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July 7, 2011 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, July 9

Local Is as Local Does
We've hit the point of the produce season typically know as "high," when you can get pretty much anything you want unless it's a cool-weather crop. Our big farmers are well supplied with corn, tomatoes, berries, beans, onions, peppers, greens, and so forth. Peaches turned up last week and melons will be along any time now (their excess water weight slows them down). We're expecting squash blossoms at Green Aisle this week, and Turning Roots and Harvest Local show up with something new and beautiful and likely organic every Saturday. It's a fine time to live in Pennsylvania in or near a town with a farmers market, and the bounty will continue for another month or two anyway.

And it's an especially nice time to be in the vicinity of 'Downe Town because several local businesses participate in our Market but no others, meaning you're not going to get any of the Regency's fine baked goods, Provisions' breakfasts and pies, B.T. Baking's brownies, Lansdowne's Table's gourmet goodies, Bonnie's flora, or the vast array of Harvest Local Foods anywhere but the LFM (or the business' storefront if it has one). We love our vendors who do lots of markets (and we love seeing how Lansdowne is stacking up against "the competition," since the answer is usually "pretty darn well"), but we wanted to give a special plug this week to our most local vendors, who contribute more than they may realize to what makes the Lansdowne Farmers Market special. Thanks, boroughers!

Bag It!
Know what else makes our Market special? Brand new, big, roomy, reusable shopping bags emblazoned with the happy LFM apple logo. You may have seen these on the 4th of July, when our parade marchers used them to hold the candy they pelted onlookers with distributed to the crowd. Even if the last thing you think you need is another shopping bag, you'll want one of these, especially if you're planning on visiting any other farmers markets anytime soon (see note about "the competition," above), since you'll want to be obvious that you're just passing through, you have your own Market back home, dang it. The bags are $10 and will be available at the Market Manager tent for the next few weeks. Ten bucks isn't chump change, we know, but we opted for these over cheaper ones because they're terrific bags, and you pay for terrific. We're not even calling this a fundraiser since $10 is about what we paid for them. We just wanted our faithful and enthusiastic shoppers to be able to declare their allegiance with what could easily be the national symbol of farmers markets -- the reusable shopping bag. You asked for them, you got them. Now come buy em.

We don't always remember here to tell you which of the alternating vendors is on board for the upcoming Saturday, which can cause some confusion. However, you can check the main vendor schedule on the LFM website any time to know who to expect. The only biweekly vendor coming this week is MyHouse Cookies, which we usually refer to just as MyHouse but since we've given them the go-ahead to bring cookies starting this week, use of their "last name" seems appropriate. Tom and Marie actually came to fame with cookies (hence the business name) and then branched into pies. In fact, if you order cookie dough from Williams-Sonoma around the holidays, guess who makes it -- yep, MyHouse. This Saturday, they'll be offering several kinds (chocolate chip, cherry oatmeal, orange coconut, peanut butter, ginger spice, and triple chocolate) in packs of three cookies, and we expect them to go over big, since who wants to bake in this weather when you can leave it to the pros? (By the way, we also have it on excellent authority that their quiche with sweet corn and bacon is even better than our excellent authority expected, so try that if you haven't, whydoncha.)

Kid's Coming!
The last Saturday of this month, July 30, is Kidcentric Day (aka Kid's Day), when the Market plays host to all manner of nonsense, silliness, and buffoonery to make it a grand day out for the younger ones. We also slip in some educational bits and perhaps even a little exercise, so don't despair of its having no redeeming qualities. Stay tuned for a full lineup, but pencil in the date for sure.

Super Great Free Activity for All
That headline got you reading, didn't it? We figured if we made it a bit more specific to the subject matter of this section, something like "Free Outdoor Shakespeare Play," readers -- perhaps leery of the Bard, possibly theater-averse, conceivably suffering from seasonal allergies -- might opt to skip on to the next piece, so we lured you in with that header because we know for a fact that, this weekend in Lansdowne, free outdoor Shakespeare play = super great free activity for all, and we don't want you to miss out on it by scaring you off before you even hear our pitch.

Okay, so, the play is Richard III, not your typical light summertime fare by any means but surely well worth seeing when it comes to your town, is performed by a professional troupe (the Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company), is outside and open to all (just settle in a spot where the kids can run around a bit without disturbing others), and is free (though donations are solicited and much appreciated). The gist of the play is that Richard, the brilliant but diabolic (how often those adjectives are seen together!) brother of King Edward IV has, shall we say, "aspirations," and manipulates and murders everyone in his path -- including his brothers, his wife, and not a few children and adjunct noblemen -- to get to the throne. It's never a bad idea to go into a production of Shakespeare with a clue, so this is a nice, simple synopsis of the play, and this Wikipedia entry probably has more info than you'll need unless you're working on a dissertation on Elizabethan history plays. You may be a bit more familiar with this play than you realize though, as Richard was the subject of Al Pacino's documentary Looking for Richard, the story was reconfigured in 2002 as a movie about gangs called The Street King, and in The Goodbye Girl, the Richard Dreyfuss character is an actor portraying Richard off-Broadway (the hunchback -- remember him?).

