This Krapf School Bus driver took years off our lives in worry on Route 100 a little while ago because he or she had their turn signal on and was in REVERSE at the same time!
And that bus was in reverse for a couple of minutes at least. It was very scary because we did not know what was going to happen. In a situation like that you can’t just honk at someone because if they hit the gas they’re going into reverse right into your vehicle.
Krapf was very responsive when I called them to report it, but in my humble opinion whomever was driving that bus needs a refresher course in driving a bus. I know driving something that big can’t be easy, I certainly couldn’t do it, which is why you would never have someone like me driving kids around in a school bus.
But Krapf needs to do better. They have some totally wonky drivers out there. And the horror stories I hear from people are astounding. I shot a brief video as a passenger in our vehicle to prove they were in reverse – you could hear the beep beep beep.
In the 1990s I submitted two articles to the American Rose Society. But when they changed their website from ars.org to rose.org, my articles got lost. I still have the old link to one of the articles, but it goes nowhere. So I decided that twenty plus years later it was time to update one of my articles for the way I garden today.
Call it Roses Thrive on Routine 2.0.
I am now a zone 6A rose enthusiast. Sometimes on some websites, I pop up as a 6B. I used live in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the “Main Line”. Now I live in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
I planted my first rose bush with my father and paternal grandfather when I was fairly little. The rose bush was a Hybrid Tea called John F. Kennedy (my late father’s favorite rose and still one of the most majestic white hybrid tea roses when you can find it), and I have been in love with roses ever since.
My roses used to be my ultimate garden obsession as well as my favorite garden element. They still are a favorite, but as I have grown as a gardener and as my gardens have changed over the years, they have become part of the garden, but not the center of the garden as they used to be. Some years are better than others growing them. That is just the way it is, as it is for other plants in my garden.
When I wrote the article my garden was my parents’ garden. I planted and maintained that garden based upon what my mother preferred, which generally speaking was white and pale flowers, à la Sissinghurst, Vita Sackville-West’s garden in the UK. (Who was Vita Sackville-West? She was an English poet, novelist, and garden designer who lived between 1892 and 1962.)
In my opinion, routines work as well in the garden as they do in the house. I have
a few basics that would be my pleasure to share. I have updated this for my current best practices.
Once you have established a routine in the garden for your roses, you will not be able to imagine how you could live without a rose or two. When I first wrote this article my then garden has 51 rose bushes. Today I have around ten, depending on what made it through the winter.
I believe in good mulch for my roses. Back then I used to only use licorice root and cocoa hulls (please note that cocoa hulls can grow a fuzzy layer of mold when it is damp, which is unsightly, but has never harmed my plants), or buckwheat hulls mulch. If I couldn’t get licorice root, I looked for a good triple-shredded mulch. I lived on the Main Line and I not have a garden half in the woods so today I used two things predominantly: wood chips my arborists chip down from my own hardwood trees and shredded and not shredded leaf mulch. Thanks to listening to Jenny Rose Carey at a lecture last spring I discovered the fun of having a leaf shredder. The one I purchased is by Worx and is rated number 1 in reviews and is very reasonable in price.
Worx brand leaf shredder
I still mulch twice a year: in the spring for the growing season, and in late fall to provide a winter blanket. In the spring, I USED to remove as much as possible of the old mulch from the winter and previous summer, and apply approximately one-and-one-half to two inches of mulch everywhere. As what I am using now (hardwood chips and shredded leaf mulch) enriches my soil and breaks down beautifully, I no longer have to remove my old mulch.
And if you buy triple shredded mulch from someone , for God’s sake do NOT use COLORED mulch. That dyed stuff is awful. It doesn’t break down properly and the dye will get on your hands and feet and clothes as you garden and on your pet’s paws, babies’ feet and so on. I also no longer use the cocoa mulch ever because dogs eat it and as that is what chocolate comes from and chocolate is poisonous to dogs, I have erred on the side of caution. Besides the fuzzy mold that would grow got to be a bit gross.
I want my roses to breathe, so there is an approximately five-inch magic circle from the base of my rose that only has a peat moss “jacket” (a jacket to me is peat moss only), but no mulch. In the late fall when I apply my second mulch dressing, it merely goes over the old mulch and covers the crowns of my roses. This is where I especially like the shredded leaf mulch now. It is light and fluffy on my flower beds. Every plant benefits, not just my roses.
As far as my soil goes, I used to follow the same routine every year. Now, I work any of the following ingredients into my rose and perennial beds depending on what I think is needed: peat moss, dehydrated cow manure, cottonseed meal, green sand, dried blood, bone meal, and some iron sulfate. I also like the lobster compost, chicken manure and mushroom soil.
Lobster compost is a newer obsession. It is made with chitin and calcium-rich lobster shells, compost and peat humus. The result is a dark-brown, complex soil that drains well and is ideal for conditioning beds and borders, vegetable gardens, herbs and annuals! The stuff I buy is usually made by Coast of Maine. Coast of Maine sells great products and if you look (or ask them) they can tell you locally where to find their products or on Amazon.
Minus the peat moss, you will find most of these ingredients in their chemical form in a granular rose food. Most of these granular foods and separate ingredients can be easily located at your local garden center or hardware store. For those who feel most comfortable with a pre-mixed granular, I would still strongly recommend also including soil amendment as needed. It is always important to keep your soil happy. Happy soil equals happy rose bushes!
After the soil is amended when needed, I apply a weak epsom salt tea to encourage new basal growth. I am always careful to use epsom salt judiciously because it is not a good thing to build up too much of a magnesium residue over time. When magnesium is built up past the essential mineral level, it can stunt growth instead of helping boost new growth. This is why that throughout the growing season, I will give my roses and perennials and annuals a boost with Irish Organics Humic. It is one of my favorites – it is a kelp (seaweed) and peat mixture from the bogs of Ireland. This is my friend’s product and I was a test garden early on when they were first bringing it into the US. It is incidentally, certified organic in the US. (OMRI)
Once my roses have shown me at least one and one-half inches of new growth each spring, I dig in my granular feed. I will tell you I use a systemic granular feed that has insecticides and fungicides. I usually do this around Mother’s Day because where I live that is when the danger of frost is mostly over.
Then , I apply a little more peat moss and then my mulch. Also, whenever I have banana peels, I use them into my rose beds. Banana peels are the true junk food of roses!!! They love the boost a banana provides from potassium and other elements contained within the banana and its peel. I learned about Banana Peels from Old Wives Lore for Gardeners by Maureen and Bridget Boland. You can still find these books on Amazon and Ebay and from other used book dealers. They also recomeend beer for hollyhocks. It’s a fun book.
I have learned to make my old banana peels into a rose smoothie, so to speak.
I used to dig the peels in around the base of each bush, but given the critter population living with woods and farmers’ fields I have developed a rose smoothie which I dig in around the base with a small spade I use to transplant seedlings.
