Melon-choly Babies

August 9, 2017

If August is summer is at its perfect peak, the Lansdowne Farmers Market is the pinnacle.

After a decade, the LFM has become such a staple of life here in our community that we can call it “the market” and everyone knows whereof… More than a place to stock up on locally grown seasonals…it’s the place where we’re sure to run into that person we’ve been meaning to call; or to catch up on local news and events; or just to see and be seen.  And if the out-of towners that stop and shop tell us anything, it’s that word is out on Lansdowne…we are happenin’!  And all the signs are pointing UP!

Be sure to read ALL of this newsletter every week for some of the exciting things coming to our downtown spaces.  Like our very own Kia’s Cakes who will be setting up a permanent shop in what was Patrone restaurant.  We’re excited for Kia, and wish her the very best!  Look for her in the fall.  AND, Jamey Reilly, who used to operate Patrone, has moved a few doors down and is opening Jamey’s House of Music at 32 S. Lansdowne Avenue, which will also be opening in the fall.

And still more excitement! One of our favorite Lansdowne buildings, the former Noel Schmidt Furniture store at Highland & Baltimore, is coming back to life, and bringing life back to Lansdowne!  Renovations are underway to make this busy corner a mecca for art and entrepreneurs.  This past week, the fabulous Ken and Ron of Mercantile Home set up camp with their traveling Mobile Mercantile pop-up store.  Those of you lucky enough to find your way there no doubt came away with something beautiful to wear, carry or just look at, as well as two new friends that we hope will make Lansdowne a frequent stop.  Watch this space for more information about the very real plans for this unique building!

But back to our shopping baskets…

When last we left the produce aisle, the tomatoes and peaches were making beautiful music together.  We’ll leave them to it long enough to give some attention to some of the other cast members in our fascinating food facts tour.

That strangely lop-sided gait that we’ve noticed as people leave the Fruitwood Farms tent can be blamed on those sugarbaby watermelons and outsized cantaloupes that are now taking their star turn at the table.  

Nerd facts: The watermelon, oddly enough, had its origin in one of the driest climates on earth…the Kalahari Desert. Its cousin, the cantaloupe first makes the culinary charts in the Far East, possibly Persia, as a member of the muskmelon family.  (For you Super Nerds…just click on the links for the full skinny.  We’ll wait.)   

We grew up loving watermelons as a staple of family picnics and seed-spitting contests…sweet pink juices running down chins and bellies.  Melons, like us, have evolved into a much more sophisticated persona, taking their place at the grown-up dinner table, and holding up their end of the culinary conversation with a host of other garden-variety ingredients…including…wait for it…that round Romeo, that plump playah, that versatile veggie…the tomato!  Any way you want it, old school or new, sweet or savory, ’tis the season at the LFM.  

Shopping Note:  Only another week or so for blueberries, so make some space in the freezer.

But good news on the peach front…freestones are in, pretty as a picture and great for grilling.

Not keen on cooking in August?  Or ever?  We’ve got your back, and your appetite, covered with some of the best ready-to-eat-here-or-take-home choices…Wilson’s Curiously Good Treats with his legendary mushroom soup, chili, mac ’n cheese, and more; Rebecca’s Dumplings award-winning and authentically Asian delicacies; and for that sweet ending, My House Cookies….and quiches, and cakes, and pies and scones. And Tom takes orders. And they’re here every week, folks.

In the Music Tent this week: Rob Hamilton and Tom Collins, Me 3

Artist of the Week:  Sarah Rene and loveLSR: limited-edition handmade, hand-painted items that reflect life’s enjoyable moments to define and enhance the homescape

Did we mention it’s National Farmers Market Week? If you’ve never been to the LFM, now is the time! Farmers markets keep local jobs, stimulate the economy, and support our healthy communities! Be sure to check our website and FaceBook page for our complete vendor schedule and coming events. Summer may be racing its way to the finish line, but NOT the LFM.  Remember, we’re here ’til Halloween.  See you there!

-Terry Baraldi – Livin’ Large in Lansdowne