Fresh Picks

July 18, 2013 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, July 20

Remember when you could have a conversation with a neighbor that wasn't about the weather? Nope, we don't either. It's brutal out there, friends. Keep cool and carry reusable shopping bags.

Living the Dream

This is the ninth week of the regular Market season, so by now you probably have a pretty good idea of the 2013 vendors. Or so you thought. Because this week one more brand new vendor will be joining the LFM, and you might just recognize him.

Probably a lot of people with challenging day jobs find themselves gazing out a window and wishing they were doing something less taxing or at least with more immediately tangible results, like plowing a field or making cheese. Not many act on it though. But in 2009, Penn Wood High School chemistry and physics teacher Sebastian Interlandi bought an 85-acre farm in Ava, New York, a little north of Rome and about 300 miles from Lansdowne. Now retired from teaching and living in Ava, Sebastian is the proprietor of Creative Shepherd Farm, where he's growing organic produce, making cheese, jarring jam, and brewing beer, and he's bringing the first three of these to the LFM starting this week. Part of the beauty of Sebastian's produce is that they had snow until May in upstate New York, so he's bringing stuff that "aged out" of the LFM a couple weeks ago, like spring onions, English peas, and black raspberries. He'll also have rhubarb and strawberry-rhubarb jam made within the past month from his organic fruit. In addition, he'll be giving out 1-oz samples of his feta cheese and a roasted garlic soft cheese he makes using garlic, basil, and oregano grown on the farm. (When he returns in two weeks, he'll have cheese to sell, but try a free sample for now.) But what was that about beer?, you might be asking. There's still some paperwork to be done before he can sell beer, especially in PA, but we're hoping he gets those hurdles cleared before too long, since he brews about 20 different kinds. Hello, Oktoberfest!

Two good things to know: First, Sebastian can take SNAP and credit cards, which will be especially useful when his cheese is ready to sell. Second, when we asked him why he's driving 300 miles to be at the LFM, he said it's because he just loves Lansdowne and misses it. (One day we're going to find out that Borough Council puts something in the water here.)

Three Shalt Be the Number

Looks as though the ninth Saturday of the season is also the third Saturday of July. And so it is decreed that the 1/3 vendors shall taketh their spots and selleth their wares and not melteth. (Sorry, the heat is getting to us.) So that means you'll see The Avenue Deli, FreshaPeel Hummus!, Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters, Penns Woods Winery, Spotted Hill Farm, Take Me...Bake Me/Mompops, and Taste Artisanal Market. Because of the heat, John and Kira's is taking the week off, and Bonnie's Wondergardens is also having a break this week. But the kids from the Lansdowne Community Garden will be there with their plot's offerings, plus Creative Shepherd joins us, as previously described, so no worries about who's missing the party.

Joe Cool

One of the more memorable, nay, haunting restaurant dishes we've had in recent years is the Spicy Crispy Cucumber appetizer at Han Dynasty. (There are seven or eight of these restaurants now, but the closest one is at 3711 Market in West Philly. Make it your business to try it before the students come back and swamp the joint in late August.) Apparently, we're not the only ones obsessed with this sinus-clearing-but-just-can't-stop-eating-it-because-so-spicy-yet-somehow-cool-and-crispy bit of culinary alchemy, as this article makes clear. While cucumbers are in abundance -- ie, now -- we're going to try this recipe for Sichuan Cucumber Salad at home in hopes of replicating that unique cool-yet-hot sensation. And if that one fails, we'll try this other recipe. And then we'll still go back to Han Dynasty because no way can we duplicate their dumplings in chili oil.

If you prefer your cucumbers simply cool, not head clearing, this cucumber, mint, and basil soda sounds like it's the perfect after-Market refresher. (And you don't need a soda maker; just make the simple syrup and add purchased soda water when ready to serve.) If you want something for a little later in the day, follow these instructions to infuse gin with cucumber and then use it to make a cucumber- lime cocktail. We're cooling off just writing about these heat beaters.