The formula for the smoothie is I collect a bag of banana peels and keep them sealed in a plastic bag in my freezer until I use them. Then I rough chop the peels and toss into the blender with whatever spent coffee grounds I have on hand and a couple of cups or so of very warm tap water. (I never drink flavored coffee and I would never recommend using artificially flavored coffee grounds. I don’t know how the artificial flavor chemicals would affect the plants.)
The consistency of this smoothie for rose bushes should be on the thick side , but pourable. I don’t take my blender outside I pour the goop into a plastic pitcher. I then go around to each bush and dig a few ounces in around the base of each bush. I have a standard sized blender and only a few rose bushes right now, so one batch of rose smoothie is all I need every time I do this.
I will feed my roses this concoction every two weeks until Labor Day. Sometimes I am not so religious about this as I have a large garden, but I try my best.
As far as pruning, I have these thoughts: everyone should own a good pair
of pruners used only for their roses and own a good, basic, descriptive rose book. I am partial to ratchet-action pruning anything these days, in addition to the bypass pruning shears. And pruning shears are not indestructable. I have some old-school by-pass pruners I
can still get sharpened if I can find someone to do it, but the others? Like vacuum cleaners they have to be replaced every few years.
Pruning is such a visual thing to learn, and that is honestly how I learned: descriptions, photos and diagrams. I purne from around Halloween into November, and again lightly in mid to late March when I can see what the winter damage was. And keep those pruning shears clean!
With my roses I have also learned a lot from Monty Don, who is has several English television gardening shows including Gardeners’ World (in the US we can get this on streaming services a little bit but not all of the season), writer and speaker on horticulture. My other main go-to source is Fine Gardening. Fine Gardening is the best U.S. based gardening magazine and buying a subscription also gets you unfettered online access to their articles and tips and so on and so forth.
I will use an old toothbrush just for the purpose of cleaning my hand held pruning shears . I mix a weak solution of bleach and very warm water in a metal bowl. I use the toothbrush to thoroughly clean them . Then I rinse the pruners well under running water and wash them again with a little mild dish soap, rinse them again
and dry them carefully.
These gauntlet gloves are by Fir Tree. I own a pair of this brand.
Also, do not forget to invest in good gardening gloves. When dealing with roses, average hand covering only gardening gloves won’t do. You need gauntlet gloves. I will also note I go through a LOT of regular gardening gloves in a season. But the gauntlet gloves I bought are now into their fourth year and still in great shape. I bought the Fir Tree brand on Amazon. It was just dumb luck that I discovered them because until I bought their gloves, I was destrying gauntlet gloves at a rapid rate too. I should also note that the things I recomeend I buy from the companies. I am not a compensated blog.
Now how about planting? Let me also state that I do not grow those knock out roses. They are not roses to me. They do not even really have a scent. I have mostly David Austin roses today plus a hybrid tea (John F. Kennedy my first rose) and a Queen Elizabeth, which is a grandiflora.
I used to plant a lot of different kinds of roses (modern and antique) but in this garden, my favorite shapes and smells are the David Austins because they combine old roses with the new and as my space is limited on sun in this garden, I want roses I know will perform well. And an added bonus for me is that with David Austin roses I can buy own-root roses. They are not grafted and I find that a bonus because I did have an instance where a rose died and I thought I had gotten all of the root stock out but I hadn’t and I am still getting rambling rose rootstock popping up every couple of years that I do not want and do not have room for. Own root roses are the same plant above and below the soil line. I find it makes a better rose bush. New canes (rose branches so to speak) can be grown from the rootstock without fear of the grafted rootstock taking over.
When planting a new bush, I always dig my hole at least eighteen to twenty inches wide, and at least as deep. If the soil has a large proportion of clay, then I add
sand (or green sand), gypsum or Chicken grit (which is insoluble stone – often granite or flint) or ground up Oyster shells, lobster compost/dehydrated manure/mushroom soil (just depends what I have on hand at the time) and peat to break it up thoroughly.
The soil around my current house had a very high clay content when I first started to plant my garden, but I know it is improving with soil amendments, judging by my toadstool barometer. Toadstools and edible mushrooms only like to grow in good, rich soil!
When planting a potted rose, as well as a bare root rose, I have what I call my
parfait theory. I visualize what a parfait looks like: layers. The bottom of my
hole has sand, peat, soil, and a couple of chopped up banana peels (Iknow that sounds confusing but I will start a rose with banana peels because I am digging a pretty big hole and they are at the very bottom, not just dug in a couple of inches around the top of the soil.) That is the first layer. Then I alternate layers of soil and peat until I reach the halfway point and I place my potted or bare root rose in my new hole.
If planting a potted rose, I like my rose to be at the same level as it was in the pot, and if
bare root, I like my crown (looks like a knob to me) to be at soil level. If
planting a bare root rose, I am careful to make sure that the roots are supported
from underneath with enough dirt, as well as being careful not to break, stress,
or crowd the roots rather than enlarge my hole if necessary.
(Please note that if you are planting bare root, it is important to soak the roots 12 to 24 hours in a bucket of water out of the sun. I like to mix in a little liquid seaweed or whatever liquid humus I have around to that bucket of water to give a little more of a boost. )
After I have reached my “halfway parfait” point, I water the rose and the hole a
bit. I water in approximately one half of a gallon of water with seaweed extract or my Irish Organics Humic. I do this to help cut down on potential transplant
shock. The water should soak in quickly, and I finish off my parfait layers,
alternating between soil and peat moss.
My top layer is always peat moss. After the parfait is complete, I dig in about a quarter to one half a cup of a granular (or liquid) rose food in a circle around the bush, depending on the size of the bush and the directions on the package. Then I water in about another half-gallon of water. I will note that if you are against granular rose food with insecticide and fungicides in it, David Austin Roses makes a very good granular rose food.
Finally, I mulch well, leaving my five-inch magic circle from the base of the
plant. The magic circle is only peat at the top so my rose breathes properly.
Roses should ideally get a good solid one inch of water once a week. If I have
just planted a bare root rose with no growth, I sometimes mist the canes with water
once a day, preferably in the morning before the sun is high. (I say sometimes, because sometimes I forget!)
Except for new plantings, roses should be fed once a month as they are heavy
feeders. The new plants are not fed again for five to six weeks after initial
planting and feeding. Then they go on the regular schedule.
As the season progresses, I do keep my rose beds clean, discarding dead and fallen
leaves, etc. I am a believer in preventive, albeit judicious, spraying. If you are a sprayer only spray early in the morning (before 7 a.m.) to avoid causing my leaves to burn in
the sun. I have learned if a rose is purported to dislike spraying (some Old Garden Roses and Rugosas come to mind, for example), PAY ATTENTION! I have exfoliated a bush or two in my past spraying career! (Another “live and learn,” I suppose, but well-learned.)
