Fresh Picks
June 16, 2011 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, June 18

Fear Not!
Only hours after this newsletter went out last week, the area was hit by a really vicious hailstorm, which put an end to the couple of weeks of 90+ degree days we'd been having, which had followed closely on an exceptionally wet month or so. So, to recap (in order): ridiculously rainy early spring that delayed crop planting in many places, ridiculously and unseasonably high temperatures during long dry spell, ridiculously sudden and damaging hailstorm. This has not been the best weather for our farmers, to say the least. For example, before any heads reached harvestable size, Turning Roots' broccoli went to seed in the heat, and many of their greens were rendered holey (though not holy) by the hail. It's not unlikely that over the course of the next few weeks, you'll see produce at the Market that shows signs of the abusive spring it's endured. Don't be afraid of it; it's still edible and no doubt quite tasty. Those marks and holes are signs that it was grown close enough to share our weather pattern, which is really a good thing indeed, even when it means we're bad weather friends.

Remake the Bed!
If that hail lacerated your garden in the same way it shredded ours, your first stop last week might have been at Bonnie's Wondergardens tent to pick up some new bedding plants. It's still not too late to replace injured plantings or fluff up your beds with some additional color or greenery, and chances are good Bonnie will have something that suits. Also, herbs -- get them and get them planted if you want to eat off them later.

Accessorize Your Meat!
Traditionally for the Market that precedes Father's Day, we do a piece on the various meats available at the Market, since most dads are pretty happy with a good steak, a rack of ribs, or their very own chicken. And there's plenty of great meat to be had at the LFM, from the fantastic bacon, free-range chicken, pork shortribs, and sirloin and NY strip steaks at Harvest Local Foods to the traditional beef and pork cuts and more exotic fair like duck, rabbit, and quail at Green Aisle Grocery, which also excels at fancy sausages, such as North-South Meatery and Canning's lamb tasso and lambdouille smoked sausages, Brauhaus brats and bauernwursts, and fresh chorizo from Meadow Run. These are all excellent choices. But this year we want to point out the "meat accessories" that you can get in the parking lot.

Let's start with the obvious: barbecue sauces. Green Aisle carries Bebe's Barbecue Sauce from recently (and sadly) closed Bebe's Barbecue in the Italian Market; Harvest Local carries Bryn Athyn-produced Bill's Best BBQ Sauce, which is made in honor of an ailing father using his own recipe, so it's especially fitting for Dad's Day; and Schober's has an apple butter BBQ sauce that we've probably all tried by now and know is a keeper.

Meat rubs are a great way to add flavor to your favorite cut without adding fat or calories. Green Aisle offers a BBQ rub that's also from Bebe's, and Lansdowne Table offers a BBQ spice blend that works great with chicken, pork, or beef as a dry rub or that can be mixed with oil and white wine vinegar and used as a marinade. Provisions typically has two homemade rubs -- a BBQ spice rub that Marnie recommends for pork and chicken, and One Love rub, a garlicky herb blend that goes with everything, including shrimp and veggies. This week she's introducing a third blend, a jerk rub made with traditional Jamaican seasonings that will add hot and sweet to whatever you want hotter and sweeter.

Lansdowne Table has some additional grilling tricks up their sleeve (and available for purchase). First, if pork or fowl is the meat of the day, try marinating it 3 or 4 hours in their molasses, cumin, and smoked paprika brine, which will transform these meats into something special. Second, one chef's trick is to use finishing salts after food has come off the grill. Lansdowne Table has both cumin salt and porcini salt, each of which adds fragrance and depth of flavor to grilled meats, as well as fennel salt, which they suggest for grilled vegetables.

No doubt there are a number of other products at the Market that could pass for add-ons when preparing meat, but we're going to close with something so basic you may not have thought of it -- wood. Schober's sells seasoned and split cherry, apple, or oak for $7.50 a box. Even if you don't have an actual smoker, adding a piece or two of this wood when you start your charcoal, letting it burn down to a gentle flame as the charcoal reaches the proper stage, and then grilling your meat with the cover down will add a heap of wood-smoky goodness to your meal. If a whole box is too much for you, split one with a friend. Or buy your dad a sharp pocketknife too and suggest he learn to whittle.

