Fresh Picks
August 30, 2012 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, September 1

Bad Week

We're going to be perfectly honest right now and tell you that this is our least favorite week of the year. Not because school is starting, signaling the end of summer none too subtly. Not because massive storms have been throwing vulnerable parts of the country into jeopardy in late August with too much regularity. And not because Labor Day always seems to come up more quickly than anticipated, so that you have to break stride and take a stutter step to clear that calendar hurdle, cramming in things you'd meant to get to all summer. No, our dislike of the final week of August is personal: it's a range of days that in the past has brought more loss, more bad news, and more worry than any other similar span on the calendar. It's a heartbreaker, this week, year after year. There's no tie-in to the Farmers Market coming, no concluding laugh line, no snark. Just a request to perhaps pull out some "holiday spirit" early, the stuff you usually tap into a few months from now, and be a bit kinder, more generous, extra empathic. Be nice to the poor kids who have to go back to sitting in classrooms. Send good thoughts and maybe some aid to those troubled by the tropical storms. Remember you're not the only one trying to do too much right now. Assume a friend could use a hug. Give it.

Out With You

We have two words for the weekend: bug spray. No one is denying that the mosquitoes, which everyone thought were horrendous last year, are even worse this year. Those little buggers can make you regret a morning attempt to water the flowers or an evening stroll right quickly, they can. Fortunately, Spotted Hill Farm usually has an all natural skeeter deterrent, Beat It Bug Spray, that smells good and works well, especially when you double up with a citronella candle or some Yard Guard. (Doubling up being the only sensible approach these days.)

You'll need a solid bug-be-gone strategy because this is Labor Day weekend, so you simply must grill out; it's the law of the land. (Bonus: The smoke from the grill also cuts down on bites from flying insects, as does sitting next to someone that they like better than you, which is even more sensible than doubling up.) This page at the NY Times includes links to recipes and videos that will help you grill things you may never have thought of grilling, like figs with goat cheese, shellfish, and cheese sandwiches (aka "actually grilled cheese"). If you have some time and want to make something special for that Labor Day event you're invited to, this Grilled Vegetable Torte would be the way to exit the summer with a bang (and become a star with non-meat eaters in the process).

If you're feeling less adventurous or think you know what you're doing without recipes and videos (flame, meat -- got it already), just stop by Green Aisle Grocery or Harvest Local Foods for steaks, sausages, burgers, dogs, chicken, etc, plus barbecue sauces and chutneys to perfectly complement your grilled meat (and disguise the burned spots). Then, the Lansdowne Table has loads of deluxe side dishes to round out the table and meal, not to mention Farmer's Plates laden with cheese, meat, and upscale condiments.

Fourth First

That heading refers to the fact that this is the fourth first Saturday we've had since the Market kicked off on Memorial Day weekend, bring back the full roster of 1/3 vendors: Amazing Acres Goat Dairy, Doe Run Farm, Green Aisle Grocery, John and Kira's Chocolates, Penns Woods Winery, Provisions, and Spotted Hill Farm. The Lansdowne Community Youth Garden is in the wildcard spot, and we want to remind you that this will be their next-to-last appearance at the Market this season, as next Saturday, September 8, is their final showing. Thus, if you haven't gone out of your way to make some purchases there or just drop a donation into the jar to support this venture to get kids involved in how their food is produced, you're running out of time. (Remember that thing we said earlier about being extra nice this week . . .)

Provisions has been terrific this season about letting us know what's coming to Market, so here's Marnie's list for this week to whet your appetite: Caprese pasta salad with mozzarella, tomatoes, and tomato and basil dressing; jerk chicken and rice salad; Greek salad sandwich on baguette; scones; St Louis gooey butter cakes; and a fig, champagne grape, and Zinfandel jarred quick jam that you buy and then eat the next week and a half or so (that and a baguette would be a great gift for your weekend hosts).

Reminder: No Bonnie's Wondergardens this Saturday or next. She's back on September 15.