I also do NOT ever reccomend homemade remedies of soap and baking soda and Listerine and whatever other fakakta sprays people think are so much better. They aren’t. They are kind of like the whole spraying vinegar and whatnot to get rid of weeds. People do not seem to get how bad that is for other plants, the soil, your pets, humans, and wildlife. Plus you can fry your plants in the heat of summer by spraying
For diseases like rust, blackspot and powdery mildew I used to spray when needed. But then I discovered drenches which are much easier on the rose. I use Cease Microbial Fungicide and Bactericide, which is OMRI Listed, by BioWorks. You can buy it from Amazon and other places. It is expensive but worth it. One of my other horticultural mentors taught me about using a biofungicide. It also is marvelous when I have to deal with daylily rust.
Cease is a aqueous suspension biofungicide with proven effectiveness in controlling a wide array of both fungal and bacterial pathogens, while providing outstanding plant and environmental safety. Based on a naturally occurring, patented strain of Bacillus subtilis (strain QST 713).
Cease Microbial Fungicide and Bactericide can be used as a foliar spray and soil drench on ornamentals, trees, shrubs, flowering plants and greenhouse crops and vegetables grown under cover. It is a broad spectrum biofungicide targeting common fungal and bacterial diseases such as Botrytis, Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas, Erwinia, Powdery Mildew, Leaf Spot and Speck, Anthracnose and Rust. There are other biologic fungicides out there, but Cease is what I use.
For the pest problems like aphids and their ilk, I use a horticultural oil spray like Neem or something with Pyrethrins. Sprays with Pyrethrins are the best things to control outbreaks of white fly. When the weather gets too muggy, hot and humid I do not spray. I used to use a rose dust, but a few years ago I decided that skeeved me out and settled on another drench. The one I discovered by accident and use VPG/fertilome’s Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench.
This insecticide drench controls most bugs I can think of that will bother my roses, perennials, and shrubs. As a drench, it is watered in (I have a special watering can I use ONLY for drenches). The product is mixed with water, dissolves in water, moves down through the soil, and is absorbed by the roots. You drench the plant at the base, the root level. It is NOT like a spray so you don’t hit the above ground plat at all. Once absorbed, it moves up through the tree or shrub, providing year-long protection even into new growth. It contains Imidacloprid and provides 12-month Systemic Protection. Again, I discovered this completley on my own. My most pervasive rose pest seems to be borers and it has helped with them.
Look, I am a cancer survivor. I do not like using chemicals. But sometimes you just have to in a controlled manner. I have a lot of time, money and sweat equity involved in my garden. I will treat it right. A website which helps find biologic alternatives is Forestry Distributing. I discovered them by accident when trying to learn in terminology I could understand what biologics did and how they worked.
I have also discovered that other old wives’ tales have some truth to them: planting pungent herbs are natural pest repellants. Plants in the edible Allium family
are repugnant to aphids. Planting chives and garlic in and around my roses along
with lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme has dramatically cut down my personal
aphid population. I also plant purple sweet onions around and near my roses and other plants aphids like. I buy the starts in the spring.
Old wives tales also say that parsley planted near the feet of roses makes your roses smell sweeter. I don’t know it THAT is true, but hey! why ruin a good thing? I do it anyway! I can also tell you that it is very true that strawberries and roses get on well together.
I experiment every year with at least one new companion plant for my
roses. If they crowd my roses or I don’t like the effect, I simply move that
companion plant to a new location! I don’t like to ever waste a good perennial,
bulb, shrub, or herb. My garden is definitely a layered one and is reminsicent of an English or Irish cottage garden.
Well, there you have the thumbnail version of my rose routine. It works extremely
well for me, and I hope I have helped. All of the photos of roses were taken by me and are my actual roses from my garden. Happy rose gardening!
Some of my readers will find this a rather strange post from me. So I found out today The English Beat and General Public vocalist Roger Charlery…also known as Ranking Roger has passed away.
I graduated from high school in 1981. My freshman year in college I discovered many new sounds in music including Ska. Madness and English Beat were played everywhere. When English Beat broke up we danced and listened to General Public….and still danced and listened to English Beat.
The sounds of my being a teenager. I still listen to both English Beat and General Public from time to time. Lots of happy and fun memories attached to the music.
Ranking Roger, who has died aged 56 after suffering from cancer, was a singer and frontman for the Beat, one of the four big British ska revival bands – along with the Specials, Madness and the Selecter – to emerge after punk in the late 1970s. The Beat’s flowering was a brief one, but Roger was at the heart of the group’s successes in the early 80s, when they had five Top 10 singles and two Top 5 albums in the UK before splitting in 1984. He had songwriting credits on many of their most popular compositions, and alongside duties as joint vocalist with Dave Wakeling was also the band’s “toaster”, talking in stylised fashion over various song sections in a mode popularised by reggae deejays of the late 60s and early 70s.
Later he pursued solo projects and collaborations with various well-known bands and artists, including Big Audio Dynamite and Sting, before touring and recording with a reincarnation of the Beat, with whom he worked until his death….Born Roger Charlery in Birmingham to Jean-Baptiste, a toolsetter, and his wife, Anne Marie, both of whom had emigrated to Britain from the Caribbean, he grew up in the Small Heath area of the city, next to Birmingham City football ground. ….Drawing heavily on Jamaican musical themes from the 60s but with a distinctly British feel and punk sensibility, the Beat, along with Madness, the Specials and the Selecter, swiftly became part of the 2-Tone movement, which took its name from the independent label to which each of the bands initially signed. Four of the Beat’s first five singles made it into the Top 10, including their third release, Mirror in the Bathroom, which peaked at No 4, and Too Nice to Talk To, at No 7. Their debut LP, I Just Can’t Stop It, was released in 1980 on their own Go Feet label and featured their most talked-about composition, Stand Down Margaret, which was banned by the BBC and had Roger’s toasting to the fore as it called for the resignation of the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. The album reached No 3 in the charts, as did its follow up, Wha’ppen? in 1981…..
Early this year, Roger announced that following a stroke and the discovery of two brain tumours he had also been diagnosed with lung cancer.
He is survived by five children.
• Ranking Roger (Roger Charlery), musician, born 21 February 1963; died 26 March 2019
I also like this article from the Edinburgh Reporter:
Those who know me know my love for ska music. The news that Ranking Roger, lead singer of legendary ska band The Beat, has died after a period of illness was like a dagger to my heart.
I loved The Beat. I’m proud to say I’ve seen them many times over the years. Their sublime musical talent, their ceaseless energy, their gift of being able to lift one’s spirits when they are at their lowest will be with me forever. Songs such as Mirror In The Bathroom, Hands Off She’s Mine, Too Nice To Talk To, Doors Of Your Heart – became classic numbers. They also did superb cover versions of Can’t Get Used To Losing You and Tears Of A Clown.
