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October 14, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

News for This Saturday, October 16

Getting Squirrelly
We're closing in on the end, folks. Only three more Markets this month and then one bonus Market right before Thanksgiving, so time's ticking away. Fortunately, a lot of the produce that's available this time of year has a bit of a shelf life -- winter squash, cabbage, apples, and so forth keep well in a nice cool spot, so don't be afraid to stock up. Likewise, the honey, fruit butters, jarred soups, and other processed foods. These will come in handy when the days get short and cold, plus make nice little hostess gifts and stocking stuffers for foodie friends. So all this is to say that when you come to the Market for the next few weeks, bring all your reusable totes (heck, one head of cauliflower will require a tote of its own!), and think about not only the upcoming week but the months (and months) until late May 2011 when the Market starts again.

Soup Alert
If you purchased a jar of Autumn Harvest Chicken Soup from Natural Meadows Farm last week, please check it to make sure that it is well sealed such that you need to pry the flat lid up, not just lift it. Apparently some jars became unsealed during transport, and Mark Skinner wants to make certain no one eats iffy soup. If your jar has a loose lid or even if you're not sure, bring it back to the Natural Meadows stand for a refund or replacement jar. We apologize for the inconvenience and remind you never to eat canned (jarred) food that is not tightly sealed when purchased or brought up from the cellar, however the case may be.

Market News
If Bowser has been looking sad for a few days, it's possibly because you've run out of the fancy treats you get him from Mary Lou of Bone Appetite Barkery (who attends many of Penn State Nittany Lions football home games, which fritzes up her Market appearances). She'll be back this week though, so you can restock the canine cookie jar with pupcakes and bonebones (get it? And does anyone name dogs Bowser anymore? They should if they don't!). Moving eastward from Bone Appetite will be To You, From Me representing the soup group, and then, skipping Natural Meadows' stand, you'll find MyHouse Cookies next in line, where you cannot buy a single cookie but all your pie needs, and a few quiche urges, can be met.

Harvest Local Food is now taking orders for organic, free-range, fresh (not frozen) Thanksgiving turkeys. There is only so much of this highly sought-after poultry available. Just in case you were planning to get one from Natural Meadows, we're sorry to inform you that Mark's turkeys had an even worse summer than we did and caught a virus that made them ineligible to be eaten (might sound like they were lucky in that regard, but, alas, they still had to be exterminated). Thus our reminder to be sure to get your big bird order in with Harvest Local, the only turkey purveyor at the Market this year.

We probably have not made nearly enough of a big deal that next week is Fall Festival and Community Day and that you must, simply must, enter the Sweet Endings Dessert Contest! You need to enter for several reasons: (1) because part of the entry fees and money raised from the silent auction of the desserts goes to the local food bank; (2) because getting some competitive juices flowing is good for a body; and (3) because Mikia Moore must be stopped! She's won twice already and though she is a lovely, lovely woman (even donated her winnings back to the food bank last year), she is going to get a swelled head -- plus be permanently retired from competition in Sweet Endings -- if she wins again, so it's really doing her a favor to at least bump her down to second this year. Consider it a neighborly kindness. So, with this and your favorite supersecret killer recipe in mind, be sure to get at least two ingredients from the Market to include in your entry! It's required!

Don't forget that we're collecting nonperishable food donations for the food bank through the end of the season and will give you a Market Buck for your kind participation in this effort. And if you are wearing a Phillies shirt or cap when you stop by the Market Manager tent, all the better.

So, have we deprived you of the opportunity to purchase an LFM T-shirt for long enough that you're now champing at the bit to get one? Then our laziness worked to our advantage. We'll have them back every Saturday for the rest of October, and since they are admittedly a bit picked over now, all remaining LFM T-shirts will be two for one this week, also known by the clever acronym BOGO (buy one, get one). So pick two and just pay for the higher priced one. These things make interesting, thoughtful, and green gifts for birthdays and holidays, not to mention seriously cheap ones during this bargain BOGO sale.

Grain Gain
Yesterday's New York Times had a nice article focused on whole grain pastas, which are more widely available than ever, though the article is clear that they vary in quality and palatability quite a bit. The piece caught our eye in particular because the sauces it recommended for pairing with these more flavorful carbs contain many items available right now at the Market and possibly in your own victory garden, including zucchini (which they roast -- who knew you could roast zucchini?!), eggplant and peppers, and Swiss chard. Now that it's no longer too hot to boil water inside, why not try a more healthful pasta and a new vegful sauce, especially if it includes garlicky bread crumbs?

Apple Store
That got the attention of you techies, didn't it? We saw your eyes go wide at the thought. But the high-gloss, high-tech computer variety is not what we're talking about. We're talking about that absolute staple of the fall that is quite possibly the best fruit going, with its pretty packaging, easy portability, and wide variety of tastes and uses. Though this last -- the many varieties -- may be a cause of confusion when you go to buy them, since some apples are better for baking and some for sauce still others for eating out of hand. This site, All About Apples, can give you the lowdown on any apple you're likely to run across in your lifetime (they modestly call it "the most complete apple variety listing on the web"). Go poke around there if you've been seeing kinds at the Market that you're unsure of, but remember that Darlene Hurff at the Schober Orchards stand is an excellent resource and is able to suggest an apple variety based on what you like and what you're going to use it for. This week, Schober will be adding Stayman Winesaps to their offerings, which All About Apples describes like this: "Its creamy white flesh, although crisp to the teeth, is melting and tender and almost dissolves on the tongue. Its flavor has a rich luscious pure apple taste. Good savory taste. Plenty of sweetness, acidity, and juice." What more do you need to know? We're convinced.

