Fresh Picks

August 28, 2014 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, August 30

Remember how great it was back in May when Memorial Day fell what seemed like so much earlier on the calendar than usual? Summer had unofficially begun and there was still another full week in May! Yay, Summer, you're the best! But now we're seeing how that shakes out at the other end because Labor Day weekend in August? Who's heard of such a thing? The summer of 2014's near perfect weather continues (as of this writing), and yet kids are back in school, pools are closing, all the other stuff that signals byebye to the lazy hazy etc is happening. We just cannot accept it. That said, at least this holiday didn't sneak up on us like the 4th of July did. We know it's coming, people, this Monday, in fact, so get ready. The Farmers Market can help with that.

Grill Friends

We can only assume that you've been grilling every available chance this summer, correct? Yeah, it can be a little bit of a bother, especially if you prefer charcoal, but with the low humidity and nice temps we've had, you're going to be looking out your window in February even more regretfully if you don't get some serious grilling in before it's too late. We can't stop encouraging you to try Freeland Market's wonderful variety of fresh sausages, and Livengood has some terrific frozen ones too, plus a great selection of meat from animals that were raised properly, that ate well and had space to roam, that went to all the right schools and know how to fold napkins; you can eat it and feel safe and considerably less guilty. If you're having guests and want to make an impression, try spatchcocking one of Livengood's chickens, which means butterflying it and grilling it under a weight to flatten it out. It makes for a terrific presentation as well as a tasty main dish.

In addition to the usual veggies you're likely to cook over open flame (zucchini, sweet peppers, mushrooms), you've grilled your corn too, right? We've tried it every which way – left in the husk and soaked then grilled, left in the husk and not soaked then grilled, husk peeled back and silk removed and corn brushed with compound butter then grilled, husked and soaked or not soaked and brushed or not brushed with butter and grilled; it is quite literally ALL GOOD. When you start with fresh summer sweet corn, folks, which is fantastic by definition, and toss it on the grill to save stovetop involvement, it will be delicious. (Just keep an eye on it.) Did anyone try brushing big scallions with olive oil and sprinkling them with salt then grilling them, as was suggested here a couple weeks ago? If not, get on that. Oil up some of those heads of organic garlic that North Star Orchard has and stick them off to the side while you're at it, and you'll have softened grilled alliums to squeeze out of their "casings" onto bread or crackers or right into your mouth (we go with option #2). Worth doing just for the smell!

Since the grill is already hot, wrap up some whole peaches and nectarines in heavy duty aluminum foil (add in a little fresh basil or lemon thyme if you prefer more sophisticated flavors), and place that package off to the side of the grate while the main course grills. In 20 or 30 minutes, your softened fruit and the juice it releases are ready to serve over ice cream or alongside a simple cake, or just put it all in a jar in the fridge to add to your yogurt or smoothie in the morning. You'll be so pleased with yourself when you have this stuff at the ready. This is a great use of under- or overripe fruit. Thanks for the idea, Marla!

Reader Recipe

Once you've watched this video we first shared a few weeks ago on the best way to quickly and unmessily (should be a word) cut a watermelon, you're going to need something to do with all that fruit. Former Mayor Jayne Young offers this recipe she made up for an herbed watermelon salad. "Cut the watermelon into bite-sized chunks. Squeeze the juice of one or two lemons (depending on the size of the melon) over the melon and add some zest for more zestiness. Chop fine: fresh mint, lemon verbena (or other lemony herb), basil, and pineapple sage. Sprinkle the herbs on the melon and toss. After it sits a bit, the lemon juice gets sweeter and the herbs infuse the melon. Use more mint than anything else as it adds a coolness. If you don't have pineapple sage or the lemon verbena, because YOUR son didn't gift you any for Mother's Day like mine did, you can use another of the fruity herbs or just use the mint and basil, which are in abundance this time of year." Thanks, Jayne, it sounds great. If you try this recipe, let us know what you think.

