If we were prone to self-congratulation for "good calls," such as predicting what a rollicking fun time the Opening Market would be, our hands would be blistered by now from high-fiving ourself. But after eight seasons of first days, expecting the ninth one to be happy and hopping was pretty much a no-brainer. The sun shone brightly and warmly, the breeze wafted wonderful smells around, the vendors were in terrific spirits, David Falcone was a musical marvel, free birthday cake was distributed, and you seemed delighted to be a part of it. We were glad you were a part of it too. Thanks for making Opening Market #9 a memorable bash. Way to kick it off, friends!
Speaking of High Five . . .
Since it's the start of the new season, here's a little refresher course in how the schedule works. Many vendors come every week - Fruitwood Farms, Buy the Dozen Bakery, Wilson's Curiously Good Foods, for example. A few "visiting" vendors come only once a month, like Relishing Grannies. All of the other vendors are bimonthly, coming on either the first and third Saturdays (colloquially known as 1/3 vendors) or the second and fourth Saturdays (2/4 vendors). The Vendors page gives this info right below the vendor name.
But what happens when a month has five Saturdays? Well, for a few years it blew our circuits. We were unprepared, those extra Sats seemed to come from nowhere, and it threw things into disarray. But now we have it down. There are two fifth Saturdays a season -- one goes to the 1/3 vendors and one goes to the 2/4s. The calendar is trying to throw us a curve this week by sneaking in an extra Sat right out of the blocks, but our circuits are no longer blowable. For this first fifth Saturday, the 2/4 vendors are all lined up and ready to file into the lot in an orderly fashion (just kidding; setup is bedlam every week all season) for your shopping pleasure.
That's right: If you forgot your dull metal implements last week despite our best efforts to remind you, you get another chance this Saturday to have a fine edge reapplied while you shop, since Neil's Sharpening Service is coming. (Seriously, please do bring your blades because Neil gives us the side-eye if he has to sit too long with nothing to hone.)
Amazing Acres Goat Dairy will be with us this Saturday, with their usual array of flavored (and not) goat cheeses (try the bloomy rind stuff). Lynn and Will's goats had 30 babies in the spring, and they're looking to rehome (sell) some of them, so if you've been in the market for a kid, talk to her. Even if you don't want to own a goat, do yourself a favor and like Amazing Acres' Facebook page, if only for Cute Goat Wednesday, when they post pictures like this and this, or, good gravy, this. Gah! (For you non-link followers, that last picture is of a goat the size of a cat. See what you miss!)
Go Native Anywhere
You might have noticed last week that Paradocx has new, better packaging for some of their wines. Don't panic -- the paint buckets are still around, as are bottles of most of their wines. But they've repackaged their Go Native line in better laminated pouches than previously. How better? Sturdier, less likely to delaminate or puncture, and also prettier. The Go Native wines are of the sweeter ilk, and this packaging is made to be dropped into a cooler or a backpack or squeezed into other unlikely spaces where bottles are too heavy or just a bad idea. And don't forget that Paradocx still offers a $2 credit toward future purchases for each paint pail you return.
Berry Short Season
Unfortunately, we suspect that the long, cold spring and this week's heat wave are conspiring to put the kibosh on strawberry season. Let's expect those heart-shaped bits of heaven only one or two more weeks and consider ourselves fortunate if more squeak into Market after that. With the impending strawberry doom (doom, we tell you!) in mind, this article on the ins and outs of keeping berries fresh could be helpful if you plan to stock up for down the road. But if you buy a bunch and want to eat the things now rather than hang on to them for later, here are some recipes you might want to consider. Have we ever covered strawberry shortcake in this newsletter? Well, now we have (sorta). This food writer says that these strawberries and cream biscuits are best made with berries that are getting squishy, so if you let your strawbs go a little too long, that's the solution right there. Roasted strawberries is an even simpler recipe for "fixing" overripe berries, and as long as rhubarb is available at the Market (which it is!), we'd be silly not to make this strawberry-rhubarb crumble, since we don't even have to muck about with a crust, just a crumbly topping. Finally, even though we'll have to get the cukes at the grocery store, some of our LFM fruit is for sure going into this strawberry-cucumber cooler, which may or may not be topped off with sparkling wine instead of seltzer and definitely will be consumed poolside.
As he has since the Lansdowne Farmers Market began in 2007, local legend photographer John Green has created an online gallery of FM pictures that he adds to nearly every week. (The newest photos are always "on top.") Last week he humored us by getting pix of most if not all the vendors as well as some shoppers, but if he had his druthers, it would be all children, all the time. So especially if you have kids, be sure to check out his LFM gallery regularly and maybe even order a print or two because he takes some keepers.
If you're a photo bug who regularly or occasionally takes pix at the Market and would like us to share them here, just send us an email with the link to your shots. We'd love to see how you capture our Saturday hang. (Maybe there's an LFM calendar or something in the future...)
Last week we said that the application for the June 27 Community Day would become available next week, but we have been corrected on that front: it's happening right now. Here is the application, which is due back by June 13. This gives the committee a bit more time to deal with apps, so thanks for cooperating and getting your application in by that deadline and even earlier (ASAP, peeps!) if you want to be sure of a spot.
In past seasons, we've collected contributions of nonperishable food for the local food bank on the Market's three Community Days, but starting this year we'll be happy to accept your bags and boxes of food or your monetary contributions on the last Saturday of every month. So that means this week is a good time to go through your pantry and pull out some stuff that could be appreciated by local families who could use a little help. We always suggest peanut butter, coffee, cereal, potato flakes, pasta, sauce, rice, tuna, and so forth, but you may have some other good ideas, or you can check lists like these, which brilliantly suggest juice drinks and some good snack foods also. Bring your contributions to the Manager tent and we'll give you a Market Buck in thanks.
We're still looking for help with Market setup and breakdown as well as T-shirt printing. Come on, volunteer! You know you wanna.