Ranking Roger – real name Roger Charlery – was a ska icon, bouncing across the stage with boundless energy. …..It was what The Beat did best. Their music invoked a feelgood factor and I have never been to one of their gigs which I didn’t enjoy or feel so much better afterwards.
Roger was just 56 years old – a year younger than I am which underlines that none of us are immune from tragedy….
Should I be surprised that I then received love notes overnight from keyboard critics?
Nope. But they were pretty vile and I think they need an airing. I take threats seriously. Besides, I am not a moonbat who is a lonely aging liberal lady who is drinking while abusing prescription drugs as one commenter indicated but I do know lots of nice law enforcement folks….even in Radnor Township where this commentor appears to hail from. And they were so angry they commented twice.
The third commenter is apparently enough of a spammer that wow they are listed everywhere. Hard to discern if they hail from Dallas, TX or Russia:
Oh my gosh oh golly, bet they did not know this blog has this awesome feature called blocking, right?
If they want to be angry Americans (if they are even Americans) that’s on them. But I reported all of their fake e-mail addresses and I.P. addresses and I am sorry they are so angry, bless their hearts.
These Internet trolls are exhausting, and exhausting to themselves most of all, I have no doubt. As someone who is not and never has been particularly liberal, I marvel how today anyone who has a brain or a conscience is an evil liberal. How anyone with their own thought process as an independent thinker is evil and to be reviled? And people wonder why I stopped being a Republican and became an Independent?
When did it become o.k. in this country to behave this way? And what has been upsetting me recently besides the everyday adhominum attacks lobbed at anyone who dares breathe it seems? How about posthumously tearing down someone like the late Senator John McCain who literally gave his entire life in service to this country? Sorry, not sorry but I am not o.k. with that and it originated with a sitting U.S. President no less, correct? And as a result, look what someone said to his widow because they obviously thought it was o.k.:
I think that all of these keyboard tigers should read what George Washington wrote so long ago in his Rules of Civility. R.I.P. civil discourse and honorable opposition, apparently. Does anyone actually remember how and why this country was founded?
But then up pops an Internet coyote, and a Main Line one no less! Radnor Coyote felt they had to have a voice after Radnor Township Police issued a coyote warning, I am guessing.
Now Radnor Coyote is a media darling. Everyone is talking about them – philly.com , Delco Times , and TV reporters galore! (Well come on, let’s face it, @RadnorCoyote is a heck of a lot less scary than the cougars that roam Wayne and pop up at local Wayne watering holes like The White Dog or Paramour right?)
I am not sure if they are howling at the moon tonight or not because from my windows the moon is under cloud cover.
Radnor Coyote is very witty. They are an excellent twittersationalist, so check them out!
This week my friend Sara and I made the first trip of the season to Black Creek Greenhouses in East Earl, PA. (211 E. Black Creek Road, East Earl, PA 17519 (717) 445-5046)
Yes, it was a little early, but it was just one of those things where we wanted to see plants growing in greenhouses!
It was a lovely drive up and I have photos to go through which I will share. It was so nice to leave the fields of Tyvec wrapped McBoxes taking over Chester County and take in the fresh tilled fields and even a field full of little lambs!
Now some of the fields were a little “ripe” as they had been spread with manure but we didn’t mind- it smelled like spring. It was so nice to see the rolling fields and farmhouses.
Black Creek has amazing selections already. I bought a few plants (including some pansies), but mostly I got supplies. Gardening gloves, a new pair of pruning shears, the smelly lobster compost from Maine, twine, and so on.
Black Creek is a place we just love. Not only are the plants incredibly reasonably priced, but it’s one of those places that you can find the old-fashioned annuals and perennials you don’t see any place else. It’s also my favorite place to buy herb plants for my planting beds.
It was just so nice to see things growing! And I also got a Boston Fern for my family room!
If you go, they are not open on Sundays and they will be closed on Good Friday.
You know me, I love my old farms. I am obsessed with old barns. For years, I have passed by this farm sitting all marooned by modern times with Route 100 to the front and the Pennsylvania Turnpike to its left side when you are looking from Route 100. I found out today this property is Happy Days Farm and it is in Uwchlan Township.
At present this farm is STILL being farmedby tenants which is why I had no idea until yesterday that Vanguard even owned the land because I did not live in Chester County back when this all started.
I feel I need to mention that I know 100% for a fact that active farming is still going on because I fear as soon as I post this ifI DO NOTmention Happy Days Farm is still actively farmed, they will get trespassers.DO NOT JUST VISIT THIS FARM RANDOMLY, OK? TRESPASSING HERE MEANS A VISIT FROM THE POLICE, CAPISCE?
The Philadelphia Business Journal and Vista Todaydid not mention there was still active farming going on, so I kind of feel I have to, that I must point out THE FARM IS STILL IN USE. And it is because of these publications I am writing this post because I was alarmed at the news they imparted to all of us recently about Happy Days Farm potentially literally coming to an end.
The investment giant has owned it for two decades and once considered using the 246-acre property for a new campus.
When it originally purchased the property in 1999, Vanguard anticipated developing a campus that would total between one and two million square feet. But the property has been sitting without any development on it ever since…..Now, the property is expected to attract interest from a wide range of developers.
WHAT THE HECK????
THIS IS A FARM! A STILL WORKING FARM EVEN WITH TENANT FARMERS! WE NEED OUR FARMS IN CHESTER COUNTY NOT MORE BLOODY DEVELOPMENT AND DEVELOPERS, RIGHT?!
Happy Days Farm was once home to the Supplee Family in modern times (I think from some point in the 1940s.) Mildred and Warren Supplee were well-loved by their community and were married for 75 years:
Mildred M. Supplee of Freedom Village Mildred M. Supplee, presently of Freedom Village, West Brandywine and formerly of Lionville and Upper Uwchlan Township, passed away in the presence of her children and loved ones on Saturday, July 27, 2013.
She was 100, having celebrated her birthday on April 15. Born in Chester Springs, she was the daughter and oldest child of H. Raymond and Mary Vail McBride. She lived her entire life in central Chester County, having lived in Chester Springs until the age of five when she moved with her family to Byers and lived there until her marriage. She attended the one-room Windsor School in Upper Uwchlan Township for eight years and then West Chester High School, graduating in 1931. She studied nursing at Chester County Hospital, and after her family was raised she was charge nurse at the former Huffman Nursing Home in Whitford.
After a five-year courtship she married her beloved late husband, S. Warren Supplee, and the couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in 2008, prior to Warren’s passing. Upon her marriage she moved with Warren to his family farm where they farmed the two farm properties collectively known today as Happy Days Farm.
In 1994 they moved with son Walter from the farm property in Lionville to a home in Upper Uwchlan Township where they lived until moving to Freedom Village.
