Fresh Picks
July 8, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, July 10

I Like Pie
In sixth grade, when it was time to learn how to diagram sentences, our teacher chose the three-worder "I like pie" as her go-to example of a basic one-clause sentence. I (subject) like (verb) pie (object). This concept seemed pretty simple to us and we got it quickly, but some kids had trouble with it, and for weeks the statement "I like pie" was writ large on the blackboard and referred to again and again with increasing ferocity and frustration by Ms Pankoff: "I. Like. Pie. Subject. Verb. Object. What do you not understand about that?!?" In retrospect, it should have been enough to make one reconsider both public education and pastries. Nonetheless, we emerged from sixth grade devoted to pie as never before and have remained so. It is therefore with great pleasure that we announce the addition of a dedicated pie maker to the Lansdowne Farmers Market. Marie and Tom Connell of MyHouse Cookies will be coming twice on a trial basis to see whether the LFM is a good fit -- this Saturday and then again on July 24. They'll be loaded down with the 6- and 10-inch pies -- blueberry lattice, peach crumb, apple crumb, apple caramel walnut, mixed berry double crust, and Key lime -- that are bringing them acclaim across the region and in the press. We have a feeling that they are going to get a very warm welcome, as warm as a pie fresh out of the oven cooling on the windowsill. Look for them beside the Market Manager tent.

Meanwhile, across the midway, Provisions will also have pies -- blueberry, cherry, and peach -- as it has since the Market season started. These go quickly though, especially the cherry (all hail the mighty cherry), so don't sleep in if you want one of Marnie's fruitful wonders. (Marnie also has been known to fake a homemade pie for customers. You bring her your pie plate, and she'll make one of her pies in your dish, which you can then produce triumphantly but of course humbly for guests, who will be none the wiser. Talk with her about it.)

Finally, so you believe that when we say "I like pie," we mean it, we will admit to baking a pie earlier this week in a house without air conditioning when it was closing in 100 degrees outside. Why? Because we had more blueberries than we could think of eating any other way and we found a recipe that begged to be made. The beauty of the Open-Faced Fresh Blueberry Pie is that, as with a cream pie, the crust is baked while empty so the oven time is minimized, and only a small portion of the blueberries are cooked, so the filling is as close to fresh fruit as you are likely to find in a pie. The outcome is a flaky crust mounded with glossy still-round blueberries that makes for a beautiful presentation and some terrific eating. I like pie. You like pie. We all like pie. Period.

Market News
After what has seemed like a lengthy hiatus, it's Spotted Hill Farm's turn in the Soap Group spot this Saturday. While she was away, proprietor Donna Howard has added even more scents to her already vast collection of soaps, including pink lotus, sea salt and goat's milk, bergamot, lemon sugar, sweet pea, and cabin in the woods. (Yeah, we're wondering about that last one too; pine maybe? woodsmoke? Guess we'll see, or smell, on Saturday.) Another recent addition is lard soap, which she says is an old-fashioned laundry bar that's great for removing stains and that can help keep poison ivy from spreading. She is also making a special offer of a free bar of soap when you buy a liquid soap and lotion together and present this coupon. Coupons at the Market -- we're big time now!

Turning Roots Farm will be back this week with TJ and Chris's nice little selection of organically produced chard, kale, lettuce, peppers, and other veggies. (Their hens are having some trouble with the heat though, so don't expect eggs this Saturday.) It's great that there are still so many nice greens at the Market, since we all know they're "good for us," it's just a matter of finding new and interesting ways to prepare them. This recipe from Culinate for Marmalade of Spring Greens has so many ingredients we love -- anchovies, capers, olives, raisins -- that it has to be delish, though we've not tried it yet. But we're gonna. If you do, let us know what you think.

John's MiniTreats won't be at the Market this week because of unforeseen issues. He also had already planned to be out July 24 and 31, so keep your fingers crossed that he makes it next week, the 17th. How will we be able to go so long without him and his addictive soup, chili, and lemonade?

Frankly (and you may already have noticed this), so many fruits and vegetables have been coming to and going from the Market each week that we have pretty much given up on trying to have even a reasonable accounting of it here. Tomatoes, corn, and peaches have all appeared with no warning, ahead of any reasonable expectation, and a few other things have departed unexpectedly early. We'd say it's an unusual season, but so was last year, just in different ways. The gist is that farming is influenced by so many variables that are beyond the control of the growers -- AND that growers are learning to control variables to their advantage (as with those high tunnels we mentioned in an earlier newsletter) -- that nothing is perfectly predictable. So please bear with us when we say there will be raspberries and there aren't. And then smile with us when they show up again without warning two weeks later.

