Fresh Picks

June 23, 2016 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, June 25

Solstice Shmolstice

We're writing this on the first day of summer, a newsletter covering the last LFM in June. That feels off, doesn't it? With all due respect to the Gregorian calendar, summer should have begun a while ago, since it's been hot for weeks already and it always sadly feels as though summer's a third gone when we flip the calendar to July (next week!). We therefore decree the following: As of 2016, summer starts in Lansdowne with the Market's regular season. Thus, it's been summer here ever since Green Zebra rolled in with tomatoes on Memorial Day weekend. Everybody in the pool!


There's a lot to cover this week, so let's get right to the vendors. Weekly: Big Sky Bread, Bonnie's Wondergardens, Frecon Farms, Freeland Market, Fruitwood Farms, Green Zebra Farms, Kia's Cakes, MyHouse Cookies, Wilsons Curiously Good Foods. Biweekly: Amazing Acres Goat Dairy, Crisp Pickles, FBG Foods, Paradocx Vineyards, Rafiki Shoppe, Rebecca's Dumplings. Special: Ridge Valley Farm.

Shopping Alerts

There are several important things to note about this week's vendors:

  • This is Bonnie's last appearance at the Market until September. If you'd like to pick up hanging baskets, bouquets, or herbs or fill-in flowers for your beds without having to make a special trip to her shop, this is your last chance. Next week, the Icery takes over that space through August.
  • You can get maple syrup from Ridge Valley Farm only once a month at the LFM -- the fourth Saturday, which is this week. If you miss your chance and have to pick up maple syrup in the grocery store, you will stand in the cereal aisle feeling very regretful. We learned this the hard way.
  • They'd love a paint bucket of wine at whatever Fourth of July party or barbeque you're going to. But Paradocx's paint buckets are at the Market this week, not next, so buy them now.
  • Ditto upscale pickles from Crisp Pickles. They make a great gift for your holiday hosts, but you can't get them next week either. This is pickle Saturday.
  • MyHouse Cookies is taking off next Saturday, so you're in the same boat with their pies and other sweets as you are with pickles and paint bucket wine (that would be a delicious boat to be in, come to think of it). The good news here is that Tom and Marie live in Lansdowne, so if you talk with (or email) them, you can probably order some pies for pickup at their house a bit closer to the 4th if that's something you need.
  • Finally, Freeland Market is offering 5% off any order of $20 or more if you place that order by today. Yes, this is late notice, but Ben says he was telling all his customers last Saturday. Anyway, if you want to save a little dough, call or email them now with your order because tomorrow is too late.

More Newbie Intros

If you're itching for the full story behind Rebecca's Dumplings, you can read the five-part series that ran in Chester County Life magazine. You could also keep an eye out for the episode of Food Network's Great American Food Finds that featured Rebecca making her dumplings in the technique she developed to mimic her mom's. But the best way to find out about Rebecca's dumplings (lowercase d) is to try a sample, take home a dozen, and talk with Rebecca Li Jordan herself, who is about as friendly as they come. The dumplings are flat out Delicious (uppercase d), and even the dipping sauce is unusually tasty. Her instructions for reheating the dumplings in a microwave worked perfectly, and it took all we had not to power through the whole dozen in one sitting. Restraint won out and a few were saved for later, but oh my, it was tough. (Rebecca came to the LFM through the recommendation of John Wilson of Wilsons Curiously Good Foods, so blame him if you become addicted to those dumplings.)

The FBG in FBG Foods stands for fat blond guys, which is how Drexel Hill business owners Jim McCusker and Bob Sprague modestly describe themselves. Jim is a former chef, and he and Bob have been participating in local and state food competitions for about a year. They've done so well in these contests that they decided to get serious and make salsa to sell, and we're proud to report that the Lansdowne Farmers Market is currently the only retail outlet for their small-batch salsas. They're still developing recipes and currently have about five kinds of salsas, including a new one this week that incorporates bacon from Freeland Market (you know -- Ben, the sausage guy). Jim says they'll also be adding a Mexican-spiced black bean hummus to the lineup this Saturday, and they'll always have their plain and hot tomato salsas. Well, until they run out anyway, which has happened every week, so don't dilly-dally in getting over there and making your choices before the choice gets made for you.