Mildred was very active in church work, being a member of Windsor Baptist Church in Eagle for 85 years. She presently was the oldest living member. She served as church clerk for 50 years, served as a trustee, was active and held positions in the mission society, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and helped organize and advise the Christian Endeavor youth program at the church. She helped serve church suppers and weddings. She was also involved in the Central Union Association of the American Baptist convention and held positions there.
Mildred was christened a Lutheran and attended St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Chester Springs, attending there with her family prior to joining Windsor. She presently was an associate member there and attended services there as well as Windsor through her hundred years.
Besides helping on the family farm and raising her family, she made the family’s clothes, bedding, and enjoyed doing handwork. She was an excellent cook and people loved to come for a meal. She entertained many family, church and school groups. She enjoyed reading until her eyesight failed. She was a devoted daughter and provided care for her parents as well as her husband’s parents and brother. She was a member of many farm organizations with her husband….
S. Warren Supplee, 98, of Freedom Village, West Brandywine, and formerly of Lionville, passed away on Friday evening, May 16, 2008, at Brandywine Hospital, surrounded by his wife and children.Born in Westtown, he was the son of the late Samuel W. and Myrtle Broadbelt Supplee.
A lifelong farmer, Mr. Supplee lived his entire life in the central Chester County area.
He grew up on a farm on Johnny’s Way, Westtown. At the age of 13, he moved to Lionville with his parents and brother and farmed there on the two farm properties collectively known today as the Happy Days Farm.
He loved to tell of the family’s move to Lionville from Westtown. He and his father moved machinery and some farm crops every other day using horses and wagons. On moving day, the men drove the dairy cattle from Westtown to Lionville.
He started to milk by hand at the age of 5 and milked till he was 80. He lived to see milking parlors and a robot milker.
He married Mildred McBride, and the couple recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.
In 1994, he moved from the farm in Lionville to Upper Uwchlan, where he lived until his move to Freedom Village.
He attended Goshen Baptist Church as a child until his move to Lionville, where he attended Windsor Baptist Church in Eagle. He joined there in 1928 and was the oldest living member. He also attended St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Chester Springs.
An avid Chester County foxhunter, he hunted with several hunts and had his own foxhounds. He also enjoyed hunting rabbits with his beagles.
He attended schools in Westtown and graduated from Lionville High School. He also attended West Chester High School.
Mr. Supplee served on the Uwchlan Township board and later the Downingtown Area School Board.
He was a member of the former Uwchlan Grange, Lionville Fire Company, P.O.S. of A, Odd Fellows, West Chester Home Clusters and several farm organizations…..
Before I found these obituaries, it was just a farm, just a big swath of land. Now I know how much this land, this farm was loved.
And I am told there are historically listed structures on this farm? Buildings that are registered with the historical society that any buyer can not remove?
Also, it took some digging but I did indeed find a 1998 PA Historic Resouces Survey Form. You can click HERE and I am uploading it here: H067961_67867_D. It’s fascinating and what did this survey lead me to? Oh yes, another Penn Land Grant and possibly part of Native American Hunting Grounds:
The origins of Happy Days Farm can be traced to two early land grants from William Penn, Proprietor of the Province of Pennsylvania. One tract of 1,000 acres was granted to James Claypoole in 1682. James Claypoole was an English investor who purchased several land grants in Pennsylvania, but never lived there. The other tract of 1,666 2/3 acres was granted to David Lloyd in 1703. David Lloyd was a land investor who owned a considerable portion of what became Uwchlan Township in 1712. In 1713, the heirs of James Claypoole sold 800 acres in Uwchlan to David Lloyd. In 1714, Lloyd sold to Joseph Phipps an 800 acre plantation that included parts of the two Penn grants.
The description on the 1714 deed of a “messuage, tenement plantation tract” indicates that there was already an established farm and dwelling house. Joseph Phipps was among the early Quaker settlers who requested the formation of their own meeting in Uwchlan Township in 1712. At the time, most of these Quakers were living on land owned by David Lloyd, so Joseph Phipps was probably living on the land he later purchased. Between 1712 and 1715, most of David Lloyd’s holdings in Uwchlan Township were deeded to early residents such as Phipps. The first tax records for Uwchlan Township occurred in 1715. Joseph Phipps was one of eighteen names recorded on that list and one of the greatest landowners. 280 years later, descendants of Joseph continue to live in Uwchlan Township.
Joseph Phipps married twice and had seven children with Mary Woodyear and one son with Mary Helsby. His children included Sarah, Samuel, Joseph, Nathan, George (died young), John, Aaron (died young) and by second wife a son also named George born in 1743.
Genealogical records at the Chester County Historical Society suggest that Joseph was born in 1661, but that seems unlikely. If that were correct, Joseph had a son when he was 82 years old and died at the age of 1011 The Phipps family belonged to the Society of Friends, but records indicate that Joseph’s sons did not always live up to the Quaker high moral standards. One of Joseph Phipps Jr. was one of the few slaveowners in Uwchlan Township. In 1764, Joseph Phipps Jr. was taxed eight shillings for one negro man. At that time only five landowners in the Township owned slaves. Nathan and Joseph Jr. were both condemned for marrying out the society. George was complained of in 1727 for excessive drinking and quarreling. Samuel was condemned for having indecent familiarity with his neighbor’s wife. John was charged in 1735 with fathering a bastard child and in 1739 for assaulting a neighbor. The consequence of too much privilege and too little discipline that some complain of in today’s society seems similar to the difficulties Joseph Phipps had with his sons nearly 300years ago!
For much of the eighteenth century, the Phipps family prospered. As Joseph’s children grew and married several houses were built on the family lands. Some farmland was divided, but the “home farm” and approximately 400 acres remained intact through the nineteenth century. The nineteenth century witnessed the growth of a new agricultural industry – the dairy farm. Chester County became known for its dairy farms. By the 1880’s, 85 individually owned dairy farms prospered in Uwchlan Township. The Phipps families owned several.
Happy Days Farm is the only farm property that remained in the Phipps family for more than two centuries. Members of the Phipps family were active in several area churches including Uwchlan Society of Friends and Windsor Baptist Church. Phipps participated in the organizing and prosperity of the Uwchlan Grange. Residents of this early farm accomplished their goals. They may not have been famous, but they were excellent examples of nineteenth century Pennsylvania farmers.
The “Home” farm finally left the Phipps family in 1923, when sold to settle the estate of Phillena Phipps, widow of William Phipps, great, great, great grandson of the original settler, Joseph Phipps.
The farm property was granted to Harrison Durant in 1923, who owned it for twenty six years, but had lived there as early as 1914. The farm under Durant’s ownership continued to be a dairy farm. Durant remodeled the farmhouse by opening the two original first floor rooms to create one large living room. He eliminated one fireplace and altered the large fireplace. When central heating was installed some other fireplaces were closed off. It appears that Harrison Durant was eccentric. In 1946, he purchased some old fire equipment and advertised private fire protection services for such times as burning brush to clear fields, or to assist the volunteer fire companies. This enterprise was short-lived, he put the equipment up for sale in April, 1947.