The Farmers Market won a third prize medal for Small Float, Best Decorated, in last week's Fourth of July parade, and we owe a special thanks to our volunteer corn and carrot characters for that. Thanks, guys, for stepping up to the plate (the veggie plate, a side dish) for the LFM. Despite the Independence Day activities elsewhere 'Downe Towne, the Market itself was busy all day, and the upbeat holiday mood led to dancing and all kinds of fun in the parking lot. Some photos from the parade and the Market documenting the good time had by all are in this Facebook album, and if you're not a Facebook fan of the LFM yet, why the hey not? Like us already!

Market photographer John Kelly Green spent his 4th of July weekend in Iowa and shares these photos of the farmers market in Des Moines, which apparently is five blocks long smack in the middle of the state capital. Clearly, Iowa is a state that is happy to honor its farmers. From the photos, the market definitely has a bit of a street fair vibe. Must be the tent full of tie dye. Or the juggler. Nonetheless, that Buy Fresh, Buy Local sign kinda makes you proud doesn't it? We're part of a movement.

Get a Market Buck this week by bringing a few items of nonperishable food to the Market Manager tent to restock the community food bank. We forgot to do this on Community Day, so it's time. Pasta, sauce, peanut butter, rice, that sort of thing.

Heads Up!
The last Saturday of July, the 31st, is Kidcentric Day at the Market, which was a huge (and we mean huge) hit last year. Once again, we're planning a lot of fun stuff for the underage set, plus some informative and useful stuff for the grownups. More info to come as plans solidify.

You've got your next four Thursday evenings blocked off, right? The Lansdowne Summer Concert Series starts next week with Ronstadt Generations, a family band that spans a couple generations and that promises a memorable show. The music starts at 7:00 pm on the lawn at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church at Baltimore and Lansdowne Avenues, and the event is completely free. These shows were a big hit last year, with more and more people coming each week, so don't miss a one.

Celebration Theater needs bodies, perhaps even yours. They have issued a casting call for "Under the Sycamore" (or "The Sap Also Rises"), a silent black and white slapstick film about the founding of Lansdowne that promises to be both funny and as historically inaccurate as possible. They need men and women, children and adults, even a dog. If you are any of these things and are willing to act for free and sign a liability and copyright waiver, they probably want you. Please contact the producer, Jim Fryer, at or the director, Tommy Hogg, at so they can make you a star.

Just Do It Already

Local Food and Local Farms

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: As the name Aestheticals implies, Denise Pettit takes a playful approach to her artistic creations, which range from bottle cap jewelry to printed T-shirts and bags. She repurposes found objects and found images and elevates them to a new level of fun and funky function, and then prices her things so reasonably you can stock up and refill your gift drawer and still be able to buy a little something for yourself.

Musician of the Week: Here's what we know about Boy Wonder: when he played at the Market last year, he seemed to mesmerize the crowd with his music. He started slowly, tossing off a few covers that roped in some listeners, then adding some originals that caught more. Soon there was nowhere to sit in the café area, listeners were filling the aisles, and Boy Wonder was the wonder of the Market. Let's see if he can do it again.

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
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

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

Ronstadt Generations at the Lansdowne Summer Concert Series
Thursday, July 15, 7:00 pm; Free
St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
Baltimore and Lansdowne Aves

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

Caleb Hawley at the Lansdowne Summer Concert Series
Thursday, July 22, 7:00 pm; Free
St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
Baltimore and Lansdowne Aves

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

Mathew Tembo at Concerts at the Beach House
Sunday, July 25, 5:00 pm; $15 or 610-626-0012

Moliere's The Miser -- Outdoor Theater
Tuesday, July 27, 7:00 pm ; Free
Lawn of the Twentieth Century Club, 84. S. Lansdowne Ave

Shannon Wurst at the Lansdowne Summer Concert Series
Thursday, July 29, 7:00 pm; Free
St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
Baltimore and Lansdowne Aves

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

Anne McCue at the Lansdowne Summer Concert Series
Thursday, August 5, 7:00 pm; Free
St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
Baltimore and Lansdowne Aves

Do you have an event to announce?
Send your upcoming events to to have them included in this space!

View the complete listing of local events.

market photo
Slim Jim and Big Guy and little girl perform.