Somehow, the fact that this is the LFM's tenth year snuck up without any of us noticing until very recently. We're not going to make too big a deal out of this MOMENTOUS ANNIVERSARY, mostly because we ran out of time to think of anything terrific. This being 2016, however, we'd be remiss if we didn't at least include some pertinent celebratory gifs. To wit:
So, yay for the Lansdowne Farmers Market -- a decade in and still growing and changing
! Thanks for plugging along with both the Market and this sometimes informative, often silly, and occasionally accurate e-newsletter.
Celebrate the Old!
As you've probably noticed, there's always a considerable amount of turnover from year to year and even during the season at the LFM. Showing up at a farmers market weekly or every other week is a lot of work -- before, during, and after -- and some vendors decide it's too much dang work. In some cases, small businesses stop operating, while others get too big for little markets like ours. Staffing, health issues, transportation problems, and bad weather also play a role in vendor dropout.
Do you know how many vendors stuck with the LFM through nine full seasons and are now back for the tenth? One. One vendor has been with us from the start, and we couldn't love them any more for that than we already do. The award for Longest Vendor at the LFM goes to Fruitwood Farms
, which has been the tables-heaped-to-overflowing anchor of the southeast corner of the Market since day 1. So if Mike Nelson shows up on opening day (and he usually does), be sure to thank him for Fruitwood's longevity. And if he doesn't, Karen will gladly accept your appreciation, along with your money for the beautiful strawberries and asparagus and greens they always have at kickoff.
Second place goes to Wilson's Curiously Good Foods (originally John's Minicakes). John joined partway through the second season and has never stopped wowing the world with his mushroom soup and pots de crème. Hat tip to him for an excellent showing in this nompetition! (We just made that word up, but it's a keeper.)
In With the New!
Looking at the Vendors page
of the LFM website
, you'll see that there are eight new vendors this season. You've possibly met a few of these folks over the Winter Markets, which we think of as a trial run for the regular season, but we want to introduce them officially here anyway.
Every week, Big Sky Bread will be providing breads, rolls, and other baked goods, including some gluten-free options, from right beside the Market Manager tent. On the first and third Saturdays of each month, you'll be able pick up small-batch sweet red or white wine from Mitchell & Mitchell Wines, as well as infused olive oils and balsamic vinegar from Mediterra (classy!). On just the first Saturday of the month, Kiss My Soul Naturals will be onsite with soaps, scrubs, and soy candles made in Lansdowne (though Sara won't be able to make it this week).
But it's on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month that the new vendors practically take over. The Ancient Kitchen will have jams, sauces, and spices; Crisp Pickles is coming with, you guessed it, pickles; FBG Foods is bringing salsa from its headquarters in Drexel Hill; the Rafiki Shoppe will have African soups, stews, and breads; Rebecca's Dumplings will be satisfying your craving for those stuffed Asian delights; and South Mountain Creamery will be providing butter, eggs, cream, milk, cheeses, and beef and pork.
Hooray for the Rest!
While not the longest or the newest, we have plenty of returning vendors that we're not insignificantly excited about. It's been a long time since you've seen the returnees who don't participate in the Winter Market, so give them an especially warm welcome.
The other returning vendors -- Frecon Farms, The Icery, Neil's Sharpening Service,
Poniton Farm, and Relishing Grannies -- will be joining the Market in due time. Check the Schedules page and keep reading future issues of this e-newsletter to know for sure when to expect them.
Get Sharp, Stay Sharp
Because it's a total bummer to wrangle the whole family up to the Market only to find out that Neil's Sharpening Service is there and you didn't bring your knives or scissors or garden shears or reel mower or any of the things you've been meaning to get sharpened, we're going to list all of Neil's dates for the whole season right here so you can put them on your calendar now (the one in your phone that automatically reminds you, not the one on the wall that you never look at) and then thank us later. In short, he's coming the second Saturday each month. In long, this works out to be June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, and October 8.
It's fun to start the season by giving away a whole buncha Market Bucks (or Farmer Dollars for those of you who've actually read the print on the things). Just come to the Market Manager tent to say hello and ask for a Buck and we'll give you one. You'd think this would be a bank buster, but we've done this before and you people are actually a bit shy about asking for a Buck. Don't let misplaced pride keep you from getting a Market Buck! Ask and ye shall receive.
It's also nice to start out thinking of others. Load up some bags or boxes of nonperishable food donations and drop them at the Manager tent, and we'll make sure they get to the community food bank. You'll get a Market Buck for this too. We'll be doing this the last Saturday of every month, so please make a note of that.
We've only just started and it's already time to plan for the season's first Community Day, coming up the last Saturday of June, the 25th. (All three Community days are on the final Saturday of the month in question -- June, August, or October.) Watch this space this time next week, when the application will become available. All apps will be due by June 11 and the spaces always go extra fast for CD #1, so you gotta be on your toes!
So, yeah -- 10 years.
The first market of the year means it's Memorial Day weekend, and plenty of opportunities to add some extra ummph to the third day of this three-day weekend.
The Lansdowne Memorial Day 5K, also in its tenth year, kicks off the holiday at the 7:45 am start. There's still time to sign up -- day-of-race registrations begin at 7:00 am in front of Veterans Mini Park and the Lansdowne Theater on North Lansdowne Avenue.
The Lansdowne Baptist Church hosts its annual all-you-can eat Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast from 9:30 am to noon. Admission is $7 per person; $5 for children 12 and younger. Proceeds support the Aaron Royal Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarship funds for deserving local high school students.