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July 26, 2012 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, July 28

Trust Us: Kidcentric Day Is Fun

This e-newsletter tries to bring things to your attention that you'll enjoy, especially local things (though occasionally events much more farflung). We must say that last week we hit it out of the park by recommending the Farmers Market in general and Nex Millen's DJing in particular (bountiful and groovy, respectively); the free outdoor production of the play Our Town (so well done and moving, and the evening was perfect); and a French-esque brunch in front of the final stage of the Tour de France (delicious and thrilling). If a free email had clued us in on these three disparate events -- which made for a smashing weekend -- we'd certainly listen to future recommendations from it. (Hint, hint.) Especially if it told us about something as enjoyable as Kidcentric Day at the Farmers Market -- even if you're not a kid yourself or don't have any kids. That's correct: no accompanying children are required to make Kidcentric Day enjoyable, just ask this 2011 shopper.

So, first off: it's important that you come on the early side. One of the main attractions will be on site only from 9:00 to 11:00 am, and that's Jungle John, who will have reptiles like snakes and alligators (gators at the Farmers Market, people!) that he'll have out of their cages (one at a time) for photos, holding, and touching. If you come late and miss the reptiles (or would prefer not to come face to face with a lizard), the much-loved Winged Wonders butterfly exhibit will be back this year for the whole day. Not feeling like communing with nature? In the Crafts with Marty tent, you can spend some time making bubble wands and bamboo boats for free, and marbles demonstrations will be going on all day too. Kids under 5 can ride our little pedal tractor, and folks any age can play the Corn Hole Game. Photo opportunities will present themselves in the form of a visit from McGruff the Crime Dog as well as our ever-popular farmer and cow cutout scene (think Christmas card!). And the kids from the Lansdowne Community Youth Garden will be selling their wares and talking to any interested parties about the joys and challenges of gardening.

Big things are afoot in the Musician tent as well, where two performers specializing in entertaining the little ones are scheduled to bookend Kidcentric Day's newest and most anticipated offering: 45 minutes of open microphone time for any youngster who wants to perform, from 11:00 to 11:45. If you know a kid who can sing, play an instrument, dance, tell a joke, hang a spoon from their nose, do a split, whatever, we want to see and hear it. (Just keep it to only a couple minutes, please, so there's time for everyone.) There will be a sign-up sheet in the Market Manager tent starting when the Market opens, so come by to sign up and let us know what to expect. If there's time, we'll take walk-ons, but we promise you a spot if you sign up by 10:45. You provide the kid (and bring your camera), and we'll provide the space, the mic, an enthusiastic audience, and a Market Buck for each performer. This is gonna be fun.


Along with all the Kidcentric Day hoopla, the regular, busting-at-the-seams Farmers Market will go on as usual. It's peak season for all the summer favorites like tomatoes, corn, and melons, as well as for less widely appreciated produce, such as okra, turnips, and mustard greens. Admittedly, we ourselves underappreciate these very veggies and so don't have much to offer on how to prepare them. Thus, we are turning to you. If you have a killer method for preparing an overlooked vegetable, please share it with us and we'll share it with readers. This sharing has happened before, as the ideas below will show, all of which came from newsletter readers and Facebook friends.

If the heat has you trying not to turn on the stove, Virginia shared this great idea from Gourmet for preparing veggies like squash and carrots by slicing them very thinly and then "wilting" them with some salt before dressing them simply with lemon juice or some of that fancy cider vinegar from Green Aisle Grocery and eating them raw. It's the same idea behind coleslaw, and it's surprisingly fast (15 minutes to wilt beets, which take forever to roast) and maximally nutritious.

Know what is awesome (and a little decadent) along with those healthful fresh vegetables? Long slices of baguette smeared with goat cheese, drizzled with honey, and placed under the broiler (closely watched) for a few minutes. (So says an unidentified little birdie.)

Finally, the next time you want lemonade, Louise recommends you peel a Market cucumber and blend it (as in, in a blender) with your lemon juice and sugar or your lemonade concentrate for Cucumber Lemonade, a beverage that is less sweet and twice as refreshing as the regular stuff. (And which mixes very well with gin or vodka, not that we'd know this from any kind of personal experience.)

Fourth Down

July 28 clocks (calendars?) in as the fourth and final Saturday this month (seriously, where is the summer going?), and therefore presents to marketgoers the following 2/4 vendors: Akima Botanicals, Cupcakeology, Farm Fromage, Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters, Paradocx Vineyards, and Yellow Springs Farm, plus the once-monthly visit from Ridge Valley Farm (maple syrup). As usual, we feel compelled to remind you that Provisions is not there this Saturday (so no crepes) and that Paradocx would be happy to credit you $2 toward your next purchase for returning your wine paint can.

