etc.

Today was a fun day. Went back into the former Motherland of the Main Line to the Historic Harriton House annual fair. I volunteered there forever, today I just went as a guest. I loved it, such a beautiful day. I scored some amazing vintage linens half price in the treasures booth after 1 PM. They are soaking now in Restoration Linen Wash and tomorrow will dry them outside on a clothes rack.

We also went into Berwyn for dinner. Otoro for amazing sushi. They were super busy, which is great for them.

However, what was not great was the lack of parking. Easttown wants to develop and super-size but I have to ask where exactly the stupidvisors there (not apologizing they are terrible) think people will park? It took forever to find a spot and Tommy’s Towing was circling the train station parking lot and others in Berwyn like sharks. The lot across from Clay’s was all roped off, which totally was not helpful.

Now amusement inside the restaurant were the teenage girls sitting at the sushi bar. I guess they want to be influencers or something, but every as in EVERY bite of food they put in their mouths, they took a selfie. It was hysterical.

Then we move to the not so hysterical next to us on Lancaster Avenue when we were taking my father in law home. A car full of teenage or just past teenage girls. A non-descript sedan with a temporary Maryland paper tag.

So anyway this one Twinkie in the back says (LOUDLY) “look at da old man” referring to my father in law.

She says it again “You guys LOOK AT DAT OLD MAN!” (I think they heard her in Exton.)

I did something I have never, ever done before. Rolled down my passenger window, gave her a big smile, the middle finger, and rolled the window back up.

Oh dat lady gave me the finger” she shrieks from the next lane, as we pulled away in traffic. (Ummm yes, bless your heart. If you want to be disrespectful about your family, by all means go for it. But not my people.) I remember being that age, but I don’t remember being that ridiculous.

Now I am sitting here at home and the sounds of laughter and music from a live band and a big party are filtering through the woods. It sounds like they are having a great time. Alanis Morissette and Third Eye Blind songs dancing through the trees.

It’s nice to hear life again.

Thanks for stopping by.

slums of east whiteland?

I have sadly lost track of how many times I have posted this deteriorating structure over the past few years. It is located in East Whiteland Township adjacent to the Wawa at Planebrook and Lancaster Avenue in Frazer, behind Osman’s Pizza.

This is a property in a dangerous state of deterioration and it is not secured. It should be secured, it should have been taken down a couple of years ago.

It adds a certain je ne sais quoi to a stretch of Lancaster Avenue that has a slum quality. And before you go bashing me for that opinion remember that’s where people with few options as far as affordable housing live and I doubt it’s bargain basement rental fees.

Not everything along here has the need to be McMansion central but it could look better than it does. And it demonstrates a need for safe affordable housing.

Thanks for stopping by.

oh and this weekend is the dodo pre-demolition sale

In 2020 I wrote about this. It’s the late Dodo Hamilton’s property. A firm called Haverford Properties wishes to develop it. Check out the leadership section and see what name crops up. This development is still a family affair is it not? There are plans and all sorts of stuff on Radnor Township’s website. It’s under “current development projects.” Follow THIS LINK to a Main Line Media News article on this proposed development in 2020.

So I am guessing the house is coming down soon? That’s sad. I haven’t looked at the plans on Radnor’s website but why bother? Municipalities have no balls these days as far as pushing back against over-development in their communities. And residents are getting the fight beaten out of them one municipality at a time, one development at a time.

So…if you want to own a piece of what was Dodo Land, check out EstateSales.net and Pre-Demolition Sales.

The fabulous greenhouses are for sale too apparently:

I am fascinated by this one kitchen , it’s a time warp and surprisingly hideous.

The wood paneling available however is gorgeous:

Now there is also this one photo with the most fabulous wall covering. I saw something similar once in an old house and it was Scalamandre wallpaper. This is a beautiful room and it just makes old house lovers sigh when rooms like this disappear.

The photo of one lone vintage Chippendale camelback sofa is the one that gets to me. I have one I got at Resellers years ago when they were in Frazer. It’s just a style I love.