Appling News

Along with the other signs of impending Fall outlined earlier -- school, Labor Day, hurricanes -- apples have been making their way to Market over the past few weeks, and though some of the short-season varieties will come and go quickly, mostly they will be coming and increasing in diversity for the next month. (Honeycrisps, a personal favorite, showed up last week, and if you don't get some this week, you may miss them altogether.) While you can usually try a sample of the apples you're considering, this handy chart showing the spectrum of apples sent in by a friend of the FM can help you narrow down the search depending on whether you prefer more sweet or more tart, or, conversely, it can nail down what it is you desire in an apple if you know the variety you like but have trouble making a selection if your favorite's not available. (Who knew that Red Delicious isn't at the top of the sweetness spectrum? Not us!)

What if you feel like something applish but don't have the energy for an actual apple? (Let's face it: all that cutting and chewing can be exhausting, just exhausting.) Over at John and Kira's booth they have just the thing -- their new product, Magic Chocolate Apples, which are flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, and apple brandy. Wanna get invited back someplace? Take these to your hosts.

Yellow Springs Open House

Our own Yellow Springs Farm is holding Open Farm Days next weekend, Friday, September 7, from noon to 6 pm, and Saturday and Sunday the 8th and 9th from 10 am to 4 pm both days, rain or shine. Catherine and the farm invite you to go see the goats, shop for native landscape plants, get free expert gardening advice, and taste and purchase both goat cheese and their 2012 harvest of raw honey. Yellow Springs is located in Chester Springs, about 45 minutes away, north of Exton. Catherine is sending a helper to the Market that day, so if you can't make the trip to the farm, you can still grab their goat cheese and goat milk caramel sauces in Lansdowne.

Ladies of the Write

Celebration Theater -- which recently had to scrap its planned run of Steel Magnolias due to rights restrictions -- has quickly come up with a worthy replacement to kick off its 2012-13 season. The theater is currently seeking short plays or monologues from female writers as part of its Girl Talk: A Celebration of Women Playwrights, which will take place in November. Complete details and guidelines for submitting works are avaialble at the Celebration Theater website.

Increase Business, Reduce Consumption

Looking to grow your green business? For a limited time the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is offering the Small Business Advantage Grant Program, which will award up to $9,500 to an eligible project that aims to reduce small business energy consumption. Applications are due September 26. For information and applications, go to the Advantage Grant Program website.

Arts Festival Update and Material Needs

Don't make plans for next weekend outside of the borough -- it's Lansdowne Arts Festival time! It's a weekend full of live music, exhibits, and classes you won't want to miss. Donations of materials for the Lansdowne Arts Festival's Recycling Saturday classes are still needed, so bring any and all of the following to the donation box at the Market Manager tent and consider it your good deed for the day: Egg cartons, fabric, scarves, rubber bands, paper towel/gift wrap rolls, corks, feathers, googly eyes, yarn, popsicle sticks and/or tongue depressors, paper clips, plastic milk cartons, bottle tops, jar lids, large bubble wrap envelopes, and paint swatches.


Artist of the Week

Denise Pettit of Aestheticals is always a big hit when she does a show in Lansdowne because her work is clever, it's attractive, it often makes use of things she recycles, and it's a bargain. Also, she is super nice and a good FM booster, so come show her some support on Saturday. If you can't find something with your name on it, you should change your name.

Musicians of the Week

Ryan Marie Waterman, or Briz, is a first timer to the Musician tent. The accolades on his website compare him to Neil Young repeatedly, as well as Dylan and Springsteen, so we're in for some solid musicianship.



Tenth Annual Lansdowne Arts Festival
Pre-Show Reception: Friday, September 7, 7:00 pm; $25
Exhibits and Activities: September 8 and 9, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Free
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

In-Home Business Happy Hour
Presented by the LBPA
Wednesday, September 12, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Argana, 2 N. Lansdowne Avenue
Email or for details

Central Business District Walkability Discussion - a Public Open House
Tuesday, September 11, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Borough Hall, 12 East Baltimore Ave.

Bingo Night at First Presbyterian Church
Saturday, September 22, 7:00 - 10:00 pm; $10 at door
Lansdowne & Greenwood Avenues

Harvest Tea at the Simpson Gardens Dining Room
Saturday, September 29, 1:00 pm; $15
84 N. Lansdowne Avenue
Reservations and info: 610-623-1514

Do you have an event to announce?
Send your upcoming events to to have them included in this space!

View the complete listing of local events.

Picture your own corny caption here.

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.

Newsletter Sponsors