All Hail Kale!
One product that was just gorgeous last week and probably will be again this week was kale, which is one of those dark green leafy vegetables you hear so much about because of its high nutritional payoff, though you not know quite what to do with it. Most kale recipes call for it to be cooked for at least 15 minutes, since unlike spinach, kale needs some time over heat to relax and become tender. So, you can treat it pretty much like long-cooked spinach, as in this side dish recipe for garlic-braised kale, cook it in liquid as a heart main course in this potato-kale soup, or even slice it fine and eat it raw as in this colorful kale and cabbage salad (which really sounds more like a slaw). Or, with all the great bread available at the Market, why not try this white beans and greens bruschetta recipe, though given the easy availability of delicious white bean spread at The Lansdowne Table, taking that shortcut and then just piling on some sauteed kale is mighty tempting.

Say Cheese!
Yellow Springs Farm is back this week with their little tubs of plain and herbed chevre plus two cheeses new to the LFM. First, a semisoft feta aged 30 days that has a tangy, less salty flavor than a traditional feta. They say it's excellent used as a table cheese or in salads, pastries, and baking. Second, their first raw milk cheese of 2011, called Spring Fever. This cheese is created from raw milk collected in the spring when the grass is turning green and first buds are breaking on trees (picture that for a minute; so pretty). It's aged for a minimum of 60 days, during which it develops a complexity and taste that reflects the earthiness of the aging conditions combined with the richness of the milk used. Yellow Springs' aged cheeses are brushed and turned at least once a week to ensure proper rind development and aging. They sold out of their specialty cheeses quickly at the first Market, so don't put off a visit to Catherine's stand.

The other alternating vendors be at the Market this week are Spotted Hill Farm with goat milk soaps (bet there's a manly scent dad would appreciate to wash that barbeque smell away), plus Lolly, Donna's bottle-fed baby goat (not for sale), Welcome Baby with body and maternity products and information, and B.T. Baking with brownies. (It's not like we invented this or anything, but when these brownies get a little past their optimal eating time and start to dry a bit, break them up into bite-sized pieces and serve under ice cream. The sum is even better than the parts, even with parts as good as those!)

Act Now or Never!
Or at least not for a while. Applications for next Saturday's Community Day are due this Saturday, and as of this writing, there are spaces still available. But come this Sunday, you're out of luck, at least until the next Community Day on August 27.

This is also the last week for birdhouses for a while. They're cheap ($15), clever (come in pieces that you slide together), local (made by two Lansdowners), limited (we ordered only 100), and promote and benefit the FM (so we can buy a new umbrella to replace that stupid red one that's been broken for two years). What's not to love? If any are left after this week, we're putting them away for a spell. You've been warned.

Get a Market Buck this week by stopping by the Manager tent to tell us what's different about this newsletter compared with the other FM newsletters over the past few years. There's something just a little different than usual -- it's not in the design -- and if you're a careful and consistent reader you may notice. We'll give you a Market Buck just for taking a guess, and if you're right, we'll give you three! Three bucks for being a regular reader who might notice something a little unusual this time -- that's not bad. So start thinking!

Get Dirty!
Despite its name, you don't have to be on the tender side of any age in particular to lend a hand to the Community Youth Garden. Its goal is get local teenagers involved in growing food in an educational environment, but if you have any time, expertise, or supplies to offer, you are welcome to pitch in. At this point, volunteers have helped build beds and spread soil, and planting is just beginning. A big thank you goes out to everyone who has already donated time or materials to the garden. The LEDC will be hosting Community Garden tending days throughout the summer when you are invited to come help or just come see and offer encouragement. Upcoming dates and times include this Saturday, June 18, 10:00 am to noon; Wednesday, June 22, 5:30 to 7:00 pm; and Sunday, June 26, 4:00 to 6:00 pm. For more information or to offer supplies, or if you know a local teen who wants to get on the garden team, call 610-745-4013 or e-mail

Haters Be Gone!
Lansdowne has the notable distinction of being a No Place for Hate (NPFH) community. This isn't just some signs the mayor had printed up and hung at the borough's entry points. No, it's an actual designation earned through partnership with the national Anti-Defamation League that involves annual completion of activities that promote the NPFH message in order to earn continued accreditation. You'll see NPFH activists marching in all of Lansdowne's parade, you can pick up window clings and lapel pins at the Farmers Market to show your support for and pride in the borough's accreditation, and you can participate in some of the activities that NPFH chair Don Verlenden organizes and oversees to promote the message of tolerance and acceptance.