Colonial tax records provide little information on land holdings and buildings, but by 1796 descriptions of taxpayers holdings were entered every few years. Jonathan Phipps was taxed in that year for 361 acres, with “two stone houses, 2 stories high and 1 stone kitchen, 1 log house 2 stories high, 1 barn part stone and part frame, 2 good log barns, 2 stone spring houses, 1 shed waggon house, 1 shed stable, 1 lime kiln and two log tenements. The 1799 tax records indicate that the main dwelling house was part stone and part log and was assessed at $280, a sizable sum at that time. Also included in the 1799 tax records for this 360 acre property were two small stone houses, two log houses, three stone springhouses, one log barn and two log and stone barns. This list supports the theory that several Phipps families lived on the “home” farm.
Several buildings remain, including: the original farmhouse, two stone springhouses, one barn, the old foundation of another barn (the barn has been rebuilt.) a carriage house and some modern buildings. Of particular note is a tenant house built in 1925 with some architectural features unique to Uwchlan Township.
Note: The Supplees also own a strip of land on the other side of Route 100 and a house and lot that lie within the Lionville National Historic District. It is unknown at this time if these parcels will be included in future development. The early twentieth century house is a one story frame bungalow.
In the past, arrowheads have been found in the area of Happy Days Farm. Uwchlan residents have long supported the premise that the farm was once part of Native American Hunting grounds. Most of the roads forming a wheel design in Lionville were originally Indian paths, but other evidence of Native American activity in the area has never been thoroughly investigated or documented.
As a resident of Uwchlan Township for the past 12 years, I am typical of the many residents who moved here because of its rural charm. However, unlike many of our neighbors who are moving out because of the major changes in Uwchlan’s character in recent years, my family wants to stay. We love the community and its schools; we work and volunteer in the community and hope that the encroaching development won’t destroy all that Uwchlan is.
Of particular concern to us is the development in the high density sector of the township. According to the county’s Landscapes plan, the area surrounding Route 113 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike is targeted for the densest development in the township….The development of the Happy Days Farm by Vanguard will bring new meaning to the word density. Along with all the tax incentives Vanguard will contribute to the community, it will turn Uwchlan Township into a small metropolis…..
As tax-paying citizens who will bear the burden of the traffic and noise pollution that the Vanguard complex will bring, we should not be expected to compromise the beauty of our community as well just because we happen to be in the high density sector of the county. Uwchlan Township deserves its share of the open space proposed for purchase by the county.
TREDYFFRIN – Gov. Tom Ridge made it official yesterday, presenting The Vanguard Group with a $55.5 million economic package to expand itˆ’s Chester County presence and create 6,000 new jobs over the next five years.
The mutual fund giant, the county’s largest employer, recently announced plans to build a corporate campus on the 245-acre Supplee family Happy Days Farm near the Downingtown interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Uwchlan. That expansion, plus an expansion of the companyˆ’s corporate headquarters in Tredyffrin, represents a $550 million investment for Vanguard.
Ridge made the official announcement of the multi-million tax package and other incentives at Vanguard’s corporate campus surrounded by state and county officials and about 100 Vanguard senior managers.
“Vanguard is a client of ours,” Ridge said as he toured the bond traders’ offices at the company headquarters. “We’re a service industry, not out to make a profit. But the companies that do make a profit, we want them to do it in Pennsylvania.”…John J. Brennan, Vanguard chairman and chief executive officer, said Chester County, a region rich in farmland where people cultivated a living, has developed as a place rich in local talent, rich in human resources which has been “vital to our success.”
“The Supplee parcel we look at with the perspective of an investor,” Brennan said, adding that investing is his business “I manage $550 billion of other people’s money.”
Brennan introduced Ridge to a standing ovation congratulating the governor and the Governor’s Action Team for their long-term view.
Ridge called Monday a great day for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a great day for Vanguard….The Happy Days Farm property, which Vanguard agreed to buy in April, was considered by two giant malls over the last four years, as well as by pharmaceutical giant, Astra Zeneca for its US headquarters. The drug company decided to locate in Delaware wooed away by tax breaks and massive road improvements.
The governor praised the county’s sensitive, smart growth and Uwchlan’s foresight to designate the Supplee tract for economic growth.
“It’s not about a mall here,” Ridge said. “This company builds a quality campus that anybody would be happy to have as a neighbor.”
The Happy Days Farm expansion comes with expedited plans by the state Department of Transportation to improve highways associated with the project, specifically routes 100 and 113 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The “transportation improvements”, Ridge said, will make it possible for people in Lancaster and Reading to work at the Happy Days site once developed.
Wow. That was QUITE the investment offer on the part of the state, right? Funded by taxpayer dollars of Pennsylvanians, right?
I can tell you that the Daily Local featured an article in 2001 about an update to Vanguard’s then plans:
The mutual fund company plans to build 2.5 million square feet of office space for 10,000 new employees next to the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Downingtown interchange on the former Happy Days Farm.
The location is desirable for employee recruiting, as well as employee commuting, Ralph K. Packard, Vanguard managing director and chief financial officer, told members of the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce.
Packard was guest speaker Tuesday at the organization’s March luncheon held at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center in Lionville.
UWCHLAN — Vanguard Group representatives presented sketch plans to Uwchlan’s supervisors Monday regarding a corporate campus to be built on the Happy Days Farm.
Back in 2000, the mutual fund company purchased the 245-acre dairy farm with the intention of turning it into office space, large enough for 10,000 employees. The farm is off Route 100, near the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Downingtown Interchange.
The plans received conditional-use approval for the project in 2000, according to Denise Yarnoff, the attorney representing Vanguard. The company received preliminary and final subdivision and land development approval of phase one of the project in 2001…
The entire master plan will be on 2.5 million square feet. And the corporate campus will be built on 2 million square feet. The new sketch plans call for a change from six large buildings to about 10 smaller buildings, Yarnoff said.
The new overall project plans show a decrease in impervious area. In 2001, the impervious coverage for the plans was 79.4 acres. The new sketch plans show the impervious coverage has decreased to 76.6 acres….In addition, the open space on the campus has increased from 48.7 percent in 2001 to 50.5 percent…..
In order to do this project, Route 100 will need to be widened between Route 113 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Downingtown Interchange and make Sheree Boulevard an overpass over Route 100.
As a result, PennDOT needs right-of-way approvals for seven parcels of land that have not been acquired yet, according to PennDOT spokesman Charles Metzger. The Vanguard Group has been partnering with PennDOT for the overall construction project of the roads, he said.
