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June 17, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, June 19

Happy Days Continue
Last Saturday was the first "normal" week at the Lansdowne Farmers Market -- meaning it wasn't opening day and there was no special event -- and it had a nice, steady, relaxed beat, which was no doubt enhanced by that indescribable-but-heavy-on-percussion music of Adelante. The new organic produce vendors, Chris Henwood and TJ Costa of Turning Roots Farm, were delighted with their first experience here, and soapmaker Donna Howard of Spotted Hill Farm continues to shower our Market with accolades. Both vendors expressed that though they've taken part in other farmers markets, there's something special about Lansdowne, a good vibe coming from the customers and other vendors that they don't feel everywhere. This is a compliment to you, shoppers, as well as to our hardworking vendors. And those of us behind the scenes will take it as a pat on the head as well. We're all doing something right. Let's keep it up.

Bring Em Back
Oil leak in the Gulf. Anyone need any further background or links for that? We thought not. We're bringing it up here because someone has suggested that a small thing that we can do right here in 'Downe Town to reduce petroleum needs is to reuse plastic bags at the Market. Shoppers have been great about bringing reusable shopping bags to the Market, but who wants to dump tender red raspberries, unyielding new potatoes, and a basil plant all in there together? Nobody. Truth is, even when you have a reusable bag, the vendors typically put your purchases into a new plastic bag that you then put into your nice shopping bag. This is a request to bring back the plastic bags once you're done with them at home and let the sellers use them again to separate your snap peas from your bok choy, your zucchini from your cherries. Of course, you can also bring plastic bags from grocery stores, the Dollar Store, etc. We're not picky; we just want to cut down on the use of new plastic bags at the Market. Oh, and also save the planet.

Thinking of Dad
Sunday is Father's Day, which has us thinking of dads, both specifically (we had a couple) and generally. When we think dads, we think grilled steaks and burgers. Natural Meadows Farms has a cooler the size of a Mini Cooper full of certified organic grassfed beef. When we think dads, we think classic diner-style breakfasts with lots of bacon. Harvest Local Foods has the best bacon we've ever eaten; you cannot go wrong with this stuff. When we think dads, we think groggy and stubbly morning faces and big mugs of black coffee. The Regency booth has bags of freshly roasted coffee by the pound. When we think dads, we think of them sneaking into the kitchen for a late-night sweet. Provisions has blueberry and cherry pies, and Cupcake Dreams has, of course, cupcakes (special flavor this week: banana with cream cheese frosting); they are accessorizable this Saturday with special padre-appropriate flags. And when we think dads, we think we want them to live forever, so maybe something to counteract the health impacts of these suggestions would be a good idea, like perhaps a wheatgrass shot from Greenwood Kitchen. They'll juice the wheatgrass for you right there and package it so you can take it home and figure out how to get it into Dad. We did all this thinking. For that, you're on your own.

After three weeks of strawberries, they're now over. (B'bye, strawbs! We love you and will be waiting eagerly for you next year!) Sad as that is, last week such a plethora of late spring fruits arrived at the Market that we barely knew where to turn, and folks all over the parking lot had stained fingers because who can wait until you get home when you're dealing with red and black raspberries, blueberries, sweet cherries, and sour cherries? (On second thought, it's probably better to wait on those aptly named sour cherries and make a pie or some jam or something, but everything else gobble right down.) Look for more of the same this week.

Incredibly, Fruitwood Farms had tomatoes last week too. Tomatoes, people, in the second week of June, in Pennsylvania (actually grown in New Jersey, but close enough). Mike says they're Primo Reds and they're available so early because they grow them in high tunnels, these sort of fabric greenhouses designed so the grower can raise the sides during the day and lower them at night to adjust the temperature and hurry things along. They've been doing something similar in the cornfield so there's a possibility -- a possibility, folks, not a promise -- that Fruitwood will have sweet corn this week. Yeah, we know. Wouldn't Dad enjoy a few ears of corn along with his steak, bacon, coffee, pie, cupcake, and wheatgrass shot?

The past couple of seasons, Schober Orchards has brought shrubs the first few weeks to fill out their truck as they wait for their veggies and tree fruits to really come in. They decided not to do that this year and instead to just take special orders as people want them (which we really should have told you from the beginning; sorry about that). If there's a shrub you want that they used to carry, just tell Darlene (she can help you with probing questions about shape and color if you don't know the name), and she'll bring it for you the next week. If there's a shrub you want and you don't know whether they carried it, ask anyway. It's always a possibility.

Bonnie is getting wet this week, with a giant selection of pond plants, so this is the time to replace or expand your aqua flora. She will also have arrangements for the Father's Day dinner (or picnic) table that cost less than $20, plus her ever-popular $5 bouquets.

