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June 2, 2011 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, June 4

Opening Market Recap
It was a grand day out in 'Downe Town last Saturday, with more friendly vendors, tasty samples, and eager customers than seen in these parts in months. The new vendors -- lemonade, bread, cheese, meat, gourmet noshes -- complemented and enhanced the tried and true, and even the new customers blended right in and seemed to know what they were doing. In short, the day was hot, happy, and hopping. (See photographic proof from the lens of John Green here.) If you tried something new that you'd like to recommend, or just have a favorite product from the Market you want to crow about, tell us and we'll help spread the word.

Our new meat vendor was so delighted with the welcome they received they'll be sending whole quail and rabbit this week to see what the Market will bear relatively-exotic-meat-wise. They may also have some cured meats and salami if these items pass our test for being local. Harvest Local is going to load up on the greens this week, though it never hurts to come to Market on the early side. Sadly, in a cooking tragedy late Friday night, John of John's MiniTreats burned the mushroom soup, so there wasn't any for sale on opening day, possibly the biggest disappointment of the weekend. But he promises -- promises -- a perfect batch this Saturday, plus chili, plus a cold fruit soup. (He told us what fruit, but it's gone from the memory banks -- strawberry? peach? kumquat? No idea, but it'll be good.) Wentworth Dairy missed our first Market, but they'll be there this week with their no-nonsense cheese and butter. As will alternating vendors B.T. Baking with brownies and Spotted Hill Farms with soap, and all the weekly vendors too, except for Schober Orchards, who are taking this week off. (Hope you stocked up on peach cider last week.) Plus, in our best Oprah voice (somebody's gotta use it now), "It's Eaaaaarth Satuuuuurdaaaaay!"

Earth Saturday Roundup
Gone are the leisurely days when we could just rattle on about produce and baked goods for a few newsletters as the Market warmed up and got rolling. Now no sooner does the Market kick off than there's a special event -- Earth Saturday -- to be promoted. Lotsa interesting stuff coming, folks, such as:

  • Perennial plant exchange: Bring some, take some, buy a couple more in the last hour of the Market. Label your submissions as best you can and bring them in soil and pots you don't want back.

  • Free energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs distributed by PECO .

  • Energy efficiency expert Harold Finigan will take questions and make suggestions. And he's got a few thoughts (and a big graph) on the importance of buying local. Don't be afraid to talk to him -- he's nice and not selling anything!

  • Free recycled arts and crafts fun for both kids and adults with Marty von Rosenstiel (see here for more info and ideas about what you might bring).

  • Rain barrel information and sales by Ken Zwolak.

  • Animal Friends of Lansdowne with ecofriendly pet products and kittens for adoption.

  • Fascinating boro environmental information from Councilperson Barbara Silzle.

  • Lansdowne Parks and Recreation Board members will tempt you to use a park, help clean a park, or maybe adopt one altogether.

  • A bottle-fed baby goat from Spotted Hill Farms will be making the rounds and generally looking adorable.

  • EnergyWorks offers a comprehensive energy-saving program for homeowners and commercial or industrial building owners that brings together all available rebates, tax credits, and very low-interest loans to save energy and money through energy efficiency improvements. EnergyWorks is supported by a grant from the US Department of Energy's Better Buildings Program and will be on site to talk with shoppers.

  • Battery recycling: All the letters and 9 volts -- just bring them to the Market Manager tent; we'll unload them for ya.

We Got Wood for You
As you probably know, 2011 is the LFM's fifth year, and we have a special fundraiser to celebrate the Market's wooden anniversary. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, technically that anniversary is celebrated after the full five years, but the traditional fourth anniversary gift is fruit and flowers, which you can get every week at the LFM, so we adjusted accordingly.) Fortunately, one of the FM committee members is talented woodworker Gary Booth, who has just started a new business, Dittokraft, with Brian Thrash, another Lansdowne woodworker, and they designed and made what we think is the perfect item to encapsulate the anniversary and the crux of the Market. It's a birdhouse branded with the LFM logo that comes disassembled and that goes together in a snap, rather like Lincoln logs. It can be taken apart to be cleaned and can easily be shipped to far-flung friends and family because, when "flat," it will pack smaller than your standard assembled birdhouse. These things are wicked clever and powerful cute and will be available for only $15 at the Market Manager tent this Saturday and then occasionally throughout the season. Only 100 have been made though, so don't put off getting yours. We're still think about having a contest involving decorating these things, so make sure you have one in case that comes to pass. (And watch for Dittokraft as Artist of the Week on July 11.)

In case you missed (ignored, cold-shouldered, thumbed your nose at) a chance to get one of the LFM's recycled T-shirts last year, we'll have them again on Earth Saturday for $5 each. Lots of swell shirts are left, and if you don't have one, how're you gonna get the T-shirt related Market Buck down the line? In fact, if you have a Market T-shirt, wear it this week and get a Market Buck. See how easy that is?

Gardening for Good
While the rest of us where at the Market last week, eating crepes and swilling gourmet lemonade, a few kind volunteers were overseeing the dumping of truckloads of topsoil on the Penn Wood High School Green Avenue Campus for what will soon be the LEDC's Community Youth Garden. The garden will be maintained by local students and community volunteers, and produce from its harvest will be for sale down the road at the Farmers Market. In conjunction with LFM Earth Saturday, garden volunteers will take part in the planting this Saturday, June 4, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. If you'd like to help tend the garden or have supplies or tools to donate, please just come to the garden on Saturday or email (Perhaps you want to again read about Pastor Dave's gardening efforts as inspiration.)

