how MANY freaking bad development plans are going on in easttown?

Who doesn’t love Handel’s in Berwyn? It’s an old fashioned ice cream place like you only normally see at the beach. This time of year people can always be seen all lined up for a scoop of ice cream. It’s a great tradition.

But apparently Easttown Township is pondering the supersizing of this location? As in Handel’s will still be there BUT also 120 apartments potentially? Four stories tall, if the zoning board in Easttown approves?

SERIOUSLY?? What in the Sam Hell is wrong with Easttown Township? First of all the township is like the supersecret people with no meeting recordings that I can find and every time you turn around there’s another development plan between Devon and the end of Berwyn, isn’t there?

Sure Easttown “discloses” development plans via public notices but do they really want a spotlight on the crazy development plans there ?

I am down near this particular stretch of Berwyn a fair amount and I can tell you Lancaster Avenue is already infreakingsane with what’s there, so what happens when you add more insanity?

A source tells me one zoning hearing was held already. The next one appears to be August 5 — except I haven’t found a public notice yet. If I understood correctly what was said at the recent zoning meeting, the Easttown Township Planning Commission has already approved this crap?

WTF Easttown? It’s bad enough you are allowing historic Berwyn to get destroyed, but now you want to West Goshen/East Whiteland/West Whiteland Lancaster Avenue through Berwyn and Easttown in general???

(I will also note the Easttown like many other municipalities who don’t like to video record meetings are also kind of behind in their minutes they post aren’t they? And when the minutes are posted don’t they seem so sanitized?)

Traffic is already a nightmare around here. And the thing about Easttown is they like to approve these development plans but it’s like they’re approving plans that are off on their own planet with no relationship to basic things like existing residents, small businesses, and existing infrastructure.

Where Anthropologie and Terrain were built is a favorite nightmare traffic example. Trying to reach these businesses off of Lancaster Avenue if you’re headed west on Route 30 is craziness. And it’s also difficult if you want to go to Handel’s coming from either direction. And they are proposing apartments?

It’s like we keep getting driven further and further west but all these developers up and down Route 30 act like all these municipalities aren’t interconnected! No matter where we go the traffic is heavy and insane and full of impatient drivers and roads that can’t handle the current capacity in all of these municipalities all the way up Route 30 into Coatesville and beyond and they all want are more developments!

I don’t know why they call any of this good planning or smart growth because it just seems well greedy to me. And those of us who live here in Chester County, we don’t matter. Existing small businesses, they don’t matter. Nothing matters except getting these plans built and pick a stretch of Route 30 and how many apartments and townhouses and fake “carriage homes” do we need???

And Easttown sports a lot of ugly density already.

Enough already, Easttown.

And again, another reason why we need a less development happy county planning commission in Chester County. And an executive director of said planning commission who actually resides in Chester County. I mean is it just me or has anyone else noticed how even as you proceed further and further west in Chester County along Route 30 it’s so totally looking like the eastern end of Lower Merion Township, King of Prussia, or DeKalb Pike?

Stop the madness. Attend your local municipality’s meetings wherever you live. Pack the meetings. Elect officials who represent YOUR voices.

#PreserveChesterCounty

happy 25th anniversary to the west chester growers market!!!

IMG_6363I missed all the political fanfare early this morning, but I did make it to the 25th anniversary of the West Chester Growers Market.

State Senator Andy Dinniman and Chester County Commissioners Michele Kichline and Terrence Farrell were there at the opening of today’s market to celebrate with everyone and present citations and proclamations.

But where oh where were the officials of West Chester Borough? Borough Council? I mean it is NO SECRET they have been discussing the lot on the corner of Chestnut and Church Streets again right?  And what developer and hotel owner want in on whatever is discussed, hmmm?  Oh the irony that they just discussed this again, what? This past week?

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And no one from the Borough could come to the West Chester Growers Market in an official capacity to celebrate their 25th anniversary? The County and State felt they should be there, so why not the Borough?

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Photo courtesy of County Commissioner Terrence Farrell’s Facebook Page.  He and Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline presenting a County citation to Paul “Bud” Hauser, an inspiration behind and one of the four original growers who founded the West Chester Growers Market 25 years ago. I think this is fabulous that they did this!!

