.

Then, a little before 10:00 am, you'll amble up Lansdowne Avenue to watch the little Memorial Day parade go by. Sponsored by the Lansdowne Business Association, the parade launches from Lansdowne and LaCrosse Avenues, proceeds north on Lansdowne then east on Essex to the high school field, where veterans will be honored with a nice ceremony and a lot of flag waving and cheering. Also fun, inspiring, and moving. Try to get yourself over there. The vets deserve our appreciation.

At some point on Monday morning, you gotta eat. Here's a great option: right in the midst of all the Lansdowne Avenue hubbub, the Lansdowne Baptist Church (corner of Lansdowne and LaCrosse) will be serving an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast between 8:00 am and noon. The proceeds go to support the Aaron Royal Scholarship Fund, which benefits members or regular attendees of the Lansdowne Baptist Church or students who live within the William Penn School District. Breakfast is $6 for those 13 and older, $4 for children 5 to 12, and free for kids under 5, with a $20 per family maximum. Good breakfast, good cause, good deal!

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: We once teased Marty von Rosenstiel in this space about all the crafts she had cycled through before hitting on fused glass, since she'd done it all -- basket making, ceramics, floor cloths, you name it (all while chasing total solar eclipses around the planet). Even then she wouldn't commit to saying that she's going to stick with fused glass despite being so accomplished and creative and clever at it that she's branched out from jewelry to buttons to garden ornaments and serving pieces. Get her work while you can; if a whim strikes, she may move on to something else (kite making? terrarium building? frog jumping?), though she'll never give up that pink shirt.

Musician of the Week: Thank all that is good for Bob Beach, the Market's music programmer, who manages to wrangle terrific musical acts for FREE for 24 weeks without interruption. He's clearly flexing his musical muscles and showing off a little this Saturday as he has booked two of the Market's favorite acts for the same week. Our friend David Falcone will be doing that guitar-playing/song-singing/fuzzy hair thing that captivates even paying audiences. Then (or maybe first; we're not sure of the order) Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers will take the stage and continue (or start, again depending on artist order) to knock your socks off with their Scandinavian-influenced American folk music played on some of the craziest instruments around. (FYI, one of the reasons Bob can book such talent for no upfront pay is that the LFM shoppers have established a reputation as good tippers. Let's keep that up. Other farmers markets pine for the music we get, and that's how we like it.)

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
Thorn in the Heart, The Messenger, The Eclipse
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Our Crochet Celebration at the Lansdowne Public Library
Saturday, May 29, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm; Free
33 S. Lansdowne Avenue
More info:

Lansdowne Memorial Day 5K Run/Walk
Sponsored by the LEDC
Monday, May 31, race at 8:30 am; $10 to $15
Lansdowne Avenue parking lot

Pancake Breakfast Scholarship Fundraiser
Monday, May 31, 8:00 am to noon; $4 to $6
Lansdowne Baptist Church, Lansdowne and LaCrosse Avenues

Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 31, 10:00 am
Lansdowne and LaCrosse Avenues

Kim and Reggie Harris with special guest The Spinning Leaves at the Lansdowne Folk Club
Thursday, June 3, 7:30 pm; $15 in advance, $18 at the door
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne

Community Wine Tasting sponsored by Lansdowne Business Association
Friday, June 11, 5:30 or 8:00 pm; $39
Reservations required by June 8: 484-461-2867
Sycamore, 14 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Book Sale at the Lansdowne Public Library
Friday to Sunday, June 11 to 13, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
33 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Independence Day Parade and Fireworks sponsored by the Union Athletic Association
Saturday, July 3, starting at 9:00 am

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View the complete listing of local events.