Since there's such nice roasted coffee available from Golden Valley, you should know how to make cold brewed iced coffee, which is super easy, practically foolproof, and even better than the hot brewed variety. Though Golden Valley offers a recipe at their website , we've been having great success with this stupidly simple formula: 1 cup of cold water for each ounce of ground coffee (we do a half pound of coffee and 8 cups of water at a time), placed together in a glass or plastic container and left out on the counter for 8 to 12 hours, and then strained through cheesecloth (don't skip the cheesecloth) and a sieve into a pitcher and chilled. (Recommendation: Start the process in the morning, strain in the evening, and chill overnight, and you'll have a welcoming pitcher waiting for you in the morning.) The resultant concoction is rich enough to stand up to sweetener and creamer or can be watered down a bit if you prefer your iced coffee "demi-robust." Bonus that you already knew: Brewing your morning beverage yourself is a bargain compared with buying it out several times a week.

Local Flavor

The Community Youth Garden gardeners harvested two big buckets of basil this week and brought it to the kitchen at MyHouse Cookies, where Marie led a hands-on lesson in gourmet pesto-making! This special batch will be available Saturday, so arrive early to purchase fresh pesto at the CYG table, made from basil grown in here in Lansdowne. Buon appetito!

Community Day (Again!?)

Though it feels like we all just peeled ourselves off the pavement after the blisteringly hot June Community Day, there's another one coming up at the end of August (that'd be August 25), so the applications will become available via this newsletter one week from today and at the Market Manager tent next Saturday, the 4th. Last time spaces went like hotcakes (uber appropriate given the day's temperature), so if you want to get on board this time, don't tarry.

Lessons of War

If you're looking to beat the heat and enjoy a classic film with a powerful message, tonight's free No Place for Hate movie is your best bet. The NPFH committee presents a free showing of Paths of Glory -- a 1957 film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb -- at the (air conditioned) Lansdowne Public Library. The film, which stars Kirk Douglas, illustrates the futility of war through the story of a French army commander struggling with unimaginable circumstances during World War I. Based on a true story. Free popcorn will be provided; feel free to bring a beverage. A discussion will follow the film.

Back to Reality

The Lansdowne Arts Board continues its monthly Salon Sundays series this weekend (on Sunday, obviously) with a discussion on the development and distribution of a reality TV show. Long-time Lansdowne resident Jim Fryer, creator and producer of a reality TV series based on the lives and work of tower climbers, will show the show's pilot and discuss the process of creating a reality series. The free discussion takes place at noon at Sycamore. For more information call 610-633-3997.

Kids Pick: Steampunk Junk

The Lansdowne Public Library continues to present unique and exciting activities for young folks this summer. Next Wednesday, August 1, teens can head up to the library for Steampunk Junk -- held from 3 to 4 pm. Take some metal, wood and other materials to build your own steampunk creation.

Donations Wanted for Animal Friends Fundraiser

Animal Friends of Lansdowne is seeking donors for its Dog Days of Summer Fundraiser at 2312 Garrett on August 19. Local businesses are encouraged to donate gift certificates, items, and services to be offered at the fundraiser's silent auction. All donors will be mentioned in event promotions and press releases. If this idea speaks to you, why not bark up and make an offer!



Artist of the Week

Donna Fiugalski of Sew Pretty may be new to the Artist tent but she clearly knows her way around a sewing machine and into little girls' hearts. Donna's specialty is making clothing sized and proportioned to perfectly fit American Girls dolls, and she'll have a nice variety of pretty dolly dresses at the Market. And if you want your little girl and her little girl to have matching outfits, she's happy to take special orders.

Musician of the Week

CC Crabtree and Miss Arlyn have signed on to entertain the Kidcentric Day guests of honor this Saturday. That is, when the guests of honor aren't entertaining us during the open mic segment. (What's the kids concert equivalent of yelling "Free Bird!"? Maybe "Hokey Pokey!"?)

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



First Friday at Art Space Lansdowne
Friday, August 3, 6:00 - 9:00 pm; Free
25 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Paddington Station's First Friday
Friday, August 3, 6:00 - 8:00 pm; Free
12 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Sycamore Studio First Friday
Works by Richard Prigg and Kim Mullay
Friday, August 3, 5:00 - 8:00 pm; Free
16 South Wycombe Avenue

Minas at Burlap and Bean
Saturday, August 4, 8:00 pm; $15/$18
204 S. Newtown Street Rd., Newtown Square

Grant's Kung Fu Community Event
Self-defense class for individuals and families
Saturday, August 4, 1:00 - 3:00 pm; Free
2327 Marshall Road, Lansdowne

National Night Out
Tuesday, August 7, 5:00-8:00 pm; Free
Highland Avenue Parking Lot

Minas at Stoner Courtyard/Penn Museum
Wednesday, August 8, 5:30 pm; $5
3260 South Street, Philadelphia

Animal Friends of Lansdowne Dog Days of Summer Fundraiser at 2312 Garrett
Sunday, August 19, 2:00 - 5:00 pm; $20-$25
2312 Garrett Road, Drexel Hill

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Nex Millen and daughter raised the roof.

Here's more market photos from John Kelly Green Photography.


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.

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