The county is hoping the state, local municipalities and Vanguard will chip in to help raise $20 million to preserve farmland in the northern part of the county.
“(Vanguard) is the largest job creation project in the commonwealth right now,” said County Commissioner Andrew Dinniman. “We thought we had a unique two-year window of opportunity before construction starts. We’re trying to get a head start on this.”
Vanguard, the nation’s second largest mutual fund firm and the county’s largest employer with headquarters in Malvern, is planning 2.5 million square-feet of office space for nearly 10,000 employees at its new campus on the site of the 245-acre Happy Days Farm on Route 100.
“We know once Vanguard starts to get built in a couple of years, there will be an enormous pressure to eat up this land and we want to preserve some of it,” said Dinniman….Wayne Clapp, assistant director of the county planning commission, said the proposal is consistent with the county’s Landscapes master plan.
“We prefer not to see development in the rural, natural landscape,” he said.
“They should be preserved, not built upon,” said Clapp. “Agriculture is still the largest industry in the county. We tend to think of farmland as open space, but it is an industry.”
Did that ever happen? Apparently not, but read on…..
Over time, Atwater in East Whiteland and Tredyffrin, Valley Creek Corporate Center in West Whiteland and Vanguard’s corporate campus in Uwchlan, could generate a total of 26,000 new jobs and about as many additional cars on the roads.
Faced with those numbers, PennDOT already has road widening projects, new bridges and better signalization either under way or in the planning stages.
For commuters, it means more aggravation.
“That type of development means a regional draw,” said Chris Williams, senior project manager at McMahon Associates, a traffic planning firm with offices in West Whiteland….The county is seeing so much development, so much traffic, Kaiser said, any one development can cause a bottleneck at an intersection five or 10 miles down the road.
On the drawing board:
Vanguard Group is set to build a 2.5 million square foot corporate campus at Happy Days Farm on Route 100 in Uwchlan. It is still in due-diligence stage, said John Demming, Vanguard spokesman. Some 6,000 people could work there when it is completed, Demming said Valley Creek Corporate Center broke ground last month. When complete, the high-end office park developed by The Rubenstein Co. on Swedesford Road near routes 30 and 202 in West Whiteland will be made up of 1.75 million square feet in 17 buildings. It is expected to attract 7,500 to 10,000 employees. The 200-acre site was once owned by Church Farm School.
Atwater by developer Trammell Crow will be a 2.6-million-square-foot office complex for about 10,000 employees. It will be located at the former Cedar Hollow Quarry site between Route 29 and Yellow Springs Road.The 380-acre site straddles East Whiteland and Tredyffrin townships but the bulk of the development is slated for East Whiteland. Both Atwater and Valley Creek will affect Route 202
Also in 2001 was the Save Our Countryside Rally. Also reported in The Daily Local:
Fox hunting clubs, farmers and concerned citizens from the area, surrounding townships and even surrounding counties, voiced their concerns about the disappearing landscape of Chester County to state legislators and local organization leaders.
Originally scheduled to be held at the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds, the rally was moved to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church because of rain, said James Scharnberg, master of the Skycastle French Hounds of Chester Springs and organizer of the event.
State Sen. Jim Gerlach, R-44th of East Brandywine; state Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155th of Downingtown; county commissioners Andrew Dinniman and Colin Hanna; Eleanor Morris of the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust and John Hoekstra, director of Green Valley Association, addressed the crowd regarding the importance of making their voices heard and saving open space.
Two local development plans in Wallace and Uwchlan were at the forefront of residents’ minds….The other development that concerns citizens and politicians alike is the Vanguard construction, which is to begin in two years, at Happy Days Farm, where Route 100 meets the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Uwchlan. The site will employ between 8,000 and 10,000 people.
According to Dinniman, the county has put up $5 million for farmland preservation in the area. The county is asking its three other partners — the state, the township and Vanguard — to contribute $5 million each, bringing the total to $20 million. “The only way to save open space is to save the farms and help the farmers financially,” Dinniman said. “Part of stewardship is to help us preserve land of Chester County. They are not exactly impoverished and can help us in this aspect.”
All of the speakers encouraged the crowd to let their voices be heard. “I believe the answer is the community has to mobilize,” Dinniman said following the rally. “The key is the voice. What I have heard was a deep anger level, a concern, a plea for change. Public officials need to listen and use every ounce of energy to answer the plea. The key is to keep the voice going so it can be heard.”
That is key: “concerns citizens and politicians alike.” So I challenge these officials still around like State Senator Andy Dinniman to look at the Happy Days Farm situation again. Why? Because as years passed, residents obviously grew complacent as in maybe this wasn’t happening. Now residents have to pick up the cause of saving our countryside once again and FAST.
People have already said to me the following about this situation:
“What are you going to start bitching about? This tract has been talked about for years as a mall, a big pharma company…even heard of it as possibly an amusement park. A casino wouldn’t be unlikely either. Hey maybe Amazon will think about it in lieu of their NYC site. Too bad we couldn’t convince Vanguard to develop it. I think some ecological issues slowed down the Vanguard start up years ago. Something about turtles, but not sure how true that was. Who knows what we will get now.”
To my armchair quarterbacks I say it is still a working farm. THAT is what I am bitching about it. What was proposed in the past does not have to be this farm’s future. It could have a preservation-minded future.
Agriculture as noted above was once Chester County’s largest industry, right? Why not invest in THAT Vanguard? You guys do socially responsible investing, correct? What is more socially responsible that agricultural preservation in the county Vanguard calls home? Seems win-win to me and face it Vanguard, you can AFFORD to do this, can’t you?
Really and truly I cannot stand this anymore. Every week it seems it’s another farm. Another historically important piece of architecture. Where has all of the preservation gone?
Someone else said to me today:
“Happy Days Farm represents a lynchpin development opportunity connecting the turnpike Eagleview development to the 113 corridor – once it falls contiguous open space to the east will diminish rapidly.”
Skip ahead to 2014 and an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. We should have paid more attention because now I ask, was this a warning of the future a/k/a our present?
For a view of the “jobless recovery” – there are still fewer Americans employed today than in 2008, despite rising business profits and share prices – take a look at what has changed at Vanguard Group’s Chester County campus. And what hasn’t.
Vanguard assets have tripled, to nearly $3 trillion, since the stock market bottomed out five years ago. Its popular index portfolios, targeted-date retirement funds, and other products now account for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. mutual fund industry…..Way back in 1999, Vanguard proposed a second multimillion-square-foot office center, at Happy Days Farm just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike exit in Lionville, Uwchlan Township….The state of Pennsylvania said it was ready to grant up to $55.5 million in aid if Vanguard met its hiring goals…..But Happy Days hasn’t been needed, and the state didn’t have to provide any grants….it has cut back on the platoons of young, hourly “crewmembers” who answered phone calls from investors.