I like looking at old furniture, I really don’t care for new furniture. Old and vintage furniture tell a story, like old hardware and even light fixtures. And the quality is often far superior to the newer counterparts.

I won’t be going to this demolition sale. I hate seeing the end of old homes. It’s a shame this has to happen. It’s even more of a shame this lovely property will be developed because it will change the area forever.

like a bad penny, bishop tube pops up again

Outside Bishop Tube on Malin Road East Whiteland Township. 2015 Photo

I haven’t written about Bishop Tube in a very long time. You see, I was the innocent and named resident in the nefarious SLAPP suit the developer filed a few years ago.

You can see a history of the past few years on the Delaware Riverkeeper website (CLICK HERE). Here is a screenshot from the Delaware Riverkeeper website:

Like the Delaware Riverkeeper, I was vindicated. My attorney is and was Sam Stretton of West Chester.

My opinions on this site remain unchanged. TCE isn’t something to play around with and I am entitled to said opinion as per the First Amendment. East Whiteland approved a development plan for 92 homes earlier in 2021. You knew they would. But it’s all still tied up in court, and Maya van Rossum sent out a message today about oral arguments apparently on Monday, September 27th, 10 AM regarding this plan:

I went looking for the case, don’t know if it is this one, but guess it is? (See below here)

The Delaware Riverkeeper has also pointed out something coming up in November 9th – looks like a public hearing. This notice was from the PA DEP apparently:

Here is the verbiage from above notice:


ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP & BROWNFIELDS

HAZARDOUS SITES CLEAN-UP UNDER THE ACT OF
OCTOBER 18, 1988


Notice of Proposed Remedial Response


Southeast Regional Office: Environmental Cleanup & Brownfields Program, 2 East Main Street, Norristown, PA 19401, 484-250-5960.

 The Bishop Tube Site, South Malin Road, Malvern, PA, 19355, East Whiteland Township Chester County.

 The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the authority of the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) (35 P.S. §§ 6020.102—6020.1303), is proposing a remedial response action at the Bishop Tube HSCA Site (the Site) to address soil, groundwater, surface water, and a residential drinking water supply that have been contaminated by chlorinated solvents and/or inorganic contaminants of concern (COCs).

 The Site consists of areas of groundwater, soil, and surface water contamination. Groundwater contamination at the Site affects properties, located along South Malin Road, Lancaster Avenue (US Rt. 30), Conestoga Road (PA Rt. 401), Morehall Road (PA Rt. 29), and Village Way. The sources of the contaminated groundwater and surface water and areas of contaminated soil are located on the 13.7-acre former Bishop Tube property (Source Property), currently owned by Constitution Drive Partners, L.P. (CDP). The Source Property’s address is listed as 1 South Malin Road, Malvern, PA 19355.

 TCE is considered the primary Site-related COC because its concentrations within soil, groundwater, and surface water are generally higher than other chlorinated solvents and pose the most substantial threat to human health and the environment of all Site-related COCs. Additionally, TCE has migrated further in groundwater than the other COCs released at the Site. Since a public water supply is available within the entire Site boundary, vapor intrusion (VI), and not ingestion of or direct exposure to groundwater, is anticipated to be the most significant exposure pathway. Potential routes of exposure on the Source Property include trespasser and construction worker direct contact to soil and surface water, and construction worker inhalation during excavation. Potential exposure routes for a future redevelopment scenario may include inhalation from VI and drinking from wells, if installed. Potential routes of exposure for downgradient properties may include the VI pathway, if new construction occurs in areas impacted by contaminated groundwater and/or occupied buildings are modified, and the potential use of untreated contaminated groundwater, if any new supply wells are installed. DEP is proposing to divide the Site into three operable units (OU) and to remediate the Site to a combination of the Act 2 standards, including background, Statewide health, and site-specific.