One of these activities is a free film screening on the fourth Thursday of each month at the public library. These start at 6:00 or 7:00 pm, depending on the length of the film, and are followed by an always-interesting, no-pressure group discussion that Don facilitates. There's no charge for the film or the popcorn that's provided, so this is a cheap and compelling way to pass an evening. This month's film, showing next Thursday, June 23, at 6:00 pm, is El Norte, a movie about Guatemalan immigrants to the US that was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The films are open to all ages, so grab a tween or teen and head over to the 'brary (may as well impress them with good stuff while they're impressionable).

Slam It or Buy It!
Several years ago Lansdowne decided it needed a poet laureate, open auditions were held, and the judges were simply floored by the talent from which they had to pick. Along with all its other special qualities, 'Downe Town is bit of a poetry Mecca. (Lay hands on a copy of Seedlings if you don't believe us.) So wouldn't it be cool if all the published poets and all the dabblers showed up Friday night at Cinema 16:9 for the open mic poetry slam that's going to follow the 8:00 pm showing of the new (Philadelphia-filmed) picture The Best and the Brightest? If you've ever thought in meter, consider this your invitation. Tickets to the movie and slam are $10.50.

Assuming they've managed to clean up the carnage by Saturday morning, 16:9 will be holding its very first yard sale during the Farmers Market, selling off supplies and equipment the business no longer needs. In addition, there will be a 10:00 am screening of the film that inspired the sale, Everything Must Go, starring Will Ferrell and based on a Raymond Carver (RIP, Ray) short story about a man who holds an accidental sale when he's kicked out of his marital home and his displaced belongings attract attention. Tickets for the morning show will be $5.00 for 16:9 members or anyone who purchases something at the sale.

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.


Artist of the Week: You know Marty von Rosenstiel even if not by name -- she's all over Lansdowne, making stuff, volunteering her time, and laughing it up. When she appears as AoW at the market, she sells her fused glass jewelry and recycled glass creatures, pocket vases, and lanterns. Marty's sister Helene will also be contributing creations, also often recycled, for a terrific twofer in the artist tent.

Musicians of the Week: The trio Adelante returns to the lot this week with their unique jazz and improvisational music stylings.

Blog: Hey, lookit! The blog is happening again. Thanks to Pat Arone for sharing a Market scene she recently witnessed. She says it's a missed opportunity for a photo, but we think she captured it perfectly. If you have anything you'd like to share or want to take a shot at the blog, just let us know and we'll make it happen.

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; Hobo With a Shotgun; The Best and the Brightest; Everything Must Go
Call or go online for times and tickets
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Young People's Chorus of Erie
Saturday, June 18; 7:00 pm; Free
First Presbyterian Church, Lansdowne and Greenwood Aves

Minas 11-Piece Troupe at Citibank Summer Solstice Celebration
Sponsored by Lansdowne Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Saturday, June 18, 8:30-9:30 pm
Kimmel Center, Broad and Locust, Philadelphia

Father's Day Brunch at Sycamore
Sunday, June 19, 10:30 am to 1:00 pm; $32
14 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Father's Day Brunch at 2312 Garrett
Sunday, June 19, 11:00 am; $45
2312 Garrett Road

El Norte - Free Film sponsored by No Place for Hate
Thursday, June 23, 6:00 pm
Free admission and popcorn
Lansdowne Public Library

Lansdowne Photo Walk
Saturday, June 25, 8:00-10:00 AM
For info:

Blood drive sponsored by the Lansdowne Fire Company in conjunction with the American Red Cross
Sunday, June 26, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. lansdowne Ave.
On-line registration

First Friday at Art Space Lansdowne
Friday, July 1, 6:00-9:00 pm; Free
25 S. Lansdowne Avenue

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

National Night Out
Tuesday, August 2, 6:00-8:00 pm; Free
Lansdowne Train Station

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The Lansdowne Farmers Market has the best dumplings!

For more pictures from the LFM, go here.
Photos courtesy of John Green.