Last year, we completely missed out on promoting the Fourth of July as either a Lansdowne occasion (which it very much is) or a Farmers Market occasion
(which is kinda is) because we got all caught up in the Market's first Community Day, which is always the last Saturday in June. We learned our lesson though and won't be caught flat-footed again in 2013. So, without further ado, a rundown of
what the Lansdowne 4th brings your way.
First thing in the morning, the pretty, shady streets of our borough showcase a fantastically big-hearted small-town parade straight out of whatever movie about big-hearted small towns you like the best. The parade -- which anyone can just show up
and march, ride, or bike in! -- starts on East Greenwood and ends on the grounds of the high school, where it is followed immediately by a ceremony featuring local dignitaries, awarding of prizes for winning parade participants, and foot races.
(Foot races, people! It's like ancient Greece!) Sweaty kids can cool off with free water ice. Head home to get ready for whatever cookout you have in the works for the day -- sure to feature ample fresh foods from Saturday's Farmers Market -- then back to the schoolyard for fireworks and live music that evening. Aside from the parties and cookouts, the day's festivities are made possible by the
Union Athletic Association, who you can thank in person for doing such a great job of keeping these traditions alive by making a donation or buying some tickets to the 4th's fireworks extravaganza Saturday at the Market or when they come down your street this week. The Founding Fathers -- of both the United States and Lansdowne -- would be pleased, as would their mothers.
Taking the Fifth
This Saturday's Farmers Market, though several days before July 4, is your last chance to grab our vendors' goods before the holiday, so bear that in mind as you shop, since most items will keep even beyond the 4th.
This is the fifth Saturday in June, which will bring back the biweekly vendors usually on site on the first and third Saturdays. (The 2/4 vendors get a turn at the next "extra" Saturday, in August.) That means, in addition to the weekly vendors, you can expect
The Avenue Deli,
Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters,
John & Kira's Chocolates,
Penns Woods Winery, Spotted Hill Farm,
Take Me...Bake Me/Mompops, and
Taste Artisanal Market.
In a nice surprise, the kids from the
Lansdowne Community Youth Garden are also participating this week, with items like basil and nasturtium, the leaves and flowers of which can be
added to salads,
wrapped into spring rolls. As a special stretch-your-tummy-in-preparation-for-the-holiday treat,
Larry's Backyard Barbeque will be back
with his delicious slow-cooked pork and chicken. (John's MiniTreats is out this week for family obligations, and
A Good Year
While growing up, we heard a lot of adult conversations that involved whether it was a good year for asparagus or corn or peaches or whatever else was coming into fruition in local gardens and orchards.
We paid no mind then, since, as kids, we got fed no matter how bad a year it was for produce, but now we hear farmers using that phrase -- "a good year" or, conversely, "not a very good year" or even "a bad year" -- pretty regularly too, and it resonates more with what we care about. Rain, heat,
insect infestations, and plant plagues all figure into this, and what makes a good year for some things puts the kibosh on others. Poor farmers; it's kind of a crapshoot.
For example, this relatively cool, wet spring has made for the best display of hydrangeas we've ever seen. Floral fireworks, all over town. Conversely, all the rain has also caused cherries to burst, so many sweet cherries have scars where they've cracked open.
(They may not be pretty, but they're perfectly edible.) But a rough year for cherries makes for a great year for blueberries, since the ones we bought last week were big and fat and sweet to a one; there wasn't an involuntary "gee that's sour" wince in the whole box. So how about a few recipes that celebrate our personal favorite berry but that skip the obvious things, like pies and muffins? Let's start with these
custards with roasted blueberries on top. (Oh, please, let's! Right now!) Since you can buy the lemon curd at The Avenue Deli's stand and cut out that whole step, how easy (and delicious) would these
crepes with lemon curd and blueberries be? This
blueberry- and basil-infused vodka, ready in a week, will perk up a vodka tonic far better than any lime slice. And one more for the grownups:
blueberry julep icepops made with bourbon and mint. A good year indeed.
A complete list of participants in Saturday's first Community Day of the season is
here, so by all means familiarize yourself with whom to expect. And then descend on them on Saturday, since that's what they're there for -- to meet you and let you know what they've got going on that you should know about. By the way, not to toot our own horn or anything, but
the LFM is the only local market that we know of that regularly opens up additional space for groups, businesses, and individuals to promote themselves. We hope you take advantage of this chance for personal contact with these folks. You should always come away from Community Day a little more informed than you went in.
Hope you've been stocking up on nonperishables to drop off at the Market on Saturday, when we'll be collecting them for the local food bank. (Did you know
that several of the Market's vendors send leftovers to the same food bank every week, generously providing your neighbors with fresh, local breads and other baked goods?) Donate a bag of stuff and get a Market Buck in thanks.
For the first time this season (and maybe the last; who knows), we'll have LFM T-shirts for sale in the Market Manager tent. We printed these things in 2011, so they're a
bit picked over by now, but for the bargain basement price of $4 each, you can't afford not to have one, especially when you consider that you could have earned $2 in Market Bucks already this season by wearing one if you had it. It's a shirt that earns you money.
How many of your other clothes do that? For shame, lazy blazer!
Did you know that the LFM's Naturally Neighborly patch is now free? No cost, no strings.
Just stop by the Market Manager tent to grab a couple, then sew or iron them on to something, like maybe that blazer that's not earning its keep.
While you're there, pick up the LFM Event Forecaster, a folded-paper thingamajig that reminds you
when the Market's special events are, such as next month's Kidcentric Day (how's that song coming, parents?).
We're going to stop gassing on about the Come Chill in Lansdowne cooler bags -- the yeti of LFM merch -- until we actually have them in our hot little hands.
Perhaps they're a victim of Watched Pot Syndrome, and if we look away they'll simply show up.
Tonight: How to Survive a Plague at Library
No Place for Hate committee presents a free screening of the 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague at 7 pm tonight at the Lansdowne Library. The Academy Award-nominated film deals with the early years of the AIDS epidemic, with a focus on the formation of groups like ACT-UP and TAG and their radical tactics to combat the disease and build awareness. Free popcorn provided; feel free to bring your own beverage.