“We don’t have a goal of having fewer people at Vanguard,” said Chris McIsaac, boss at Vanguard’s Institutional Investor Group, …. “But if we can do more with the same number of people, that’s a good thing for our clients.”….As office demand has fallen, Vanguard has negotiated lower taxes, based on the reduced value investors are now willing to pay for suburban office space….Vanguard expects to keep adding assets. But it’s no longer planning for large or rapid employment growth, Reed said.
“Like every company in America, we’ve got to be more efficient tomorrow than today,” Reed added.
That article by Joseph Di Stefano tells us RIGHT THERE what some media is reporting to us this week. This 2014 article was laying out the groundwork for dumping Happy Days Farm out of their real estate portfolio, wasn’t it? Of course this article also spells out what happened to that grant money – it just seems like it evaporated as an offer as time passed, didn’t it?
To me that also says that Vanguard is also now in part perhaps just paying lip service to calling Chester County “it’s home” and I subject to you the following for consideration: if someplace else offered them a sweeter plum for the picking than all the municipalities which have bent over and kissed the corporate rear end of Vanguard all these years in Chester County would they stay? I wonder.
Heck we should have paid closer attention in 2012 when this article on Vanguard and their real estate hopscotching came out:
TREDYFFRIN – Vanguard Group Inc. confirmed on Thursday that it has signed an agreement to purchase the neighboring Pfizer property.
Vanguard spokesman John Woerth said he could not disclose the purchase price, though published reports put the deal at $40 million.
For Vanguard, the purchase was all about location.
“This is a stone’s throw from our current Malvern headquarters,” Woerth said, explaining why Vanguard is making the investment. “We had the opportunity to purchase a property close to our current property at a reasonable price.”….
Vanguard also owns Happy Days Farm on Route 100 in Uwchlan. It purchased the 250-acre property in 2000 with the intent to turn it into an upscale corporate campus. Some road work has been done since then, but no buildings have been started.
Worth said while Vanguard continues to own the property, “there are no plans to develop it at this time.”
That’s the question that has plagued pensions and individual investors alike as they consider financial products dedicated to environmental, social and governance criteria. In two recent polls, a majority of institutions and high-net-worth investors concluded fees were too high to justify an allocation….Just this month, Vanguard, arguably the czar of low-fee fund offerings, jumped into the ESG fray with the Vanguard ESG US Stock ETF ESGV, +0.54% and the Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF VSGX, +0.14% offerings. The funds will track the holdings of the FTSE US All Cap Choice and FTSE Global All Cap ex US Choice indexes — two ESG indexes — and fees are slated at 0.12% and 0.15%, respectively. The funds will incorporate elements some elements from more traditional Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”) by excluding certain “sin stocks” such as those in adult entertainment, alcohol, tobacco, and weapons, and the funds will also exclude fossil-fuel firms from its investment portfolios. From there, the funds will apply an ESG overlay to the stock portfolios. The fund will also attempt to maximize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in its investment decisions.
Look at that: sustainable cities and communities and climate action and life on land and zero hunger just to pull out a few points. A great working farm surviving would play a role in that, right? So many of these goals could be applied to saving a working farm they own, can’t you agree?
So Vanguard? I realize that although Jack Bogle founded you some would argue if you were really still the firm of Jack Bogle, yes? But can you still be enough of Jack Bogle’s firm that maybe you would consider putting your socially responsible money where your corporate mouth is?
A company with TRILLIONS in assets could indeed work something out with a nature conservancy and donate the land into preservation. The land could be preserved and still have tenant farmers.
Vanguard, you bring a lot of people to Chester County. But if you sell this land to developers you put another nail in the coffin of Chester County’s industry of agriculture and the agricultural history and traditions. Vanguard, if you sell to developers a parcel this big will not be open space it will be developed up as quickly as developed plans can get through, correct?
Vanguard, if you want to pay homage to where you call home, save this parcel and BE socially responsible by doing so. We don’t grow our food on the roof of Whole Foods and Wegman’s do we? We still need agrarian values and landscapes, don’t we?
Chester County, this farm land is not sold yet. As a county can we at least try to change the conversation here? Save our countryside?
Yes, I have written about these books before. I wrote about them in 2014 in connection to my recipe about making a “rose smoothie.” (A rose smoothie is something I feed my roses, incidentally.)
But I was prompted this morning to mention these books again because someone in my gardening group with a local restaurant who is a friend of mine kindly offered her old egg shells to gardeners who use them to amend the soil.
Decades ago at this point, I read about these books by Margaret and Bridget Boland in the Wall Street Journal. Yes, the Wall Street Journal. Truthfully, over the years some of the best US gardening articles I have ever read have been out of the Wall Street Journal on occasion. When I originally bought these books I bought them from Trevian Book Shop in Massachusetts.
These books are fun little volumes, and well, some of it literally is lore. As in why people planted things how they planted things and even charms to protect the gardener. There is a funny little section in Gardner’s Magic and Other Old Wives Lore about weather predicting creatures, specifically frogs. And how if a frog looks pale yellow the weather is going to be fine if it’s going to be wet the same frog will turn dark brown or green.
Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners contains more practical garden magic. It was in this little book that I learned about adding banana skins to the soil for roses. It is what intrigued me in the article about these books I read in the Wall Street Journal- it was one of the things that the writer spoke about in the books. Of course also in this book I learned again about the benefits of tossing old soapy water – as in dish soap – onto your roses and flower and vegetable beds to help control things like aphids that don’t like the soapy water. People refer to this a lot of the time as “gray water” and we aren’t speaking of dishwasher detergent or clothing detergent, but plain old dish soap. Now my older relatives always used to speak of tossing the old dish soap onto the flowerbeds.
People tend to gravitate always and first towards the shiniest and new with glossy photographs gardening books. But inside little old volumes like these there is also a lot of knowledge to be had. These books are still enchanting today and interspersed throughout the lore are invaluable bits of old-fashioned wisdom and gardening tips. If you are a gardener you would love these books.
You can still find copies of these books which were published in the mid-1970s. I checked this morning and I saw them on both eBay and Amazon. They are skinny little volumes so they won’t take up much room. Originally they were very inexpensive. Now they are collectible but they aren’t beyond anyone’s reach you just have to check the listings. I have seen them for sale in both paperback and hardcover format.
I have all of the Bolands’ books (they were a mother and daughter) including Gardeners’ Lore: Plantings Potions and Practical Wisdom.
I will note that I discovered this morning there is also an edition of the first two books which combines the first two volumes into one.
I guess that the moral to this story is don’t overlook the vintage and older gardening books. Like older and vintage cookbooks you find things in these books you don’t see any place else. You learn the practical magic of gardening that our grandparents knew.
The last word I will have in this post is if you live in the Chester County area, the best place I have found locally to consistently uncover old and vintage gardening books is Baldwin’s Book Barn in West Chester. Have a great day….spring is coming!