 OU 1 consists of soil contamination on the Source Property. Alternatives considered for OU1 include Alternative 1—No Action, which is required to be considered as a baseline for each OU; Alternative 2—Engineering Controls, Coupled with Institutional Controls (ICs); Alternative 3—Excavation with Offsite Treatment and/or Disposal; Alternative 4—Excavation with Onsite Treatment and Alternative 5—In Situ Chemical Oxidation/In Situ Chemical Reduction (ISCO/ISCR), Coupled with Soil Mixing. DEP proposes the selection of Alternative 5—ISCO and/or ISCR, Coupled with Soil Mixing to address areas of elevated COCs in unsaturated and saturated soils. The proposed alternative is more cost effective and provides unique benefits that are expected to compliment the preferred groundwater remediation approach, discussed below. This alternative will comply with Applicable, or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements (ARARs), is expected to have a smaller carbon footprint and results in lower potential for erosion/sedimentation and fugitive air emissions than the other alternatives considered. Engineering controls, designed to protect Little Valley Creek (LVC) and reduce surface infiltration and contaminant migration, would be evaluated upon completion of the soil remedy work and implemented and/or maintained as part of the groundwater remedy. Completion of this alternative is expected to take four years and cost around $2.8 million. Long-term operations and maintenance costs associated with engineering and institutional controls are incorporated into the OU2 Groundwater remedy.

 ISCO/ISCR, coupled with soil mixing would be protective of public health and the environment and meet the remedial action objectives (RAOs) by addressing soil exposure pathways, reducing contaminant transfer and migration to and by groundwater, and preventing erosion during construction and after regrading and/or restoration are completed.

 OU2 consists of Site groundwater. Alternatives considered for OU2 include Alternative 1—No Action; Alternative 2—Monitored Natural Attenuation; Alternative 3—In Situ Injection (ISCO/ISCR/Bioremediation); Alternative 4—In Situ Thermal Treatment (ISTT); and Alternative 5—Hydraulic Control. DEP proposes selecting Alternative 3—In Situ Injection (ISCO/ISCR/Bioremediation) to address COCs in groundwater. Implementation of this alternative would involve phased injection of amendments to treat the targeted groundwater source areas; engineering and/or ICs to mitigate Site impacts to LVC and address potential future human exposure to COCs in groundwater resulting from water well installation and/or VI; and long-term monitoring of engineering controls/ICs and ongoing natural attenuation. 

 Establishment of ICs, as an initial step, would immediately address the primary RAO to mitigate potential future human exposure to Site-related COCs in accordance with an Act 2 site-specific standard. Over time, implementation of Alternative 3 would achieve the other RAOs, including reducing COC migration in groundwater across the Source Property boundary, reducing the diffuse discharge of COCs to LVC, and hastening retraction of the contaminant plume. Completion of the active (i.e., injection) phase would be evaluated through monitoring of amendment distribution and attainment of conditions suitable for continued anaerobic biological degradation of CVOCs. After completion of the active phase of remediation, long-term monitoring would continue to assure exposure pathways are not opened due to changes in conditions (i.e., new construction or supply well installation), operations and maintenance of engineering controls and/or ICs, and to evaluate progress toward attaining RAOs.

 DEP considers Alternative 3 to be more implementable than hydraulic control and ISTT because no extracted water will require discharge and/or additional pre-treatment before discharge. Any stream or sewage discharge would necessitate additional levels of pre-treatment and approvals for discharge to an exceptional value water or public sewer system. It is also more cost effective than these other alternatives and would provide for quicker attainment of RAOs than monitored natural attenuation alone. Preconstruction, construction, and active remedy implementation costs associated with the proposed alternative would be approximately $2.8M. Long-term post remedial costs are estimated to be $2.5M, based on a present value (PV) calculation, resulting in a total estimated PV cost of about $5.3M.

 The in situ injection alternative would comply with ARARs and be protective of human health and the environment primarily through assuring exposure pathway elimination via engineering controls and ICs. 