If your interest about the play is piqued, Kevin Spacey is starring in it at the Old Vic in London right now, but it's much cheaper and easier to head over to the Twentieth Century Club on Saturday evening to see a closer expert performance, which starts at 7:00 pm. Arrive early to get a good spot on the lawn, and bring chairs, blankets, a picnic dinner, water, wine, bug spray -- whatever you need to be comfortable outside for a few hours. The CCTC will be performing Richard III at various parks all summer and Lansdowne is their first stop, so let's get them off to a great start with a big, enthusiastic audience.

Three Quick Notes About Local Things
First, next Tuesday evening, July 12, between 5:00 and 7:00 pm, 2312 Garrett will be having a Straub happy hour, with Straub Lager and Straub Dark beers on tap, plus free pint glasses distributed by a company rep who can answer all your questions about this Pennsylvania brewery. Then stick around for some dinner, including their homemade kettle chips, which are salty and a little sweet both -- in other words, irresistible.

Second, local martial arts practitioner and author Daniel Pope will be presenting his new book, The Adventures of Dane Traveler: Reflections, Volume 2, next Wednesday, July 13, at 7:00 at the Lansdowne Public Library, 55 S. Lansdowne Avenue. The first 20 people to show up for this free event will be gifted with a copy of the book, signed of course, as well as a "Land @ Lansdowne Public Library" water bottle. Pretty cool.

Third, if you enjoyed the music at last Saturday's Market, performed by Orlando Haddad and Patricia King Haddad of Minas, you can listen to similar music any time you want because they now have our own Pandora radio station. When you're in the mood for good Brazilian music, go to Pandora and create a new station by typing "Patricia and Orlando Radio," and you'll soon be enjoying their selections, including some of their own performances. Thanks for sharing, P and O!

C'mon, Tell Us What You Really Think . . .
Since not enough of you did this when we asked last week, we're going to pester you again about it this week. So here goes, verbatim: As the LEDC ramps up its efforts to find new businesses to move into available retail spaces in downtown Lansdowne, they're interested in your thoughts on the kinds of stores and services you'd like to see in our business district. Please take a few minutes (we promise it won't take more than 10) to answer some questions about shopping and dining in downtown Lansdowne by clicking here. At the end of the survey, enter your contact information to be entered into our raffle. The grand prize is dinner for two at Sycamore! If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Main Street Manager Rachel Van Tosh at the LEDC Main Street office at 610-745-4013. Thank you for your input and for helping us to create a stronger downtown 'Downe Town.

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.


Artists of the Week: Gary Booth and Brian Thrash are two Lansdowne woodworkers who make up DittoKraft, the new little company that produced (using only their four hands and some power tools) the LFM birdhouses. DittoKraft specializes in well-designed handmade objects of simple but high style, and has a whole line of objects in the planning stages. At the Market, they'll have birdhouses with bags but sans the LFM logo (which are also being carried by stores in Center City), window boxes, and maybe even their newest piece, a concrete vase. Gary and Brian are also happy to talk with you about custom work, which they're happy to do so long as they can have a say in the design, which keeps it interesting for everybody.

Musicians of the Week: Bluesman Jay Gullo makes his debut Saturday at the FM, but he reserves the right to move outside of blues if he is so moved.

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
Blank City, The Perfect Host, Trigun: Badlands Rumble
Call or go online for times and tickets
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Minas Jam Session at Le Cochon Noir
Thursday, July 7, 7:30 pm
5070 Parkside Ave, Philadelphia

Minas at Picanha Brazilian Grill
Friday, July 8, 7:00 pm
6501 Castor Ave, Philadelphia

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

David Jacobs-Strain with Bob Beach at Concerts at the Beach House
Thursday, July 21, 7:30 pm; $15 per person
610-626-0012 or for info

12 Angry Men -- Free Film sponsored by No Place for Hate
Thursday, July 28, 7:00 pm
Free admission and popcorn
Lansdowne Public Library

Kidcentric Day at Lansdowne Farmers Market
Saturday, July 30, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

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

The Princess and the Frog -- Free movie in the park
Friday, August 12, 7:30 pm; Free
Hoffman Park, Scottdale Road

Lansdowne Arts Festival
Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Free
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

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View the complete listing of local events.

Gourmands, or should that be "gourmen"?

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