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June 10, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, June 12

Happy Days
So far, so good, right? Granted, two weeks isn't a long trial period, but everyone seems pretty pleased with how the Market is going in 2010. Nearly all the feedback we've gotten has been just terrific, from the kind little emails some of you have sent using words like "perfect" and "wonderful," to the enthusiastic chatter at the Market Manager booth, to the love we're getting from new vendors like Donna Howard of Spotted Hill Farm, who was so wowed and touched by how nice you all were to her at the first Market that she sent us what amounted to a thank-you-for-having-me note. (She'll be back this week so you can wow her some more.)

Probably the biggest boost the Market got this week came from our guest blogger -- the ONE person who stepped up and volunteered when we asked for some blog help (really, people) -- Ashley Lynn Fry, a newbie to both Lansdowne and the Farmers Market who brought her mother, her camera, and her clearly sunny outlook to the parking lot last week and then wrote up her impressions in the LFM blog. Go feel the love, people, and please leave her a nice comment for her efforts. Thank you again, Ashley; you are welcome to blog for the FM any time. Now, who's next?

Game On!
In fact, the vibe has been so good that we've decided to enter a popularity contest, the American Farmland Trust's (AFT) America's Favorite Farmers Markets™ contest. We intentionally opted out of this contest last year because we didn't want to nag you all summer to go vote for the LFM and frankly we weren't confident that we stood a chance of winning and who needs the disappointment? But we've learned that one of the winners last year triumphed with less than 800 votes and since more people than that open this newsletter every week, heck, why not give it a try. The Lansdowne Farmers Market is entered in the "boutique" category (don't you love that?), since it's quite small as FMs go. You do have to register to vote, but unless you check a box indicating that you want to receive emails from the AFT, you'll get nothing beyond a confirmation email that you voted, and they don't sell or share their email lists (just like the LEDC, by the way). So, without further adieu, here is the link for voting. The contest runs until August 31, and we won't know how we're doing compared with other markets until August 1 (though this nifty Google map provides titillating local vote counts), but we'll keep you posted on the how we think we're doing, for what that's worth. Each person can vote only once, but you can ask friends and family to take a sec and throw in for the LFM by sharing that link, which will also be posted on Facebook and the LFM website. And if you want to read more about the contest itself and what we stand to win (beyond bragging rights), that's right here.

Hurray! A brand new vendor is starting this week! Husband and wife team TJ Costa and Chris Henwood of Turning Roots Farm will be bringing organically and naturally grown produce from their historic farm in Downingtown. They'll start with early season greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, and arugula, plus veggie seedlings, fresh eggs from their flock of hens, and possibly radishes. They've signed on to appear in Lansdowne the second Saturday of each month, but if they're happy here and their fields produce enough to stock their farm stand and our Market, we might be able to talk them into making a few extra trips to town. (If you take a peek at the gallery at their website you might wonder why they'd ever leave the farm. Even their dandelions are gorgeous!) Look for them on the western end of the Market, where Bone Appetite Barkery was last week (Mary Lou returns next week). Please give them a warm welcome.

Unfortunately, Flint Hill Farm was not able to get it together to keep their commitment to our Market, so no butter and goat cheese from them this week or probably this season. We're sorry for the change in plans, but Harvest Local Foods has been bringing a goodly cheese selection, plus Nerf football-sized rolls of truly scrumptious butter, we've given Natural Meadows Farm the go-ahead to bring cheese and Provisions is also going to stock precut and wrapped brie wedges to enable us to eat baguettes with brie al fresco at the café tables and feel oh-so-European while doing so. (Berets not required.) The only thing we'll miss is Rebecca herself.

Speaking of Natural Meadows, when that vendor joined us midseason last year, we all quickly became accustomed to Mark Skinner's gently sardonic presence. He's got other fish to fry this summer, however, so that booth is now being manned exclusively by his employee Justin Erkess, a resident of Germantown, who is getting to the Market earlier than Mark was ever able to, so we are satisfied with the trade. (Just kidding, Mark!)

Several vendors now have recipes available at their Market stands, and we've been making a point of trying them. The curried chicken burgers we made from a recipe that Natural Meadows was distributing week 1 (substituting grated fresh garlic for garlic powder and using a grill pan) were a sophisticated change from hamburgers. Likewise the recipe for eggs with bok choy that Shobers had available. It was simple to make, and a slab of those eggs on a toasted bagel was a fine breakfast or lunch. Fruitwood Farms' strawberry muffin recipe produced a moist and sweet muffin that was close to a cupcake, not that there's anything wrong with that. Make things easier on yourself by taking advantage of these free recipes that the vendors are offering and getting the ingredients right there in the Market.