 OU3 consists of the one contaminated potable drinking water supply, located within the Site area. Alternatives considered for OU3 include Alternative 1—No Action; Alternative 2—Continued Operation, Maintenance, and Monitoring of a Whole House Carbon Filtration System, Combined with Restrictions on the Use of Groundwater; and Alternative 3—Connection to the Existing Public Water Supply Waterline, Combined with Restrictions on the Use of Groundwater. DEP proposes the selection of Alternative 3—Connection to the Existing Public Water Supply Waterline, Combined with Restrictions on the Use of Groundwater. Under Alternative 3, a lateral connection would be installed from the existing waterline main to the affected residential property and the private water supply well would be abandoned. The proposed alternative is a permanent solution that is protective of human health. The nearby existing public water infrastructure makes the proposed project alternative relatively easy to implement. Once connected to the waterline, the private well will be abandoned, therefore additional sampling of the residential well will not be required. The action will comply with ARARs relating to safe drinking water standards.

 Connection of the home to the existing public water supply would cost approximately $24,000 and is more cost effective than continuing to operate, maintain, and monitor the point of entry system that currently exists on this residential water supply.

 Alternative 3 would protect public health by permanently eliminating exposure to Site-related COCs resulting from use of the impacted private well.

 In summary, DEP’s proposed remedy includes ISCO/ISCR, coupled with soil mixing to address unsaturated and saturated soils impacted by Site COCs; in situ injection of ISCO, ISCR or bioremediation amendments in the two primary CVOC source areas to address contaminated groundwater with engineering, and/or ICs, and long-term monitoring; and connection of the residence with an impacted domestic well to the existing public water line.

 In combination, implementation of these proposed alternatives would protect public health and the environment and address potential exposure pathways by using engineering controls and ICs, connecting a home with a private well to the public waterline, reducing COC migration across the source property boundary, reducing migration and diffuse discharge of COCs to LVC, and hastening retraction of the groundwater contaminant plume by reducing source concentrations of COCs in soil and groundwater.

 If selected, implementation of these alternatives would be designed and implemented in a complimentary manner to avoid potential negative interactions, comport with the protections afforded under Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, comply with ARARs, and avoid negative impacts to LVC. The total estimated PV cost of the proposed final remedial response action is $8.1M.

 This notice is being provided pursuant to Section 506(b) of HSCA. The administrative record, including the Analysis of Alternatives and Proposed Response Document, which contains the information that forms the basis and documents the selection of this response action is available for public review and comment. An electronic copy of the administrative record is available to review on the DEP’s website www.dep.pa.gov/bishoptube. The hard copy of the administrative record is located at DEP’s office at 2 East Main Street, Norristown, PA 19401 and is available for review Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4 pm. Those interested in examining the Administrative Record at the DEP’s office should contact Dustin A. Armstrong at 484.250.5723 to arrange for an appointment. Additional copies of the Administrative Record are available for review at East Whiteland Township’s Municipal Building.

 The administrative record will be open for comment from September 25, 2021, until January 3, 2022. Persons may submit written comments into the record during this time only by sending them by mail to Dustin A. Armstrong, Environmental Protection Specialist at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 2 East Main Street, Norristown, PA 19401 or by e-mail to RA-EP-SEROECB@pa.gov. Please include ”Bishop Tube Public Comment” in the subject of the e-mail.

 In addition, persons may present oral comments, for inclusion in the administrative record, at the public hearing. DEP has scheduled a Virtual Public Hearing for Tuesday, November 9, 2021, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Individuals who wish to present testimony at the virtual hearing must e-mail RA-EP-SEROECB@pa.gov a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the hearing to reserve a time to present testimony; a link will be provided upon registration. For those wishing only to listen, access information to the hearing will be posted to the Virtual Public Hearing web page found at www.dep.pa.gov (select ”Public Participation”). All comments, whether delivered orally during the virtual hearing or submitted in writing to RA-EP-SEROECB@pa.gov carry equal weight and consideration with DEP. Verbal testimony is limited to 3 minutes for each witness. Video demonstrations and screen sharing by witnesses will not be permitted. DEP asks that each organization designate one speaker per group and reminds those presenting that time may not be shared or relinquished to others. More information on DEP virtual hearings may be found on DEP’s Public Participation page, at www.dep.pa.gov (select Public Participation).

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-1618. Filed for public inspection September 24, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]

Ok that’s all, other than here is where you can find the above notice in native format on the Pennsylvania Bulletin website: CLICK HERE FOR DEP NOTICE.

CLICK HERE for East Whiteland Township’s Bishop Tube Page.