Community Day Coming
Get your application for the season's first Community Day, June 25, here or Saturday at the Market Manager tent. In case you're new in these parts, Community Day is when the Market throws open its figurative doors to let groups, businesses, and plain old folks from the area take advantage of the foot traffic the Market generates. It's an even better marketing opportunity than standing on the corner of Lansdowne and Baltimore dressed as milkshake or Abraham Lincoln. As always, once the dozen or so spots are gone, they're gone, so waiting to the bitter end to submit your application may not pay off. Be sure to read and comply with the rules on the form.

Been Wondering About the Theater?
The Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation recognizes the opportunity to capitalize on the LFM crowds and will be having an open house at the Lansdowne Theater this Saturday, June 4, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm to give tours to all interested parties for a donation of at least $5 per person (it's well worth that to see the chandelier alone). During the tour, visitors can walk on the stage, see the projection booth, take photos, and hear about plans for the building. The Theater is a central and fascinating part of both the borough's history and its future, so don't miss this change to get a peek inside with the people who know the ins and outs of the building and the project.

Say Goodbye and Get a Memento
This is Reverend Tim Thomson-Hohl's final week with The Garden Church in Lansdowne before he goes to a church in Ardmore. It's only fitting that the church sees him off with one of their popular yard sales, featuring well-organized sales tables, wonderful home-baked goods, and Nelson's chicken. The sale takes place between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, and no doubt Reverend Tim will be around for the hugs, handshakes, and good wishes that even noncongregants will want to give him.

A Little Sketchy
Before Saturday even gets here, enjoy the works of the talented members of the Philadelphia Sketch Club ("America's oldest continually operating club for artists and their admirers" -- impressive!), appearing at First Friday at Art Space Lansdowne, recently expanded to be even bigger fun. Everyone is welcome to enjoy free refreshments, good company, and fine art from 6:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday, June 3. ArtSpace is at 25 S. Lansdowne Avenue, on the east side just before the bridge. Look for people enjoying themselves in the big plate glass windows.

Run/Walk This Way
More than 400 people ran, walked, and generally made their way via the scenic route through the borough early Monday morning as the 5th annual Lansdowne 5K Run/Walk went off without a hitch. Thanks to all participants, who probably got more in the way of heat than they bargained for when they registered weeks ago, and big congratulations to the winners in every category. The overall winner was Ed Yost, the first woman to finish was Elizabeth Haglund, the first woman from Lansdowne was Janet Gerhard, and the first fella from Lansdowne to cross the line was Brendan Hilliard. Job well done by all involved, volunteers included! Finish line (and more) photos are available from John Green here.

America's Favorite Farmers Market NONtest
If you voted for the LFM in the 2010 America's Favorite Farmer's Market Contest, there are a few things you should know: (1) we again thank you kindly for that support; (2) the LFM opted out of competing this year, completely content with our second place finishes both in the nationwide boutique market category and in Pennsylvania in general, as well as unwilling to again nag our supporters to votevotevotevote for three solid months; and (3) you will now get emails inviting you to vote again this year despite the LFM's absence. Sorry about that inbox clutter, and feel free to write the LFM in or even vote for another market. We are so over this contest.


Artist of the Week: It's more than fitting that Denise Pettit of Aestheticals is on board for Earth Saturday since she's not sure she's ever thrown anything away and instead is an accomplished upcycler, mixing discardables with contemporary art products to create jewelry, collages, you name it. She is a tiny trash to steam plant, if steam were pretty, whimsical, and very affordable.

Musicians of the Week: Scheduler Bob Beach knows so many musicians and is so good at selling the LFM that we often get two acts (sometimes three!) at a time. This is the season's first twofer, with a couple of guys with acoustic guitars -- Phil Minissale and Cowmuddy -- returning to the white tent for what is certain to be a double dose of crowd pleasing. Remember that the musicians play just for tips and CD sales, so please support them. They're part of what sets our Market apart (and by "apart" we mean "above the rest").

Check out what's coming in the weeks ahead, music and art-wise, by visiting our continually updated online schedule.



Movies at Cinema 16:9
I Am; Lebanon, PA; Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
Call or go online for times and tickets
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Lansdowne Folk Club presents John Wort Hannam with John Flynn
Thursday, June 2, 7:30 pm; $15 in advance; $18 at door
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

First Friday at Art Space Lansdowne
featuring the Philadelphia Sketch Club
Friday, June 3, 6:00-9:00 pm; Free
25 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Spring Yard Sale at The Garden Church
Saturday, June 4, 9:00-3:00; Free
Lansdowne and Stratford Avenues

Doggie Day Spa to benefit Animal Friends of Lansdowne
Saturday, June 11, 11:00-3:00
17 Essex Avenue

El Norte - Free Film sponsored by No Place for Hate
Thursday, June 24, 6:00 pm; Free
Lansdowne Public Library

Richard III - Free Outdoor Theater
Saturday, July 9, 7:00- 9:00 pm; Free
Lawn of the Twentieth Century Club
84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

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View the complete listing of local events.

Entering the Market from Lansdowne Avenue can be a bit of a cattle chute experience, but it's worth the squeeze.

Musician of the Week Allison Polans of the band Paper Trees had a fantastic voice and was not at all hoggy about the spotlight.


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.