5th Try

Last week we said here that August's fifth Saturday -- aka this Saturday -- would be filled by the 2/4 vendors. Wrong! Accuracy shmaccuracy! In fact, it is the first and third Saturday vendors who are on board, since the 2/4s got their chance back in May. Thus, this week expect these nonweekly vendors: Avenue Deli, Creative Shepherd Farms, Freeland Market, Penns Woods Winery, Take Me Bake Me/Mompops, Taste Artisanal Market, and Waffatopia. (These vendors will also be part of next week's alternating 1/3 vendor lineup.) And aside from Bonnie's Wondergardens, which returns next Saturday, all the regular weekly vendors will be there.

Last time he was in Lansdowne, Sebastian (the Creative Shepherd) was promising homemade root beer plus ice cream this week so we can have root beer floats at the Market, but we're so afraid that this isn't actually going to happen that we have not called to confirm. Plus, he's always on a tractor or making cheese or something anyway. Just keep your fingers crossed...


Next week is the 12th Lansdowne Arts Festival, which brings tons of people to our lovely borough for a weekend of music and artists and art and fun, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. It's not too late to get tickets to the best party of the year, Friday night's Taste of Lansdowne Pre-Show Reception, which gives you early access to the artists' merchandise as well as to platter after platter of finger foods created almost Top Chef-style by our own Marnie Miller (formerly of Provisions) from items donated by LFM vendors and other local businesses and then constructed into delicious parcels for popping into the mouth. This shindig is about as formal as we get here in 'Downe Town, and also about as fun. You should come.

This Saturday, get a Market Buck by wearing a T-shirt promoting any of the previous 11 Lansdowne Arts Festivals while you do your LFM shopping.


June's Community Day was one of the best ever (really, people kept telling us how great it was), and we have high hopes that Saturday's will give it a run for its money. There are lots of new names and organizations on the docket, so if you've been curious about the Peace Corp or renewable energy or even just thinking of changing banks, this is your chance to get info easily. Also, the Elm Street Program will be doing health surveys and if you complete a survey, you're entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card. Good deal!

As the Market season rolls on, the volunteers are getting better and better at doing what they're there to do. Last week we had help from Terry Baraldi, Marcus DiSciullo, Jayne Young, Judy Veloski, Kenny Byrne, and Donna Hillary. Thanks, peeps! The winner of this month's $10 in Market Bucks (selected via random drawing from among all the volunteers) is John Martin. So come and get your love, er Bucks, John! Here we'd like to give a special shout-out to two regular volunteers, Eve and Nora Prince. Even though the older of that pair only just turned 6, they still know what they're doing when it comes to hanging weights and putting out the "turtles" (those green "Slow Down" figures on Lansdowne Avenue). They have been two of the most regular volunteers this summer, as well as the two cutest by a mile (sorry, Marcus).

Turning the Corner on Business Development

Economic Development in Lansdowne is turning the corner and the LEDC is a central force in making this happen. We are excited to bring to you monthly profiles of new developments in the central business district in our new e-newsletter and blog, Turning the Corner on Business Development.

This week’s featured article is about Woodward Properties, an apartment management company, and its role in revitalizing our community. Read more about their recent expansion into Lansdowne.


Artist of the Week

Since it rained the first time she was scheduled to appear, Laura Piontkowski is coming this Saturday instead with her creative and offbeat take on photography -- capturing letters and numbers wherever she looks -- which could well lead to having your Name on Your Wall.

Musician of the Week

As has become tradition for Community Day, this week's music will be supplied by a DJ, this time Philadelphia-based DuiJi 13. Though he is a resident DJ at The Gathering, the longest running hip-hop event in Philadelphia, he promises to spin an eclectic mix that includes pop, rock, funk, and Afrobeat. Wear comfy shoes.



A Taste of Lansdowne: The Lansdowne Arts Festival's Pre-Show Reception
Friday, September 5, 7:00 pm; $25
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

The Lansdowne Arts Festival
Saturday-Sunday, September 6-7, 10 am - 5 pm; free
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Steve Gillette and Cindy Magsen
at the Lansdowne Folk Club
Thursday, September 25, 7:30 pm; $17-$20
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

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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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