CLICK HERE for the PA DEP Bishop Tube Page.

I am beyond tired of all of the development plans. And East Whiteland Township supervisors have more of a CAN’T do versus CAN do. Two out of the three supervisors are development happy. This plan like Knickerbocker are problematic in my opinion, but East Whiteland Township said yes and always says yes to development. And I am but a mere mortal and a female, so my opinion is just that, my opinion.

People always say I hate all development and that actually is not true. We need thoughtful development that puts community first. There is nothing wrong with that notion at all. And it is possible.

Anyway, public information sharing is now over for the day.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bishop Tube photo. Taken from public road, August, 2015

township manager dearest, and west goshen meeting follies…oh my

West Goshen Township operates on it’s better days as a little bit Pennsyltucky on this planet. Every once in a while I think they can’t get any kookier….and then, they surprise us all.

The thing about West Goshen is every time something happens, you have to wonder why do they seem to target resident in a petty tit for tat reprisal fashion? And I also have to wonder will they come after me for asking questions as well?

Before we proceed, a history lesson on the laws which gover the USA:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

~ 4th Amendment Constitution of United States of America 1789 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

~1st Amendment Constitution of United States of America 1789

So now to the meat of the matter. A Facebook post made me stop and take notice. See this screenshot:

Wait? WHOA!!!! Whuuuuut? The Chair of West Goshen Supervisors Shaun Walsh was THAT rude? So I went to the meeting tape (which I have to ask if it will mysteriously disappear at some point I wonder?) and well go to around the 3 hour 7 minute mark and you tell me:

Now, full disclosure: the woman targeted at this meeting is a friend of mine. Her name is Margie Swart. She is a lovely human being. But she has a moral compass and strong sense of ethics, and asks questions, so <<<sigh>>> that can be a problem some places. I respect Margie immensely. We have gotten to know each other over the course of time, and have mutual friends.

I have to ask if Margie Swart is a target of West Goshen Township? As in a resident speaks up and there are cute reprisals? Yes West Goshen, I can indeed ask these questions.

So let’s back up a couple of years to something interesting I learned about just today. So…people can and do record public meetings, they aren’t just some municipality purview, correct? People do that to accurately preserve a record, especially on important topics. People also will record conversations with elected and public officials in public spaces. People like the media, for example. They aren’t doing anything nefarious, they want an accurate record and elected and appointed officials should be glad when citizens are conscientious, right? Maybe not?

So here is this now infamous recording from 2019 and why is it infamous? Oh I will get to that.

So there is that whole conversation of essentially, one cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy for things put into a public space, right? Now if this conversation had been recorded in a bathroom in a public building for example, that would be different, wouldn’t it? But out there in the open in a public building? Next comes the reprisal, because since it is not illegal to record in a public space to try to file charges against a private citizen like that can be considered well, a reprisal, correct?

Yes, you aren’t seeing things, West Goshen Township tried to charge Margie Swart with WIRETAPPING and isn’t that welcome to West Goshen Watergate NUTS???

Next comes this curiosity in the West Goshen required reading, yes?

How can West Goshen Township Manager Casey LaLonde claim his phone conversation was recorded? Was he present? Do you hear his voice? I mean talk about d-r-a-maaaa right? I mean his grandma was actress Joan Crawford as in “Mommy Dearest” fame but REALLY? Township Manager Dearest much?

I have another question about this process and shameful debacle. Why should a resident and taxpayer have had to file a RTK or Right To Know Request on something a township publishes in a newspaper and which is also dually published in https://www.publicnoticepa.com/ ? I mean I could see them telling her to look for West Goshen Township notices on that website on X date and Y year, but a Right To Know Request? Wait??? Do we have a new show coming to a cable channel near you? It’s Always Cloudy in West Goshen Township? Lots of municipalities seem to struggle with sunshine laws and being sunshine friendly, but why is it a problem when residents ask questions in this township?

