the wildflower farm tale continues: giving it the good old NOFIMBY college try in willistown

Wildflower Farm posies (yes grown there)

I love the smell of “placed” media, don’t you ? It’s marvelous spin describing a working farm as “an event venue”.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about a little piece that has appeared in places over the last day or so. It’s about Wildflower Farm. But this time, it’s from the neighbors perspective. And I am of the opinion, and allowed to have the opinion that it smells of professional placement. It’s not even honest, is it?

Yes it’s a clear case of spinny, spin, spin isn’t it?

I mean let’s get real these neighbors will do anything to get this farm and these people out of their neighborhood, won’t they? And you have someone who is portrayed as Mother Freaking Theresa in a sweet little media-esque blip when she has shown her true colors even at public township meetings?

And the Emmy goes to…the NOFIMBY (no farm in my back yard) neighbors of Castlebar Lane.

Oh bless their cold, dark hearts and clap, clap, clap. Cue the tiny violins of pity with a side of barf bag. Sorry not sorry that is how this makes me feel.

Neighbors of Wildflower Farm, a Point of Contention in Willistown Township, Share Their Side of The Story

By Leah Mikulich
Published: 5:30 am EDT April 6, 2022

Wildflower Farm in Willistown Township has been a point of contention for months, as neighbors believe they have been demonized on social media and ignored by township officials, writes Davis Giangiulio for Main Line Tonight. 

Lonnie Gray owns one of the five homes on Castlebar Lane, a quiet cul-de-sac where Ryan and Lori Heenan bought two properties and opened Wildflower Farm. They planned it to be a flower farm that would offer small workshops and classes. 

However, when its opening event drew around 100 people, Gray and several other neighbors voiced their concern, and it ultimately led to a call to the police…

Gray is adamant about one thing.

“We are not trying to shut down the Heenans,” she said. “We just don’t want an event venue in our neighborhood.” 

The neighbors have complained to the township about the farm. However, after the Heenans reached what neighbors allege was a “backroom deal” with the township without anybody else’s input, they decided to involve lawyers.

vista today 4/6/22
Main Line Tonight wrote about Wildflower Farm and covered it before.

Let’s unpack this: It’s not an event venue, it’s a farm. And is it REALLY true that some affiliated with these people tried to inquire or perhaps set up the farm early on when they made a folksy, friendly inquiry to see if they could host a small gathering there? And was the answer not essentially that the Heenans did not know then it would be possible? They were not told yes, no deposits were taken, and no “event” was planned or held, was it? It was a fishing expedition, wasn’t it? Yes, yes person who asked, I know this happened and I know who you are and I found that very sad that you stooped so low to shall we say, curry favor with whom you perceive to be the popular kids of the McMansion set?

The berm I have dubbed Mt. Rushmore after seeing it live in the fall

Let’s also discuss Our Heroine of Castlebar Lane. When we last left she was (metaphorically speaking) wringing her hands in a seemingly “placed” puff piece? Their side or just her side? Are we to interpret that the NOFIMBY neighbors aren’t really so bad, they just fear for their PUBLIC road in Willistown Township? That they really aren’t UNneighborly when they call the police on their neighbors? And is this the neighbor with that Brooklyn Bridge project of a Mt. Rushmore berm that always seems to be being worked on whenever I have popped over to visit my friends the Heenans? And that’s a funny thing, Our Heroine always seems to have lots of vehicles in and out? I mean, maybe I am imagining things, but does she have a home based business that generates traffic? Or is that just berm building?

And was it not Our Heroine who said

“It’s beyond comprehension why they would invite the public to come and spend time in the country.” 

“Bringing the public into the neighborhood is completely unacceptable.”

`our heroine

And while we are at our revisionist history best, if these are neighbors NOT trying to ruin the lives of other neighbors do we remember them at a township meeting in Willistown December 2021? By all means, explain how they are lovely people not trying to ruin their neighbors’ lives?

My understanding is that a possible settlement has been reached between the township and the Heenans. Again, the neighbors who will be most affected by the traffic, noise, invasion of privacy, liability, and a reduction in the quality of life not to mention our property values have no idea of what has or will transpire through this agreement.

I understand the zoning and the Farmstand ordinance, let’s keep it to a farmstand and not a full fledged business which is what I believe the Heenans intend. You determine the quality of life in Willistown and I urge you to be guided by the long standing nature of what exists here, open space, conservation, protection of the land, privacy, and a quality of life that is the model for other townships.

Letter discovered via RTK written 12/2021

The flower truck at another farm, Life’s Patina

So the Vista piece came out of a larger more expansive “article” from “Main Line Tonight”. They have an interesting “board”. However, I will point out, we are Chester County, and not the Main Line. And Wildflower farm is in Willistown in the heart of Radnor Hunt. Historically speaking, farms were here before any of the rest of us today, yes?

So here is the article from Main Line Tonight written by a gentleman named Davis Giangulio:

Part Two: The Wild Saga of Wildflower Farm

Feeling demonized by social media and ignored by Willistown Twp., Wildflower’s neighbors share their side of the story.
by Davis Giangiulio, Contributing Editor

Lonnie Gray wants to make one thing clear: “We are not trying to shut down the Heenans. We just don’t want an event venue in our neighborhood.”

