Fresh Picks
September 13, 2012 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, September 15


If you didn't brave the mostly terrific weather last weekend to get out to the Lansdowne Arts Festival, you must have been attending your own wedding or been stuck in a tiger pit somewhere. Otherwise, why miss the free music, super shopping, yummy food, and perfect opportunity to yack it up with, well, practically everybody? Once again, it was great fun. A big thank you to everyone who came out to support the arts, and an even bigger thanks to the hard-working volunteers who plan and staff the event and then break down and clean up afterward. (At 10 years old, you'd think the Festival would be mature enough to clean up after itself, but it simply refuses.)

The Arts Festival has also begun to feel like the unofficial start of fall, even though it's sometimes 90 degrees on LAF weekend. But, as if on schedule, in just the past week the air has developed, if not a snap, at least a certain attitude that we've not felt for a while. And that attitude is one that inspires switching off the AC, considering long sleeves when the sun goes down, and thinking that a cup of hot coffee or tea -- or, heck, some red wine -- might taste good right about now. While the grill may still be in heavy use, the stove -- perchance even the oven! -- can be brought into service again. It's a heady time every year when the possibility of actually melting from the ambient temperature seems a thing of the past and you don't yet feel like you need to set your socks aflame to defrost your feet. Market-wise, you can get local tomatoes, sweet corn, apples, and greens all at the same time! Enjoy it while it lasts. It'll be January in no time. Or else go back to 92 degrees with 85% humidity. In either case, the tomatoes and corn will soon have left the building.

A Couple Shades of Green

photo by John Kelly Green
Are we the only ones who find green leafy vegetables rather overwhelming early in the season, when there are fewer other vegetables besides more leafy greens, but a sight for sore eyes (and probably under-ironed and over-tomatoed bodies) around now, when there's a better mix of veggie friends to pair them with? (For argument's sake, we'll assume that we are not and proceed with this paragraph accordingly.) But the problem arises: which leafy green to buy? We tend to select between Swiss chard and kale, in part because they are both just so attractive to the eye that the dandelion and collard greens don't stand a chance against them. Here is a slideshow of recipes for using Swiss chard in soups or other dishes, mostly in conjunction with other veggies and in a couple of brilliant instances with mushrooms (Oley Valley will be at the Market this Saturday) or tomatoes. This series of recipes for kale, from a different site, contains largely similar takes (with tomatoes and pasta, in soup with white beans or lentils), so while the two greens might not be completely interchangeable in every recipe, chances are good that if you have one on hand and find an enticing recipe that uses the other, you can give it a try, so don't sweat the choice too much unless you already have a preference. But if you want to make kale chips, you should probably stick with, well, kale. (You might be interested in knowing that kale has twice as many calories as Swiss chard, but both are so good for a body that it hardly matters.)

Third and Eight

'Tis the third Saturday of September (already, really? Really), which will be bringing the following vendors to our fair borough: Amazing Acres Goat Dairy, Doe Run Farm, John and Kira's Chocolates, Penns Woods Winery, Spotted Hill Farm, Provisions, Green Aisle Grocery, and in the wild-card spot, Oley Valley Mushrooms. Bonnie and the smiling Wondergardens team should also be back and brighter-eyed and bushier-tailed than you've seen them in a while, with that two-week rest behind them. They'll have a new shipment of seasonal goods, including mums, kale and cabbages, winter pansies, fall herbs, and lettuces.

All that said, we don't blame you if you look askance at this list, since the Market's recently had a spate of late cancellations (so late as to verge on veritable no-shows), such that you might not believe a single word we type. Nevertheless, type we must, and that typing is based on schedules determined months ago and posted right here. It does not take into consideration personal and familial illnesses, unexpected crop blight, or days when the workers just don't show up to pick up the product and convey it to us (all reasons for recent absenteeism). In some ways, the schedule is a best-case scenario, but prefacing the list with "If all goes well . . ." smacks a bit too much of courting disappointment, so let's just say that list above plus all the regular vendors is who we'll see on Saturday and plan on that. Nonetheless, please feel free to lay it on thick about how desperately you missed a no-show vendor the next time you see them, since we know what an inconvenience it is when you can't get what you'd planned on. No harm in their knowing also.

If you've been checking that schedule, you're aware that My House Cookies originally planned to be off this Saturday, but they've bumped those plans back a week, to the 22nd. In a dastardly confluence of events, Cupcakeology has also chosen to take that week off. (Our blood sugar is plunging at the mere thought!) As a stopgap measure, we've asked Provisions to come the 22nd and to bring an extra dose of baked sweets.

Lying Like a Dog

Dog Day is fast approaching, people! It's only two weeks away, on Saturday, September 29 (last week's newsletter said it was on Saturday the 28th, but that newsletter was fibbing and has thus been dealt with; it won't be seen in these parts again anytime soon). In addition to the Dog Parade, the SPCA adoption van, and an Animal Friends of Lansdowne booth, there will be nail trimming and grooming, dog treats, and canine challenges. More details will come over the next couple of newsletters (which are being subjected to lie-detector tests before release to prevent spread of further misinformation).

Direct Impact

Have a couple hours or 20 bucks (or both) that you could spare each month? For years, a smallish group of Lansdowners has been feeding dinner each third Thursday of the month to the less fortunate at the Life Center under the el tracks at 63rd and Market, but some fresh blood is needed. It's an easy gig that involves preparing some food at home, making a monetary donation, or actually going to the Life Center to serve the meal (or a combo). If you make a dish to serve, you just need to have it ready Thursday afternoon and someone will pick it up. If you want to make a donation of funds, know that not a cent is going to administration fees; a volunteer is using it to purchase food or paper goods. If you opt to serve, there's no clean-up and lots of camaraderie and satisfaction to be had. (Your newsletter writer leaves her house at 6:30 and is home by 8:15; it's a cakewalk.) We typically serve over 200 meals consisting of fried chicken, veggies, rice, salad, bread, and dessert, plus sandwiches and fruit to take away. Those third Thursdays, we sign the log as "The People of Lansdowne," so you're getting credit whether you help or not. But maybe you'd like to do a little more. Could you? Would you? Call or email Marcella Melot if the answer is "yes" or even "probably": or 610-623-6298.


Artist of the Week

Another newbie this week as Pure Scents Candle Company, a little but mighty operation out of Chester Springs, joins us for the first time. Margaret already has a regular schedule at Oakmont Farmers Market, but she's been eager to show her hand-poured soy wax candles at our end of Lansdowne Avenue. She makes her clean-burning candles in several sizes, containers, and scents, so finding something to suit your budget and preferences shouldn't be hard.

Musicians of the Week

The duo Fiorenza-Dowlin has performed several times from our Musician tent before, playing both originals and covers in that acoustic singer-songwriter way that works so well there. They compare themselves with James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, and, boldly, Mary Chapin- Carpenter, and we're all right with that.



Park Day
Friday, September 21, 1:00 - 4:00 pm; Free
Hoffman Park, Scottdale Road

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

Free Film sponsored by No Place for Hate
Thursday, September 27, 6:30 pm; Free
Free admission and popcorn
Lansdowne Public Library

Lansdowne Folk Club presents The Barn Birds
Thursday, September 27, 7:30 pm; $15-$18
Lansdowne Presbyterian Church, 140 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Dog Day at the Lansdowne Farmers Market
Saturday, September 29, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

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

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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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