Margie is not the first Local Government Fiscal Watchdog and Transparency Advocate I have known. I have known many and I actually participated in a lack of sunshine protest years ago in Lower Merion Township – April 21, 2010 to be exact. It was a rather large protest and township officials were out taking photos of everyone too. Here’s a photo I took:

So how did the wiretapping thing end? Well there is a middle to it also isn’t there? How would you like to be a resident named as an “involved party in a wiretapping investigation”? And this thing occurred literally TWO years ago in September, 2019 and you find out about it TODAY in September, 2021?

Shall we talk about the final disposition of this? Is that an “Oh yes please?”

The Chester County District Attorney’s said NOPE, correct? So what was West Goshen playing at exactly?

Back to the recent meeting and I have to ask is it wrong to ask for government to be accountable as to their finances for example? And what’s with odd employee or manager practices? Are the taxpayer who pay these salaries not allowed to politely inquire? And Margie WAS polite. Listen to the recording. She is ALWAYS polite. I can tell you that at public meetings, I have not always been polite, but Margie? ALWAYS polite.

I don’t pretend to understand everything that happens in this municipality. I can’t pretend. But as a woman, I fear for my friend Margie Swart and can you blame me? Is she safe living there?

West Goshen Township, you need to find a better way of doing things and as an aside, so y’all are also hired who was the Borough Manager of Malvern as your Assistant Township Manager? Was all that vetted publicly or just announced?

West Goshen Township, you are entirely capable of avoiding thug mentality when dealing with residents. And yes I am entitled to the opinion that y’all behave badly. Residents who demand better aren’t bad people. And this is NOT a woman screaming and cursing and disrupting meetings with violent and angry behavior like we have seen this year at school board meetings. This is a woman who wants the best for her community and the person this seems to threaten the most is the Township Manager and why is that? It’s not his personal fiefdom is it? Or is it?

I am signing off with a note that everything I posted is public record. And I am allowed the opinions I have of West Goshen Township and sure am glad I don’t live there. I also can ask questions. I don’t understand a place where the elected officials kowtow to an appointed, salaried official because he works for them not the other way around, correct? Or have they all lost their moral and ethical compasses?

My final comment? It’s often hard to participate where you live, but we have to. It’s imperative. Elect people you can believe in, and when you can’t believe in them? Replace them.

changes: yellow springs farm is for sale

Catherine Renzi from Yellow Springs Farm came over last week to drop off plants. My current garden is one of many over the course of 20 years that I have incorporated plants from Yellow Springs Farm into.

During this visit, Catherine entrusted me with the news she and her husband Al are now allowing me to tell all of you: Yellow Springs Farm is for sale. And before we go any further, know one thing: this is a conserved farm. This land will remain protected in perpetuity from subdivision or development because Catherine and Al Renzi donated a conservation easement in 2001.

While many land parcels in Chester County are NOT safe from wanton development, Yellow Springs Farm is.

I have know Catherine for many, many years. Before there was Yellow Springs Farm, she was a well respected financial advisor and for a few years I was a sales assistant in her office. As a matter of fact, I remember when she said she was taking her life in another direction and she and Al were buying a farm. To many of the stock jockeys, that sounded crazy. To me, it sounded wonderful.

Although Catherine started out essentially a boss, she has become my friend over the course of many, many years we have known each other. I have been buying goods from her farm as long as they have been selling them.

Yellow Springs Farm is a magical place and so beautiful. It has been a happy place for me in Chester County over the years. I always knew spring was truly here when there was an open farm day, and I could see the new kids. Kids, aka baby goats, are among the most joyful animals to be around. Goats can be a little stinky, but they are funny creatures guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The Yellow Springs goats are now gone from the farm. They went to live at another dairy.

Change can be hard, and Catherine and Al didn’t make this decision lightly. BUT people are entitled to new and different chapters, and if I am honest, when I saw Catherine had picked up her paint brushes again and started creating beautiful paintings, I knew change was coming.

Now while their location might be changing, Catherine will still be offering landscape design and consulting services (and hopefully plants!) from a new, TBD location.

With Catherine and Al’s permission, I am sharing their note to their Cheese CSA members:

📌📝Yellow Springs Farm Native Plants Nursery and Artisanal Goat Dairy will close this Fall. After 20 years of goats, gardens and countless community connections, Al and Catherine Renzi are ready to begin a new life chapter.

