Fresh Picks
August 26, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

News for This Saturday, August 28

Give and Take
It's worth hauling yourself out of bed on a Saturday morning just to get the free stuff available at the Market. All season, Schober Orchards offers free samples of their cider and tree fruit, almost every week we make an offer of a Market Buck if you do something that's typically pretty easy, and once in a while you can get something really good just by showing up in time to claim it. That's the case this Saturday, the second Community Day of the season, when a couple participants have nifty giveaways. RCN will be there to promote their cable, internet, and phone services and to outfit you with a free reusable shopping bag if you're one of the first 1000 people to stop by their stand. (You basically have 1000 chances to get a bag. Are you feeling lucky?) You'll have to get there a little quicker to score one of PECO's 500 compact fluorescent bulbs aimed at reducing energy consumption and making you feel good about being greener. Other CD participants have loads of free information on their businesses, products, and organizations, and a few will have things for sale, such as jewelry, pasta sauce, and discount cards to local businesses. The complete list of participants is here; go check it now out so you know who's coming and what they have to offer. It's all good!

Some days the Market giveth, and some days the Market taketh away. So to speak anyway. One of the Community Day participants is the Lansdowne Baptist Church, which is promoting their Back to School Bash, which is noon to 4:00 pm on September 4. They will be happy to take donations of new backpacks and school supplies for their "Supplies for Success" service project. If you have any material like this you can spare, bring it to the Market and hand it over to the good people of Lansdowne Baptist (no doubt they will also take cash donations) so they can then give it away. Similarly, every Community Day we collect food for the local food bank, which means if you bring a bag of nonperishable items (peanut butter, rice, pasta, sauce, etc) to the Market Manager tent, you'll get a Market Back for your generosity. Not a bad trade.

Almost Over (Yay!)
You know what will be great? When it's September 1 and the dastardly America's Favorite Farmers Market contest is over and done, a thing of the past. Then we can stop (1) obsessively checking our standings, (2) wondering how other markets are getting so many votes, (3) lowering our hopes and expectations, (4) fretting that shoppers and newsletter readers don't really love the LFM, and (5) nonetheless repeatedly nagging everyone we encounter to vote, vote, vote. So here it is: Even if you've voted before, vote again. We've personally managed to vote a total of about nine times from three different addresses, entered at different times from different computers, and this HAS to be how Dingletown, er, King George, is doing so well -- repeat voting, which we were slow to catch on to. So let's give it a shot and see if we can move into second. Take heart that this is the last newsletter where you will be harassed to vote. This knowledge is practically all that's keeping us going. No national contests ever again, promise. Though we may challenge Oakmont or Media to a water balloon fight.

Market Corrections and Stuff
We gave out a lot of misinformation here last week, apparently because we are unable to read our own vendor schedule. We said that Cupcake Dreams and Wentworth Dairy would be back September 4. Wrong! They're both back this week, August 28, which is -- obviously -- better. Cupcake Julia will have red velvet, banana, and chocolate cupcakes plus some pound cakes, and Wentworth Bonnie will have new Colby cheese in addition to her two varieties of cheddar and butter. Nothing wrong with any of that!

Returning this week is Turning Roots Farm, which seems to be having no problems turning over its beautiful and often unusual organic produce. (Did you see those pale, streaked eggplants they brought last time? Gorgeous! And also gone before we returned with the cash to buy them.) The Soap Group has two representatives coming: Spotted Hill Farms (which has our favorite bar back in stock, not that we're telling you what it is) and Welcome Baby. Justin from Natural Meadows Farm was amazed at how quickly the bar of lard soap he got from Spotted Hill dried up the poison ivy or oak rash he had on his forearms, after none of the other remedies he tried worked. Donna keeps the lard soap right by the register, and you can also use it for tough laundry stains! In addition to her own homemade spa products and remedies created from essential oils and nontoxic natural ingredients, Heather Busovsky of Welcome Baby represents a line of dietary supplements called Juice Plus+, which are powdered concentrates of fruits, vegetables, and grains that provide a broad range of nutritional benefits. She has information at her table if you're interested in some help in bridging the gap between what you're eating and what you should be eating.

John's chili finally showed up last week, to great rejoicing. Fingers crossed for another big pot this week. Last week's crepe of the day at Provisions contained smoked salmon, which will be a hard act to follow. Lobster this week, perhaps? And, of course, the Regency continues to crank out perfect pastries week after week. At the risk of never getting access to another of our favorite products again, we've become addicted to The Greenwood Kitchen's kale tahini chips, which are surprisingly sharp and flavorful for light-as-air dehydrated greens. Not eating the whole bag at once is a real challenge.

Since Natural Meadows Farm has had beef cubes for 40% off for the past few weeks, we went looking for a recipe that uses them that isn't beef stew or chili. Behold: quick and easy spicy beef burritos, which get great reviews (especially if you add cumin), and a bit-more-complicated beef and vegetable turnovers, which get good reviews from the two reviewers who seem sane and which look like they'd be fun to make with a couple friends' help. Stock up on the frozen cubes now, and plan a turnover-making party as a Sunday afternoon group activity for the fall. And for those of you whose Market eyes are bigger than your fridges, here's a recipe for stuffed summer vegetables. That's one way to get rid of all those veggies: stuff them into each other and then eat em!

What Goes Around
Photographer John Green has added a whole lotta new shots to his website, which you can view online for free or buy in high-resolution prints for a very reasonable price, of which he will donate 25% back to the Farmers Market. You go to the Market, he takes your picture, you buy your picture, he gives money back to the Market. It's all very circular, you see.

