Fresh Picks
July 29, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, July 31

Down Home Music in 'Downe Town
There's another freebie Lansdowne Summer Concert Series show tonight on the lawn of St John's Episcopal Church at 7:00 pm, and it's the next to last one. Dare you miss it? Shannon Wurst may be standing in front of a rusty old pickup on her website homepage photo, but she's wearing large, cool wooden earrings, which is meant to tell you she may be from Arkansas, but she's been places. Or maybe just that she knows her way around a drill and a sander, or shops the internet. But probably not. We're thinking she's pretty wordly for a country girl, and her bio promotes that notion. She's won or nearly won a slew of awards for performance and songwriting, and now that she's found her way to Lansdowne (maybe to look for more cool jewelry at Paddington Station, just up Lansdowne Avenue), it's our chance to enjoy her. The weather report is dicey, so in case of rain head to the Regency Café in the Lansdowne Theater for the show (and a nosh). But even if it stays outside, you can buy some treats onsite. Susan Evans will have baked goods and drinks available on the lawn to raise money on behalf of Friends of St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church. And if it is outside, get serious about wearing something to deter mosquitoes -- it's high summer in the Northeast, folks, so be prepared.

Just Kidding
While the Market is always very kid-friendly, official Kidcentric Day comes to the LFM but once a year, and that may be a good thing, because everyone is just pooped afterward, from the vendors to the kiddies, multiplied by three for the volunteers, many of whom are childless and thus unprepared for this event in all the important ways (eyes in the backs of their heads, unbounded enthusiasm, stamina of triathletes). But everyone loved it in 2009, so we're doing it again, and we've managed to pack in even more activities this year that'll excite and entertain the little ones. And most of it is completely free.

For starters, we have a bunch of new games, fun free games, where you toss stuff and fish for stuff and hula stuff (okay, that stuff is hoops), and everyone is going to win something for sure, or at least the first few hundred players, until we run out of prizes. There will be a brand new photo whatchamacallit (pretty sure that's the official name) -- one of those big wooden painted things with scenes on them that you stick your face into and someone takes your photo and then you laugh because it looks like you're wearing silly bathing suits and a big hat. Only this one is for our Farmers Market, so it doesn't feature bathing suits. It was designed and painted by Lansdowne's Marcus DiSciullo (pictured at lower right), and it's farm themed; wait till you see it. In another art-related event, caricaturist Schay Glover of Pencil2Ink will be on hand to create 8.5x11 exaggerated portraits of your or your little ones for only $5 each. (These make great presents for grandparents and are fun for scrapbooks.)

A mini-zoo is in the plans too, with Ann Ward bringing her Winged Wonders Monarch butterfly tent for only its second public appearance. She just did this interactive exhibit, in which children can join the butterflies in an enclosure and learn how to handle them safely, at the Upper Merion FM, and it was a huge success. The kids loved it there and they'll love it here, we're sure of it. Also coming are several exotic birds from Jojo The Grey Parrot Rescue and the Bird Club of Delco. Children and grownups will have the opportunity to touch, feed, and hold these beautiful and amusing creatures, which have big personalities to go with their big wings, beaks, and feet.

Our last creatures will be three mini Nubian goats from Spotted Hill Farm, Tinkerbelle and her unnamed babies, or kids. Look over in the right column to see how cute they are! And you're going to get a chance to name them in our Who's That Kid? Contest. The best name for each baby wins 10 Market Bucks and a $10 gift certificate to Spotted Hill's stand. Take a look at the pictures and start thinking of a good boy name and a good girl name, then go to the goat tent on Saturday and offer up your ideas. We'll announce the winners (picked by owner Donna Howard, who proposed this contest) right here next Thursday, and you can claim your prizes next Saturday. (Side note for classic car enthusiasts: Donna's husband Larry will be driving his 1959 Chevy Apache pickup truck to the Market. Come ogle.)