We are extremely grateful for the knowledge, friendships and warm memories you, our valued CSA members, have shared over the years. We could not have pursued our mission of connecting sustainable landscapes with local foodscapes without our customers, colleagues, chefs and so many Farm supporters, near and far.

The Farm real estate is for sale, but it remains protected in perpetuity from subdivision or development because of the conservation easement we donated in 2001. We imagine new owners will live their dreams here, and continue to care for this beautiful place. The goats were the soul of the Farm. They are safe, and have moved to another dairy. We receive their milk to continue making cheese until later this Fall– likely November. The dairy and cheesemaking equipment is available for purchase. Nursery plants not sold this season will come with us to our new location TBD. Change is hard to process, but we are focused on being glad that YSF happened (2001-2021), not sad that it is coming to an end. When we started this adventure in 2001, and now again in 2021, we made choices to take chances, and look forward to change ahead with refreshed aspirations. Every ending is a new beginning

We will connect with community venues and other means to pursue our interests in nature, conservation, and local food. Catherine’s creative muse, and Al’s analytical penchant for science are alive and well. We will share specifics as we know more details in coming weeks and months.

Thank you for sharing this fulfilling, challenging life chapter with us. Your support and enthusiasm for our Farm has been priceless. A piece of this place lives forever in our hearts, and we hope you too have fond memories of Yellow Springs Farm.

With warm regards and heartfelt thanks,

Al and Catherine Renzi
📌📝

So there is the news. If you are a realtor or a potential owner who is a farm lover with a conservation soul, follow this LINK and this LINK to the listing and schedule a showing. The farmhouse is sensitively and beautifully updated, and some lucky family could move in “as is.”

Yellow Springs Farm sits on a glorious conserved 8 acre parcel. The farmhouse as mentioned is restored and dates to 1850. A spring house, a bank barn, run in sheds and more await the right owner. The barn has a fabulous 1 bedroom apartment, suitable as a rental or space for visiting friends/family. If you think it’s you, contact:

Linda Burgwin
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Office Ph: (610) 225-7400
Cell: (484)- 716-0163

And no, I am not getting into the real estate listing promotion business. This is a special place and the Renzis are special people. Please if you are interested in the farm, schedule a visit through a realtor properly. Please do not just drive up the driveway for a look see.

Catherine and Al, you know I wish you nothing but the best and look forward to your next chapter. Cheers to you both!

To those interested in preserving the character of Chester County, be like the Renzis and consider conservation. Conservation and preservation go hand in hand.

the last day of summer…at life’s patina

Life’s Patina at Willowbrook Farm is one of my favorite places. It has been a happy place for me since I photographed it for the first time in August of 2012. I never get tired of taking photos there.

Meg (right) and one of her fabulous designing women/right hand women, Julie (left)

This morning marked the preview of the Fall Barn Sale at Life’s Patina. My friend and I plan a girl’s day around Meg Veno’s amazing events. We went to the early session which featured “brunch with a view”, and because we had lunch plans, brunch was actually my dinner. (We were all given “brunch boxes” when leaving.)

The barn was a dazzling array of fabulous vignettes from top to bottom. I showed restraint and stayed away from the Johnson Brothers china….which was really hard. But I couldn’t say no to the fabulous creations of Tracy Phillips from Reimagined Style! And I may have snuck a fox kit statue into my garden. And bath salts from Zoet Bathlatier.

Meg and her team do such an amazing job with these sale events! And they are always so pleasant and fun! The charity Life’s Patina is introducing many of us to this time is SpeakUp! and it’s there for teens. If you go, pick up their literature as they do great things.

The Life’s Patina Fall Barn Sale is open to the public September 24th, 25th & 26th:

📌‼️We are back!!! This September, we’re bringing you our latest fabulous vintage and new home accessories, decor, furniture, gift items, and architectural salvage at our Fall Barn Sale. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be open to the public without a scheduled appointment so head on over to peruse all of our artfully curated finds while taking in Fall at Life’s Patina. Local purveyors of fabulous artisanal foods will be holding tastings and creations from local artisans will be shown as well. A portion of all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the amazing Speak Up!, a nonprofit dedicated to helping teens develop supportive relationships with the adults in their lives.