Musical Chairs
Some people have asked that we provide more chairs at the Market, since most of them tend to be filled the bulk of the day and all are always taken during the music. People, it's not an exaggeration to say that we cannot fit one more thing larger than an oven mitt into our shed, let alone more chairs. So here are a couple ideas: First, if you've been lounging at a table for a while, keep an eye out for whether someone with food or kids or a cane or the like might be looking for a place to sit for a spell, and consider offering up your spot. Possession of a Market table is certainly nine-tenths of the law, but sharing is downright neighborly. Or, bring a chair from home. Practically everyone has a folding chair that slips into a shoulder bag, and toting one of those along to the Market ensures you a seat as long as you want it.

Call for Dog Folks
Dog Day is a month away, and we expect it to be great fun. We'd like to provide information on local dog sitters, walkers, groomers, and other small, dog-related businesses to interested Market shoppers that day, so if you fall into one of those categories, by all means, bring a bunch of business cards or fliers to the Market Manager tent so we have them for Dog Day. Or bring them Dog Day (September 25) -- just so long as you bring them!

Sycamore Winners!
Hey, remember a couple of weeks ago when Sycamore was at the Market celebrating its win as Best New Suburban Restaurant (per Philadelphia Magazine) and taking names for its mailing list and promising to raffle off some gift certificates? You do? Well, we have the winners' names now: Joe Pariso, Linda Carothers, George Yarnell, Mary Radich, and Helen Marcarelli. Surely you know someone on that list, so good luck getting invited along when they use the gift certificate. Oh, and congrats to the winners!

Just Two Weeks Now
And then the Lansdowne Arts Festival will be upon us. The great thing about the LAF is that even if you don't have a surfeit of funds to put toward buying the artwork, jewelry, pottery, and other items available for sale, there's free music and demos and kids' art activities both days. But don't believe us; check out this schedule. And for a mere $5, you or your child can take an hour-long class in a variety of hands-on subjects. Class sizes are very limited though, so get registering. (Hardcopy registrations forms are available at the Market Manager tent.)

Save The Lansdowne!
If you signed up to participate in the Lansdowne Theater Outreach Campaign, remember that you need to turn in your list of names to Matt Schultz as soon as possible. If you haven't signed up but are interested in helping, here's a letter that explains it all. Basically, the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation is asking for people to identify several friends and family members from whom donations can be solicited. You pony up some names and street (not email) addresses, the HTLC will provide nice printed-out letters and envelopes, and you add a little handwritten note to your selectees for that personal touch and then mail the letters. It's pretty easy and could go a long way toward getting the theater back up and running, and who doesn't want that? (Keep an eye out for the theater's "Faces" campaign, which is set to start in a week or so. You'll know it when it's looking back at you.)

Get a Job
This is not the sort of thing you usually find in this e-newsletter, but with times being rather on the tough side, it seems important to promote the jobs fair that Congressman Joe Sestak is sponsoring next Wednesday, September 1, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at the McCall Meeting and Conference Center in Upper Darby. The event will include a service fair that connects community members in search of employment with employers, educators, and nonprofit organizations that will provide information on job training, resume building, and other resources. More details and the registration form in pdf format are here, or you can find that information and preregister online here.

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: Little did we realize the hold that tie dye has on folks until those were the first Ripe & Ready shirts to sell and people kept asking for more. If you like color and plenty of it, Kelly Johnson of Chromatude might have just what you're looking for. She not only makes your standard kaleidoscopic designs but also delivers shapes and images, like stars and guitars and hearts. How's she do that? (And if you buy one of her tie-dyed shirts now, we'll print an LFM logo on it next year -- for a small fee . . .)

Musicians of the Week: It's another twofer week at the LFM with rained-out-earlier-this-year Boy Wonder at 10:00 and flute and keyboard player Lore Constantine at 11:30. They're both very talented but other than that not very similar. Just one more way the Lansdowne Farmers Market offers you variety you can't get most places.


Upcoming Local Events

Movies at Cinema 16:9
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Minas Salon Concert at Jacobs Music
Sunday, August 29; 2:00 pm; Free
1135 N. Easton Road, Willow Grove

American Red Cross Blood Drive at the Twentieth Century Club
Tuesday, August 31, 1:00 to 7:00 pm; Free
84. S. Lansdowne Avenue; 215-451-4285 or register online

Jobs Fair sponsored by Congressman Joe Sestak
Wednesday, September 1, 1:00 to 5:00 pm; Free
McCall Meeting and Conference Center, 204 North Lynn Blvd, Upper Darby

Back to School Bash at Lansdowne Baptist Church
Saturday, September 4, 12:00 to 2:00 pm; Free
17 E. LaCrosse Avenue

Eighth Annual Lansdowne Arts Festival
Preview: Friday, September 10, 7:00 to 9:00 pm; $25
Show and sale: Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Free
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

The Burns Sisters with special guest Greg Klyma at the Lansdowne Folk Club
Thursday, September 23; 7:30 pm; $15 in advance, $18 at door
84 S. Lansdowne Avenue; 610-622-7250

Dog Day at the Lansdowne Farmers Market
Saturday, September 25, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm; Free
Lansdowne Avenue Parking lot

Park Day
Saturday, September 25, 1:00 to 4:00 pm; Free
Hoffman Park, Scottdale Road

Minas Duo Concert
Monday, October. 4, 12:30 PM; Free
Swarthmore College

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market photo
Young shoppers making smart choices.
market photo
Blushing heirloom tomatoes from Turning Root Farm.

All photos courtesy of John Kelly Green.