Marty and Helene von Rosenstiel have come up with some nifty recycled crafts for kids of all ages using magazines, bottle caps, buttons, and other thingamajigs. Spend 10 minutes on a craft or spend an hour -- it'll be as simple or as complicated as you want, and everybody will have a great time making something for free. Also, local favorite Mommy and Me Face Painting is coming back (and free!), and kids are always happy to stand quietly in line if it means they'll have a "tattoo" of a dolphin or a face that looks like a cat when they get their turn with talented young Kassie Simpson.

Between 11:15 and 11:45, we'll be registering little ones for the Kid Parade, which starts at noon. Kids can wear costumes or come as they are -- whatever pleases them. You fill out this form and turn it in at the Market Manager booth, and we announce the child's name and maybe ask them a question if they're old enough to answer, and then send them down the runway, where they can wave to the crowd and have their photo taken by our photographer John Kelly Green, who will make low-resolution images downloadable for free and high-res prints available for sale at this website. John is going to donate 25% of all his LFM photo-taking proceeds right back to the LFM, so know that when you buy one of his amazing photos -- or a book full of them! -- a generous chunk of it goes right back to the market. (Ditto for the other photos he takes at the Market this week and going forward. The photos John has taken so far this year can all still be seen here, however, including new ones from last week.)

Also on the regular Market side, expectant and "already" parents should be sure to stop and talk with the nutrition educators from the Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Crozer-Keystone Community Health Education program, who will have More Matters info, recipes, giveaways, and things to taste test, all as part of a WIC outreach program. They'll be between Provisions and Schobers. Right across from them will be Heather Busovsky of Welcome Baby Labor Support & Birth Services, with her potions and lotions to make you feel, well, just better. We can personally attest that her cloth-covered rice bags, warmed up in a microwave, are just the thing for aches and pains, since they drape and conform to your sore spots. We got one last time she was at the Market then sought her out at home to get a second one -- they're that terrific and, at $5 each, a terrific bargain.

(We feel a little guilty talking about this right after the paragraph promoting food nutrition, but it must be said.) Kidcentric Day food-wise, Cinema 16:9 will be selling freshly popped popcorn in MiniTreats' space on the regular Market side and promoting some special offers for the theater. Although John Wilson won't have his stand at the Market this Saturday, his refreshing fresh-squeezed lemonade will be available at Cupcake Dreams just this once, where Rice Krispie Treats will also be making a debut, and the frosting on the cupcakes might be a bit more colorful than usual (since technicolor buttercream is so much tastier than white to young palates). Provisions will be serving up hotdogs aplenty, and some other vendors may have special kid-friendly items too. Keep an eye out.

So, sound like fun, or what? And there just might be more (a visit from a police car, for example). Parents, the special event side of the parking lot will still be open for cars to pass through, though we will have barricades up and someone directing traffic, but please be extra careful to keep your children close. Shoppers, the lot was full full full all day last year, so chances are that you won't score a space in the Lansdowne Avenue lot, even the side off Owen. We suggest you park in the lot on Highland and walk through Doyle's parking lot to get to the Market, or park on the street. Remember to feed the meter in either of those cases. Thanks for your patience and cooperation with the parking situation.

The second printing of LFM Ripe & Ready T-shirts will go on sale this Saturday. We listened to what you requested and have loads more large and even larger shirts, ladies shirts, and kids shirts -- some of pretty much everything, from an Incredible Hulk kid shirt, to a splashy Ed Hardy number, to a tie-dyed "All This and Sober Too" XXL, plus loads of shirts that will have people thinking you attended Haverford, played field hockey at Friends, are a tree hugger, love the Phillies, or have traveled far and wide, all emblazoned with our logo in a new selection of colors, which we conditioned with special stuff so it's less likely to fade with washing, but we still recommend turning them inside out before you throw them in the machine. Plus, thanks to Dan and Louise of Lupine Valley Veggies (and their son Jacob, of course), we have a few tiny onesies that are so cute you'll squee when you see them, and they're only 3 bucks. The rest of the shirts are $5 for kids and $7 to $10 for larger ones. A steal. And let's not forget the doggie bandanas! Finally, kids who wear a Ripe & Ready shirt to the Market this week get a Market Buck, even if they buy it there and put it on -- instant rebate!