John of the MiniTreats booth has every intention, time permitting, of having fresh lemonade available at his stand starting this week. If he doesn't quite make it, don't worry: the special flavor at Cupcake Dreams this Saturday will be lemon cream cupcakes, so one way or another, scurvy will be avoidable.

This week, Bonnie's Wondergardens will be bring deck pots of New Guinea impatiens and geraniums, plus a bunch of new rustic twig wreaths made by hand in New Jersey from blueberry branches and grapevines. You can dress them up with your own dried or silk flowers, ribbons, fungus birds, tiny gnomes, whatever, or just leave them plain, which is awful nice too.

There have been delicious snap peas and snow peas at the Market already, but this week Turning Roots is bringing shelling peas! Oh please get some, shell them (which, for maximum I'm-doing-something-sweet-and-old-fashioned-here effect, must be done with a pot or colander in one's lap to hold the the pods and a small, handed-down, cracked ceramic bowl at hand for the peas themselves; this is optimally undertaken in a rocking chair on a shady porch with an old dog sleeping nearby), and then make a singing-of-spring pasta dish like this or this. The delightful food blog Orangette recently had a paean to fresh peas and some advice on cooking them if they're not straight off the plant (though Turning Roots' offerings should be very fresh). One thing you'll notice about those recipes is that even if they don't already feature prosciutto, the commenting readers have added it anyway. Once you've tried the combo, you'll see why -- crunchy salty with tender sweet. Mmmmm. It's the peanut butter cup of savory food.

And speaking of pea brains, this newsletter was highly remiss last week in failing to introduce the second member of our rotating Soap Group -- To You, From Me Soaps, the aromatic business of Maria Antanacio, who makes soaps, lotions, and other potions from all-natural and divine-smelling ingredients out of her home in Yeadon. Maria will be at the Market roughly every other week, so look for her next on June 19. Sorry, Maria!

The introduction of the LFM recycled T-shirts last week was a resounding success, with more than 50 shirts sold. And you smart folks who bought them are in for an almost instant rebate, since we are offering a Market Buck this week to anyone who wears one of the shirts to the Market, so long as you let us take your picture for an upcoming Facebook album. (Cheese!) The shirts will be for sale again this week and probably for a few more weeks, but get yours while there are still great ones available in the "first printing" colors (no one bought the "No Grits, No Glory" shirt from that southern diner yet -- how is that possible?).

We got some questions about shirt donations and about printing the logo on your own shirts, and both things are in the offing. Here's the deal: a second printing (new colors) will happen in mid-July because we want to have a bunch of children's shirts available for Kidcentric Day on July 31. If you have cool shirts to donate (clean, in decent shape, and of desirable design), we'd be glad to have them and will give you a credit for a free shirt of any size with a donation of at least a half dozen usable items. Kids T's, onesies, and women's shirts are especially needed. Now, if you want the LFM committee to print the Ripe & Ready logo on one of your own shirts that you then get back, we'll do that too, but it'll cost ya $5. Pin your name and phone number to the tag, and when it's done (around mid-July), we'll have it available at the Market so you can pick it up and pay for it then. We're going to collect both shirt donations and these special order shirts at the Market Manager booth until the end of June, so start bringing them in.

Earth Saturday, Community Day, 5K -- I'll Say!
Thanks again to all the organizations, businesses, borough reps, and volunteers who helped out at the Market for Earth Saturday. You were doing a favor to both the Market and the planet, and we feel safe in saying that both appreciate it. The perennial exchange was big fun again, with 30 or so folks participating and a couple hundred plants shuffling from yard to yard. Thanks to both the exchangers and to Bonnie for being so supportive. If you spoke with someone at Earth Saturday but failed to get enough info to follow-up, you can find old newsletters here, and the info (or links to it) may be there. (Speaking of this newsletter, hello to our new subscriber in Kirkland, Washington! We are surprised, delighted, and a little baffled that you signed up, but we're glad to have you, as we are glad to have all you more closely situated readers.)

Photographer John Kelly Green finally came back from his roving, picked up his camera, and recorded the Earth Saturday events in these photos. He'll continue to add to that gallery virtually weekly, so you might want to bookmark that page. Another take on the day can be seen in these images at Facebook.