Oh and my opinions are my own, by the way.  And sadly I think West Chester Borough needs to appreciate the organizations which bring people into the Borough weekly for 25 years, don’t you? The West Chester Growers Market brings people and farms and small food producers together. In a world filled with ugliness, this is something genuine and nice.

Today the market was bustling in spite of the crazy heat.  And the vendors were nice enough to have lots and lots of water on hand for customers. And ice cream!!  And balloons and face painting for kids!

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I love the West Chester Growers Market and it is pretty much the only one I patronize at this point since East Goshen seems to have given up on their farmers market which I think is a huge mistake since they have one of the most awesome locations.

The photos I took today were my own.  I am not compensated in any way for posting about the market. I post about the West Chester Growers Market because I love it and think it’s fabulous.

And if West Chester Borough Council gets their knickers in a twist because I do not feel in my opinion that they appreciate the market in all it’s fabulousness, tough noogies and am I wrong?

HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY WEST CHESTER GROWERS MARKET!! 

WE LOVE YOU IN CHESTER COUNTY!!

 

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changing my mind about prime now

A year ago this time of year I wrote about Prime Now. At that time I was fairly pleased with Prime Now the Amazon – Whole Foods food delivery service.

But the attractiveness wore off when orders subsequent to the first order were placed over the course of the last year. I had problems with orders like them not getting delivered. At all. It’s super easy to use the app to place the order, but then I had a couple of orders that were just not delivered.

I could see that they were placed and shopped and they were waiting for pick up and they never ever got delivered. It was crazy. Then I found out that my orders were coming from the stores geographically closest to me they were coming from pretty far away which didn’t make sense.

And then there’s the reality that you are limited on products as to what Amazon Prime Now feels like pushing, which isn’t the same of the vast array of products available through Whole Foods when you go into the store. And it’s frustrating because you think because they now own Whole Foods and they are shopping your order at a Whole Foods store that you would have more variety like you do in the store. Only you don’t.

I will tell you honestly that Instacart has stepped up their game tremendously. And the orders that I got from Instacart that come from my local Wegmans are perfect. And Giant by Peapod is not perfect, but not bad either – they have excellent customer service.

And the delivery people for both Instacart and Giant by Peapod are super nice and they care.

My husband decided because they were offering a special with the Prime Day stuff to try Prime Now on his own. They were offering like a $10 coupon or something to try it or to order on Prime Day.

So he placed an order. I knew what time the order was expected but I was on the third floor of our home when the delivery person actually came to the door.

When I got downstairs the Prime Now delivery person was speeding off in his car. But the packages he had delivered were all straight up against my screen door which opens OUT. So that means the screen door was completely blocked and if I had pushed it open I would’ve broken it as it’s an old-fashioned screen door. I had to go out through the garage up around the front walk move the bags so I could open the screen door to open the front door to bring the groceries in.

Oh and did I mention that my husband specifically put on the order NOT to block the screen door and front door if someone wasn’t right there to get delivery?

The next problem was it’s almost 100° right? Or if it’s not 100° yet it feels like it? Some of what was ordered was perishable and frozen. There were no ice pack things in the insulated bags. And I checked my blog post from when I first wrote about them and there were at that time.

So basically my food that was frozen and personable was all warm to the touch. That’s kind of gross.

Prime Now when they began had made such a big deal about their insulated bags for perishable items and frozen foods.

I called up Prime Now customer service and they couldn’t have been nicer. And they agreed with me that the order should have been packed differently in this heat. They also noted that it said on the account and in the order that was given to the store and to the driver delivering NOT to block the front door and screen. And that was a pretty basic thing to pay attention to.

So sadly, I think I am going to put Prime Now back on the shelf of things I’m not going to use again for a while. Getting groceries delivered is a little luxury that I like sometimes, but if simple things like NOT blocking the screen door and front door can’t be accomplished, and insulated bags have nothing to keep the items cool, what are we paying for?

It seems like Amazon in general has issues like this all across the board. When you can get somebody in the United States on the phone who is customer service, they are very good, but the rest of it is inconsistent at best.