Downer Contest Update
We are getting our straw hats handed to us and our fresh produce stomped by the same two boutique markets that were beating us last week. Your newsletter writer is for slinking away and pretending we never entered this dumb competition, but out of respect and appreciation for those of you who have voted, we'll carry on, even though the 100-vote lead the #2 market has over us is the good news. The 200+-vote lead the #1 market has is the real kick in our Jersey tomatoes. And we couldn't even bear to look and see if anyone had snuck into third place over us. Just know we're not winning. Ohhh, not even close. It doesn't look good, frankly. Nonetheless, if some of you will vote who haven't and if some of you who have voted would vote again, using other email address (don't we all have at least a half dozen now), maybe we can close this gap a bit before we go all techno on their buds at the Market in August (we're sure they have flower vendors, and they carry "buds," so no one get offended, please). Here're the links for voting and to see the standings by state, and remember that we are competing nationwide against other markets with only one "tent." If The LFM has fallen below third, please don't even tell us.

A Little Market News
Just in case you were wondering, there will indeed still be a regular Farmers Market this week, along with all the Kidcentric Day stuff. Bone Appetite Barkery is back for real on Saturday (sorry about misleading you about that last week). Provisions, whose storefront has been closed all week due to a loss in the family, will be back in business at the Market. Cupcake Dreams is back, along with both Welcome Baby and Spotted Hill Farm from the Soap Group. Everyone else too, except John's MiniTreats, and we warned you about that. Plus great stuff is coming like donut peaches, apples, and veggies galore. Bring lots of bags.

Smart shoppers grab a watermelon early and don't go trying to scare one up in the final hour of the Market. Wanna know how Mayor Jayne Young likes her watermelon? She cuts it into chunks, puts it into a big ziplock bag and then squeezes in the juice of one lemon and one lime, adds a handful of mint leaves, and lets it "marinate" a bit in the fridge. She says it's tart and refreshing, and it sounds like a great base for a blender drink as well!

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: In addition to being the daughter of Patricia King and Orlando Haddad of Minas fame and acclaim (playing free Saturday night at Rose Tree Park in Media!), Nicole Haddad is a clothing designer and part of Lobo Mau, a Philadelphia-based clothing design company that does cool and affordable things with fabric, scissors, and computers (think graphics). Add a piece or two to your wardrobe and know that they've been made locally from materials that were sourced globally.

Musicians of the Week: We're unfamiliar with Tom Ryan, but he looks to have been selected for Kidcentric Day for his facility with children's music, so that ought to be fun. Then there's Ridley Creek, a band that inexplicably is from Phoenixville. Looking forward to hearing both their music and how they picked their name.

Blog: Finally, we have a new FM blog entry, this time from professional writer and occasional blogger Maura C. Ciccarelli, and it's another winner, with loads of information about a favorite family of vegetables, a little information about her own favorite family, and a recipe for an eggplant dish that looks easy and delicious. (Eggplants are a buck at the Market lately, so why not try it?) Thanks, Maura! So who's next?


Upcoming Local Events

Movies at Cinema 16:9
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

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

National Night Out sponsored by Lansdowne Neighborhood Watch
Tuesday, August 3, 7:00 to 10:00 pm; Free
Throughout Lansdowne

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
This is the male mini Nubian kid. He's a "wether" now, meaning he'll never be a daddy.

market photo
This is the female kid, or "doeling." She's darling.

market photo
Marcus DiSciullo and Sara Simboli admiring John Kelly Green's photos last week.