Flower Power
Bonnie's Wondergardens will be making a gaudy display of itself this Saturday with a truckload of winter pansies in all colors, plus a big variety of cut gerbera daisies which originated in Canada, which Bonnie says is actually pretty close for these flowers, which often come from Central America. Put the pansies in pots or beds as a nice light counterpoint to larger, more staid mums, and place the daisies in simple glass vases all over your house for a bright spot in every room. (That's enough channeling of Martha Stewart. Back to normal now.)

Last year, we bought a wee little bay plant from Bonnie for our herb bed. It grew only three or four new leaves over the summer, so we weren't thinking about it much and forgot all about taking it in for the winter as Bonnie had advised. Remarkably, that overly snowy winter we had apparently insulated the little plant from the cold air (forming a literal "blanket" of snow), and it was found alive and unscathed in the spring, still puny but breathing. Bonnie says we just got lucky and not to count on the same thing happening this year, and since our little bay plant is now about triple its original size (hooray!), we're going to do just what Bonnie instructs, which is this: Dig it up soon and replant it in a decent-sized pot. Leave the pot outside a few weeks so the bay can adjust to its new more constrained environs, then bring it in before it gets too cold and put it in a window in a cool place to overwinter (she suggested the oxymoronic "sunny basement window," but ours will have to settle for just "a window"). Come spring, we'll transplant it back to the herb bed, or whatever's left of it after we've made sauces and pork chops and herb mixes using its thick glossy leaves. If you have an outdoor bay plant, you may want to do the same, or be prepared to purchase another one next year.

Winter Hours
The Regency Café storefront has moved its closing time up to 5:30 pm, shortening its day by half an hour and meaning that you have to hightail it there if you need a postwork latte or sugar-crusted brioche, and who doesn't?

Face It
Yet another interesting and possibly familiar visage is portrayed in this week's Faces of the Lansdowne campaign. Photographer Bill Boyd (not to be confused with Bill Brown of the Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation) is just as striking in print as he is in person, though perhaps not quite as tall.

Help Wanted
Have some free time that you could devote to a very worthy cause? Philabundance is looking for a volunteer to coordinate a food distribution program that gives 30 pounds of food to eligible seniors each month. You'd need to be at the food distribution center once a month for the time period of your choosing, take applications for the food boxes, accept delivery of the boxes, and distribute them to approved seniors. The distribution center is yet to be determined but will be a church in the borough. Training will be provided by Philabundance. The person that takes this on should be willing to create procedures for others to follow and help secure more volunteers working with the church personnel. This seems like it would be a particularly nice position for an organized retiree or a take-charge kind of personality. So if you'd like to help or just miss bossing folks around, volunteer for this opening by contacting Mayor Jayne Young at

MAP The 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: The artist originally scheduled for this Saturday had to cancel because of a death in the family, so we are very fortunate to have local favorite watercolorist Jim Ryan step in to fill the void. If you live in Lansdowne, you've no doubt seen Jim (these days sporting a dapper white moustache) or admired his work at local festivals or in shops and restaurants.

Musicians of the Week: Please, oh please, make it a point to come by the Market during "the music hours" this week (roughly between 10:30 and 12:30). Cassandre Xavier will be making her third appearance at the Market this season (if we count when she sat in for a song or two with Rupert Waits the other week), and if you've missed her so far, don't make the same mistake again. Her covers are unusual (like "Shenandoah") and her voice is phenomenal (like really great).


Upcoming Local Events

Movies at Cinema 16:9
Winnebago Man, Dogtooth, Metropolis
Call or go online for times and ticket prices
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue; 484-461-7676

Minas at Giumarello's
Thursday, October 14, 7:00 pm
329 Haddon Avenue, Westmont, NJ
Reservations: 856-858-9400

Minas at Hoof and Fin Argentinean Cuisine
Wednesday, October 20, 7:00 pm
617 S. Third Street, Philadelphia
Reservations: 215-925-3070

Yoga Brunch at 2312 Garrett
Sunday, October 24, 10:00 am; $30
2312 Garret Road, Drexel Hill
Info and reservations:

Minas at Picanha Brazilian Grill
Friday, October 28, 7:00 pm
6501 Castor Avenue, Philadelphia
Reservations: 215-743-4647

BettySoo at Concerts at the Beach House
Thursday, November 4, 7:00 pm; $15 per person, BYOB
Info and reservations: 610-626-0012 or

Three Bs Concert by the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, November 7, 3:00 pm
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center
601 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill

The Ransom of Red Chief presented by Celebration Theater
Friday to Sunday, November 5-7, 12-14, and 19-21, 7:00 pm
$10 per person; $39 for 5 tickets
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

A Bit of the Arts Holiday Art Sale
Friday, November 26, 3:00 to 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 27, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; Free
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

View the complete listing of local events.

Justin, Kyle, and Tom between sales.
Three little bears.
Even vendors wearing Yankees gear
do brisk business at the Market.

Photo courtesy of John Kelly Green.