Barn Sale Hours:

Friday, September 24th, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday, September 25th, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 26th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm📌‼️

It was a wonderful way to spend part of the last official day of summer! I hope you will check out Life’s Patina this weekend! BRING YOUR MASK PLEASE!

easttown officials bring the uglies to berwyn

Berwyn is a gem, or was a gem. It’s getting redevelopment within an inch of it’s life, and the development is neither gracious or blending in. Just one cram plan after the other.

The development is garish, jarring, and thus far rather cheap looking. Apparently Easttown Township wants them all crammed in like lemmings.

Easttown officials as in the elected persuasion are not user friendly. They are most succinctly put self-serving, snide, and sanctimonious. They all no better than the peasants. They are quite feudal in attitude.

The erectile dysfunction going up on Route 30/Lancaster Avenue is even more disturbing than it appeared on all the plans. And you know how those plans are presented -always like the proverbial Elysian Fields.

The houses behind the erectile dysfunction look like Lego McMansions and are so crammed together you will hear the neighbors flush their toilets. It’s a cute and cozy relationship between the builder and listing agent too, right? And if there were fewer houses in this nouveau “Berwyn Village”, it wouldn’t be so bad, but once again it’s just too many damn houses.

The erectile dysfunction seems like it’s trying to maroon the Berwyn Tavern. It was the old Fritz Lumber site. Now everyone knew once Fritz closed it was going to be developed, but once again it’s going to be too much and too big. Between all of the apartments here and the monstrosity yet to break ground across Lancaster Ave at “Berwyn Square”, Berwyn is getting supersized in the worst possible way.

When that project is finished it’s going to be as ugly as what has happened and is still happening in Ardmore, PA and elsewhere.

Urban Canyons designed solely to line the pockets of developers. Maybe they will fund a traffic signal here and there, but they will just plop this crap on a community and move onto the next project.

These development projects stresses infrastructure, first responders, and school districts…just to point out SOME of the obvious. Communities are never in my opinion adequately or justly compensated for having to suffer through this crap.

R.I.P. charming Berwyn. Hope the ratables will be worth it, Easttown Township.

otoro sushi: amazing

Salmon “Rose”

I love sushi. Especially really good, top of the line sushi and sashimi. Fish so tender, it practically melts in your mouth.

Sushi “Tacos”

My friends in Berwyn have been telling me about Otoro at 668 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn (down from 30 Main.) They are BYOB if you are going for dinner.

Amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sublime might come close. Everything is super fresh and beautifully presented. The staff is super nice and just the right amount of attentive and helpful. The prices are fair.

I went there for lunch today with a friend after going to the Life’s Patina preview.

I can’t wait to go there again!

local businesses in malvern need the help of the community

Photos and italicized text are from a Malvern business owner. I feel very badly for them.

📌Ok Malvern we need help with the kids! The kids sit out front of the butcher shop, which we don’t mind. What I do mind is they constantly leave tons of trash on the bench, the ground and the window sills, dump their drinks on the ground and smash up food that I go out and pick up. It’s not a good image when customers are coming into the store or walking the shopping center. I have reminded the kids multiple times to pick up their trash before they leave. I even went out one day and screamed across the parking lot for them to come back and clean up after seeing the huge mess they left out there. Now yesterday I went and bought a trash can and sat it right next to the bench so it’s convenient for them. Tonight we go to leave to find more trash (we already picked some up before I took a picture) and they punched in the lid of the can and kicked the can in. I am at my wits end and need suggestions?? What else can we do? I don’t want to be a meanie, but I also refuse to let these kids continue trashing the shopping center and me having to clean up after them every day, multiple times a day! HELP!!! I’m waving the I surrender flag 🏳📌

Ok I don’t get these kids and also do not understand why Malvern Borough hasn’t done anything or the Malvern Business Association? I am sharing this out there so hopefully people can help these small businesses out.