That “event venue” is Wildflower Farm, a 4-acre property that opened in May 2021 on Castlebar Lane in Malvern. Ryan and Lori Heenan billed Wildflower as a flower farm that would host small workshops and classes. But Wildflower’s grand opening event on Mother’s Day of 2021 alarmed neighbors. “We were in shock,” Gray said. “Over 70 cars, 100 people, a pizza truck, and all kinds of stuff. We’re going, ‘Wow this is crazy.’”

It got crazier. According to the Heenans, neighbors interrupted that Mother’s Day event, causing so much commotion that police were called.

From Gray’s point of view, the commotion was caused by the Heenans’ event. She and a few of her neighbors hired attorney Marc D. Jonas at Eastburn and Gray PC to protect their rights as homeowners. “No one is going to want to live next door to that,” she said. “It’s living in a residential area and then having it become something very different.”….. Throughout Willistown Twp., and especially on Castlebar Lane, privacy is a luxury. That’s one of the things that attracted Gray, who purchased her four-bedroom, three-bathroom, 5,000 square foot home in 2013.

main line tonight

I just feel that this piece I excerpted is placed. And oh, not all of the hyperlinks in this piece work. Here are some things released under a Right to Know. Now that the public face of the neighbors of the poor, poor neighbors who feel demonized has been polished and scrubbed like shiny new pennies, how about reading what has flown around Willistown over this issue:

The above is just a sampling. Do you want me to REALLY believe they don’t want to destroy the Heenans and Wildflower Farm? And they talk about “back room deals” ? Where? Are they confusing public township meetings as “back room” deals? Yet they can send somewhat unctuous emails to Willistown Supervisors essentially saying “hop to”?

Willistown Meeting December 2021

I just do not GET IT, do you? I mean, and correct me if I am wrong, but do these neighbors NOT benefit from living in McMansions in an agricultural district? And Willistown is one of those places where farms still exist, so if they had their way would farms cease to exist? What’s their next target? Farms like Sugartown Straberries? Heartwood Farm? Ohana Farm? Windy Hill farm? Canter Hill Farm? Willisbrook Farm? That farm with the “oreo” cows AKA Belted Galloways?

Now a lot of what is going on here is of interest to those who follow the ACRE law, correct?

Here is a state pamphlet on the ACRE LAW:

There is an entire section on the PA Attorney General’s website about ACRE. For the entire kitandkaboodle CLICK HERE. And truthfully if Willistown is dancing with this, didn’t they dance before? A little Googling found this:

We’ve been talking about Wildflower Farm and the NOFIMBY neighbors for a long time now. How can people be so determined to all but literally kill their neighbors? Why is a flower farm so bad? I still think this is one of the ugliest examples of misplaced sense of entitlement I have ever seen.

At the end of the day, this just makes me sad. These NOFIMBY neighbors can say they are lovely, caring people but the thing is this: actions speak louder than words. If they want to be seen as good, they can’t just write lovely checks to non-profits can they? They actually have to be good. I can’t help but wonder what they are in fact costing the taxpayers of Willistown with all of this swirling nastiness?

Sadly the NOFIMBY drama seems to go on and on and on. As I said the first time I waded into this topic, I think these people are wrong. Their lives aren’t adversely affected by flowers and a flower farm. They are responsible for this swirling ugliness, not the Heenans.

I am a lover of farms. Small farms matter. All farms matter.

I am also a gardener. Plant more flowers. Stop and smell the flowers NOFIMBY neighbors. Stop this madness, except you won’t will you? So sad.

#SupportLocalAgriculture #SmallFarmsMatter #AllFarmsMatter #TeamWildFlowerFarm

For more coverage:

the strange tale of wildflower farm: in willistown when is a farm not ok to be a farm?

this is wildflower farm

christmas comes to wildflower farm in willistown (hopefully)

the new trend in willistown, the land of farms and open space is NOFIMBY?

it’s simple: save wildflower farm.

Main Line Tonight: The Wild Saga of Wildflower Farm

Vista Today: Neighbors Continue to Sow Seeds of Discontent in Malvern Couple’s Wildflower Farm

My Chesco: Neglected Chester County Barn Transformed Into Organic Farm Producing Flowers for Any Occasion

Find Wildflower farm on their WEBSITE, Instagram, Facebook, and in-person during open farm hours.

3 thoughts on “the wildflower farm tale continues: giving it the good old NOFIMBY college try in willistown

  1. ” … beyond comprehension” … Really?!?

    Everything that’s terrible in the world right now and THAT is what is “beyond comprehension”???

    Just wow.

    These people.

  2. Did you see the latest? The people on Castlebar Lane sent out a very misleading flyer as a call to action to contact the township to drive the farm out of the neighborhood. They also set up a website called castlebarlane.com.

    In the flyer they accuse the Heenans of being property developers called Heenan Properties.

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