This time of year it's a good idea to stop by To You, From Me, this week's Soap Group entry, to pick up some of Maria's all-natural bug repellant. It smells so much better than products like Off! and even other supposedly pleasant-smelling bug-be-gones that it's definitely worth a try, especially if you're going to be installing pond plants or planting shrubs any time soon. It could happen.

So, John of MiniTreats had his fresh, homemade, hand-squeezed, labored-over, super-delicious lemonade last week after all, and hardly anyone bought it. What's up with that? Friends, we're talking about fresh, homemade, etc, etc, lemonade on a hot day -- with ice -- for two bucks. Try some this week, k? Make a donation to Alex's Lemonade, by all means, but drink John's.

Bone Appetite Barkery is back this week, and we emailed your dogs to let them know, so don't think you can get away with coming home empty-handed. They have expectations.

This Saturday is the deadline for applications for Community Day on June 26. There are only a few spaces left, so if you've been dawdling, knock it off already and get the app in. Please.

Shirts and Votes
Last Saturday we sold some more Ripe & Ready shirts and we took in some shirt donations. This Saturday, we'll be selling some more Ripe & Ready shirts and taking in shirt donations. See a pattern here? "No Grits, No Glory" now has a good home. But SpongeBob and the green vegetable guy (the one shirt that truly looks both ripe and ready) are still looking for kids to adorn. If you didn't get one last week (and we have photographic proof), score a Market Buck this week for wearing your Ripe & Ready shirt to the Market (last week for this, so take us up on it!).

Update on the America's Favorite Farmers Market contest: We have no idea how the LFM is doing versus other boutique markets, but we have an even 50 votes as of this writing. We'd say that 50 votes in one week is pretty good except that nearly 1100 of you opened last week's newsletter containing the introduction to the contest and the link for voting. That translates to 4.5% of the readers of LFM's newsletter actually being willing to declare that the LFM is their favorite farmers market. Paaa-thetic, as our little sister used to say. Maybe the problem was that the link was too small and subtle. We'll buy that -- for one week. Try this one on for size:

Local Food and Local Farms
Beyond the Lot
Tomorrow evening, June 18, offers a pretty spectacular opportunity to see a pretty spectacular group (The Philadelphia Orchestra) perform some pretty spectacular pieces (The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Bolero, among others) in a locale that is spectacularly close (the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center). And it's free. It's all part of the Orchestra's 2010 Neighborhood Concert Series, and we'd have to agree that this is indeed a neighborhood concert. Plus, it's free. Seating is indoors and general admission, first come, first served. Doors will open at 6:45 pm and the show is at 7:30. It's probably a good idea to show up early, given that this concert is, you know, free. One last thing, the new music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin (say that ten times fast, or even once slowly), was just appointed on Tuesday, and the website says that his contract "began immediately," so, though he's not conducting, a person might want to see the first concert performed under this young man's musical direction (he's only 35). Especially for free.

The Parks and Recreation Board has several new summer programs that are just kicking in or about to start that you should consider. In particular, Patricia King and Orlando Haddad of Minas will be offering three different music classes for teens -- Music of the Beatles, Brazilian Samba Drumming, and Song and Lyric Writing -- all of which culminate in a live performance on July 25. It's kind of like Philadelphia's School of Rock, minus the city, plus bossa nova, divided by "Eight Days a Week." So there's a little math involved.

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: Deanna Haldeman can really throw a pot. No, not across the room or into the trash. She can raise a bowl or a cup from a lump of wet clay spinning on a potter's wheel, which, when she does it, looks easy and like a lot of fun. Trust us though, it's a messy, torturous ordeal that's one of the lesser-known trials of Hercules (turning mud into serving pieces on a rotating dais; look it up). Anyway, Deanna is so good at it that she's a member of the Wallingford Community Potters Guild, and her lightweight pieces fly out of her booth, almost literally. Come early for best selection because it's all one of a kind.

Musician of the Week: It's another two-fer week at the Market with members of the band Caterpillar playing from 10:00 to 11:15 and then Andra Taylor from 11:30 to 12:45. This double-teaming is going to be great, but the day is supposed to be stinking hot, and our big umbrellas cover only so much of the available seating. You may want to consider bringing a personal umbrella to shade yourself if you plan to hang out for most of the music. Schlepping a folding chair isn't a bad idea either. Just thinking of your comfort.

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 Secret of Kells
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

The Philadelphia Orchestra
at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center
Friday, June 18, 7:30 pm; Free
Upper Darby High School, Lansdowne Avenue

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 Castor 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

Mooch's Basement at Rose Tree Park
Wednesday, July 14, 7:30 pm; Free
Routes 1 and 252, Media

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.

market photo
The Interlandi family proudly displays their trifecta of Ripe & Ready shirts.

market photo #2
A colorfully dressed shopper makes her way through the Market, future Market shopper on her hip.