Need more ideas on how to use lovely, low-cal, low-cost cukes? Here ya go.

Eat. This. Right. Now.

Harvest Local Foods will have a limited amount of fresh mozzarella from Claudio's in the Italian Market this week to round out those Caprese salads we should be eating every single day now that we're in tomato and basil season. And that we should stop eating the moment good tomatoes come to an end. There may not be a better seasonal dish, period. But don't show up at 12:30 and expect to pick up a ball of this cheese. No way, lazybones. The early bird gets the mozz.


Next Saturday: Kidcentric Day. Birds, butterflies, books, games, wet tent, open mic starting at 11:30. We're all atingle in anticipation.

We couldn't have managed last week without the extra hands provided by Mark and Wesley French, Amie LaCourt, Kellie Bowker, Rae Asbridge, and Pat Arone, who heard our distress call here or on Facebook and answered it. We tip our straw boater in appreciation. Extra special thanks goes out to Judith Veloski, who has shown up to help break down repeatedly, unbidden, and who also answered phones with us when the LFM volunteered at the WHYY pledge drive back in the winter. Which bring us to this week, when we're still short-handed. So how about it? Can you step up to help with setup at 7:45 or breakdown at 12:45? You'd be so helpful, and we'd be so appreciative.

Help Yourself to Movie Night

Tomorrow night, the Lansdowne Parks and Recreation Department presents its third Movie Night in the Park of the year with a free showing of the 2011 historical drama The Help, starring Emma Stone and Viola Davis. As usual, the screening takes place in Hoffman Park on Scottdale Road, with the movie set to begin at 8:30 pm. If you want to opt for the dinner-and-a-movie combo, come early to picnic (the food part is, of course, your responsibility). Bring low chairs or blankets. Call 610-284-1493 for more information.

Windows Into Art

Next time you're strolling along East Baltimore Avenue. be sure to check out the photography by the Photo Arts Guild of Lansdowne now on display at the former Noel Schmidt furniture store (32 East Baltimore, across from the Dunkin' Donuts). This is the first effort of the Lansdowne Window Art project, an effort to display the work of local artists to enhance the appearance of the Borough¹s commercial streetscapes and to support appreciation for arts and culture in the community. This project is supported by the Lansdowne Economic
Development Corporation (LEDC).


Artist of the Week

Built by Birds is the name that Heather Crompton and Craig Vetter have adopted for their business of recycling bottles, coaster, lids, napkin rings, and other yard sale sorta things into clever, useful, and reasonably priced lanterns, chimes, candle holders, containers, and the like. No two pieces are alike, so come early for the best selection of nifty home goods that also make swell gifts.

Musician of the Week

Think this might be the first time for fiddler Chris Liakos at the LFM, but judging by this YouTube video, we'll be hoping that he comes back next year.



Gentle Grace Yoga for active seniors
and adults with limited mobility
Thursday, July 18, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, free
Twentieth Century Club
84 S. Lansdowne Avenue
Registration required: contact Gabrielle; 484-557-9605

Radiant Lotus Women's Qi-gong
for all ages/levels/experience
Thursday, July 18, 5:45 - 6:45 pm, free
Twentieth Century Club
84 S. Lansdowne Avenue
Registration required: contact Gabrielle; 484-557-9605

Minas Kids' Music Program
Friday, July 19, 10:30 – 11:30 am, free
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) -- Outdoor Theater
Saturday, July 27, 7:00 pm, free
Lawn of the Twentieth Century Club, 84. S. Lansdowne Ave

First Friday at Art Space Lansdowne
Friday, August 2, 6:00 - 9:00 pm, free
Debra Lane and Shelby A. Smith: Pottery and Ceramics
Michael Moore: Illustrations
Mona Iannaccone: Prints, Watercolors, Cards
25 S. Lansdowne Avenue

First Friday at Regency Cafe
Lansdowne Arts Festival preview event
featuring selected exhibitors
Friday, August 2, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, free
29 N. Lansdowne Avenue

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It may not be Dog Day yet, but we’re surely in the dog days.

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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