All-Day Community Day

We're always a little boastful about Community Day, since allowing nonvendors space to exhibit is unusual for farmers markets in general, but it's been part of the LFM almost since the beginning, when the first one was held late in the 2007 season. In year 2, there were two Community Days, and by year 3 we had settled into the current three-per-season, every-other-month schedule. (The other months -- July and September -- go to Kidcentric Day and Dog Day, respectively.) So we've been doing this for a while, and the response has always been terrific.

But Community Day #1 of the 2016 season is something really special. In addition to the dozen groups, businesses, and individuals that have signed up to participate during the Farmers Market, there's a full day of stuff happening around Lansdowne. Many of LFM Community Day attendees are in fact Lansdowne community groups (the Arts Board, the Boys and Girls Club, the LBPA), so there's a nice roundness to the event. Others are local businesses you should be acquainted with (Nora Frank's Piano Studio, Lansdowne Friends School) and things you might want to know about (Green Mountain Energy, Gift of Life organ donation, local honey). This is not a complete list, so please allow some time to stroll the third row and see what else is over there.

Even though the LFM ends at 1:00, Community Day is going to continue all around town. Customer Appreciation Day at Walgreens will include carnival games and giveaways from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Icery's Second Anniversary Celebration will feature face painting from noon to 3:00 and free sample-size water ice till 6:00 pm. The 20*20 House has a new exhibit curated by Lansdowne native (and son of the current mayor!) TC Campuzano called Beyond Cold Polished Stones. The exhibit is open noon to 4:00, and then there's an opening reception from 6:00 till 8:00 pm. Plus -- and this is a big plus! -- a whole bunch of food trucks are going to roll into the Lansdowne Avenue parking lot as soon as we clear out the Market and they'll stay until 8:00 pm. (Don't even think about cooking Saturday; we have it covered.) There will be tables and chairs and tents and live music that changes hourly, and the whole day is going to be fun and festive. Here's the day's full line-up.


The LEDC could use a hand breaking down tents and tables and chairs after the food truck event we just described. The LFM committee will handle set-up, but if you're available at 8:00 pm (when things have cooled off and the fireflies have come out), please swing by to help us pack up. You'll be done by 8:30, we promise.

Get a Market Buck this week by coming to the Manager tent and telling us what product you've tried from any of the new vendors (whether there this week or not) and what you thought of it. Is it going to be come a regular part of your shopping? If not, why not?

Advance notice that July 30 (a full 5 weeks hence) is Kidcentric Day. If you have children, plan on coming for the butterfly tent, the open mic (get working on The Act), and the other stuff we're still planning. If you don't have children, that might be a good weekend to go to the beach. (We feel ya.)


Bob's Store inside Star Bazaar
26 North Lansdowne Avenue
Now selling soy candles (8oz) & collectibles

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Artist of the Week

Shawna McDonald makes lightly scented soy wax candles in pretty glass containers. It's Thimblewick's first time in the Artist tent, and the gift quotient here is very high.

Musician of the Week

Cassendre Xavier, on the other hand, has appeared at the LFM multiple times, and we're always glad to have her huge smile and gorgeous voice back. She makes a big impression.

Last week we introduced a new tip bucket, a bright orange sand pail from the Dollar Store, that says on it, "Dig the Music? Tip!" And that's really what it comes down to. The musicians play for a few Market Bucks and whatever the crowd is willing to part with in thanks. Please make it a point to toss a dollar or two into that bucket every week. From the Manager tent we see the musicians pack up and gather the tips, and we can vouch that your generosity is greatly appreciated.



Beyond Cold Polished Stones art exhibit opening reception
Saturday, June 25, 6:00 - 8:00 pm; free
20*20 House
20 Lansdowne Court

Rhyme, Rhythm and Reason Poetry Series
Companions on a Journey: poetry by Bill Van Buskirk, music by Last Chance
Open mic session to follow
Sunday, June 26, 2:00 pm, free
Regency Cafe, 29 N. Lansdowne Avenue

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market photos
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Lansdowne Farmers Market

Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation


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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