One more thank-you goes out to Betsy Riffert, Assistant to the Borough Manager, who was our special guest crossing guard. In addition to all the stuff she handles at Borough Hall, she managed a 100% safe crossing rate, which is how we like it.

A lot of Community Day applications were handed out last week, but plenty of spots are still up for grabs. The pdf is available here and it's a good idea to just go ahead and print that one out since we tend to run short at the Market. Community Day is the last Saturday this month, the 26th, and apps are due by the 19th, though spots may fill up by then.

Local photographer Gary Stewart was on hand to take some great photos of the Memorial Day 5K Run/Walk a couple of weeks ago, and he has made them available for viewing here. By the magic of photography, Gary makes it look like it was a perfect spring day, shady, with dappled sunlight, instead of the heat-and-humidity fest the runners might remember. Nice work, Gary!

Primp Your Ride
No matter how old or banged up your vehicle is, it deserves a good scrubbing from time to time, and if that's applied by future doctors, lawyers, and artists, all the better. This Saturday, June 12, go to the Penn Wood High School Car Wash in the 100 block of Green Avenue (ie, at the high school), between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm to get a good shine on those wheels, with proceeds benefiting the PWHS Home and School Scholarship Fund. Regular cars are $6 and vans and SUVs are $7.

Doggie Day Spa
This Saturday, June 12 (rain date Sunday the 13th), treat yourself and your pooch to some much-deserved luxuriating at the Animal Friends of Lansdowne Doggie Day Spa being held between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm at 225 Wayne Avenue (that's east of Lansdowne Avenue between Essex and Plumstead). Bathing and grooming for canines and massage and refreshments for humans are all part of the menu. Proceeds benefit AFL and all the good they do for animals lost, found, injured, homeless, or born unwanted.

Major Minas
Local musical duo Patricia King and Orlando Haddad, better known as Minas, have an exciting summer coming up. In addition to their free performance at the LFM on June 26 (surely a highlight!), they will be featured in the Emmy Award-winning PBS show On Canvas set to air Wednesday, June 30, at 8:00 pm, with a repeat July 4 at 2:00 pm. Recorded at World Cafe Live, the program features them performing some of their favorite songs both as a duo and with their band, plus interviews with the comely couple. They also have a recurring gig at the family-friendly BYOB Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouse Picanha Grill in the Northeast section of Philly that is by all accounts not to be missed (see right column for upcoming dates), plus several nearby outdoor concerts coming up. Dancing shoes ready?

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've had a lot of jewelry in the Artist of the Week tent over the years, and Cathy Pregmon's pieces made from organic materials such as amber, bone, horn, and wood were some of last season's favorites. Her necklaces and earrings tend to be large but not heavy, so they wear with both presence and comfort. She is particularly proud to work with lots of Kazuri beads, small clay gems that are a fair trade item, providing living wages to women's coops in Kenya.

Musician of the Week: Adelante returns to the LFM this week with their blend of music that is so hard to encapsulate that we've given up. People -- the band's website.

Blog: Guest blogger Ashley Lynn Fry's billet-doux to the Lansdowne Farmers Market. With photos!

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 Eclipse
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Community Wine Tasting sponsored by Lansdowne Business Association
Friday, June 11, 5:30 or 8:00 pm; $39
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

Minas at Picanha Grill
Friday, June 11, 7:00 pm
6501 Caster Avenue, Philadelphia

Jeff and Vida at Concerts at the Beach House
Sunday, June 13, 5:00 pm; $15 per person
BYOB; bring a snack or food to share
Contact or 610-626-0012

Bob Beach and Friends at World Café Live
Tuesday, June 15, 8:30 pm; Free
3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Minas at Picanha Grill
Friday, June 25, 7:00 pm
6501 Caster Avenue, Philadelphia

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

Minas at Psalm Salon
Saturday, July 3, 7:30 pm; $16
5841 Overbrook Avenue, Philadelphia

Minas at Picanha Grill
Friday, July 16, 7:00 pm
6501 Caster Avenue, Philadelphia

Minas Brazilian Carnival Night at Bryn Mawr Twilight Series
Saturday, July 24, 6:30 pm; $10 per person donation
9 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr

Minas at Rose Tree Park
Saturday, July 31, 7:30 pm; Free
Routes 1 and 252, Media

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View the complete listing of local events.

Marnie Miller of Provisions Market makes crepes to order for $5, including a new one with goat cheese and blackberry syrup this week.

Flipping over the perennial exchange!