Another example would be recently I ordered some organic cleaning products I like better through Amazon. The company is called Frosch and they’re German. But the only place I can find the products is through Amazon.

I ordered liquid cleaner that was an all purpose cleaner and it was delivered to me in a paper padded Amazon shipping envelope. There was no protective padding or a box that the liquid cleaning supplies were placed in. So needless to say one bottle was open and leaking upon arrival.

These are all basic things. But it points to the problems in Amazon that must exist. Other problems include dumped packages, missing packages, and so on.

Amazon opens up a broader world of product availability. But I think with their stratospheric growth over the past few years there are issues they really need to work out. Today was just another example.

Thanks for stopping by and stay cool during the heatwave.

kitchen acquisitions

IMG_E6171It’s not all garden, garden, garden.  I am still cooking! And over the years I have treated myself to upgrades on pots and pans.

The other day I was watching an interview on The Today Show. These two young women had founded a cookware company in New York and their cookware was good-looking. It wasn’t ready for the clown car like the stuff Racheal Ray produces which is cheap and freakish looking.

Great Jones cookware seemed to be too good to be true, but the price points weren’t bad so I ordered a stock pot on a total whim. Complete impulse buy.  I have a stock pot I was looking to replace because it was wearing out and holding stains even on the stainless steel.

So I went to the website and read about Great Jones:

We started Great Jones because we believe in the power and pleasure of making food with your own hands, even if you’re just frying an egg.

We’re childhood friends of 20 years who first met at summer camp…Prior to starting Great Jones, Sierra worked as a food editor at New York Magazine and won a James Beard Award for her writing. She also hosted a show for CBS This Morning interviewing chefs. Maddy comes from the startup world; she managed consumer insights for Warby Parker and was a product manager at Zola. We’re both first-time entrepreneurs.

The name Great Jones is a nod to Judith Jones, a cookbook author and editor who championed and published the work of Julia Child, Edna Lewis, James Beard, and many others. She died in 2017 at age 93. It’s also a reference to New York, where we’re proud to both live and build our business.

Then I went to the shop section to check out their line. Not a huge line, but they have manufactured a line of core pots that every kitchen should have. I ordered Big Deal the stockpot to try them out.

Love at first sight.  Stockpot arrived today and it lived up to the hype.  Just the right weight and little details like cup measurements inside. Oh and another plus? On their website Good Jones has this finder thing where you put in your zip code and places you can recycle old pots and pans pops up!  Socially responsible and very cool!

Also today I got some new kitchenware from Brandless which was kind of a necessity.  I love  roasting and grilling vegetables. Only I ruined one of my baking sheet pans on the grill this week doing so.  So I put in a Brandless order for some pantry and beauty/bath staples and checked out their Cook’s Tools section. I replaced my ruined half sheet pan with a new one for $9 (yes $9 and it is GREAT quality) and got a grill pan with little holes in it for the grill for my veggies! The grill pan was $8!!

Brandless is a cool option where you get great products, many organic food staples, health and wellness and beauty and cleaning supplies at great prices because they removed the label.  Hence the name “Brandless”. If you want to try Brandless, CLICK HERE.

Another cool thing about Brandless is they believe in fighting hunger and giving back to the community.  They donate meals with every purchase you make. My husband discovered them, and I like their products.

Anyway, that is what is new in my kitchen as far as my “gear” goes.  As always, I feel I need to add the disclaimer that I am NOT a compensated blogger and if I write about stuff it’s because I want to, am a customer, etc .

Thanks for stopping by.

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visiting mt. airy lavender

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About a month ago I wrote a post called when good conquers evil eminent domain you get lavender fields.  It was about the new adaptive reuse of the Saha Farm in Valley Township (Coatesville/Wagontown). The farm is now Mt. Airy Lavender!!

I went to one of their open farm days in June, and will go back again when they have another one.  Mt. Airy Lavender is so worth the drive!  And I am hooked on their lavender based products! My big favorites are the Lavender Peppermint Body Butter  and Lavender Water and Lavender Essential Oil Roller!

You can buy their products online or when they have open farm days.  They have fun events too! (Including a wine tasting in August.)

For me, this was a special experience to finally visit the farm the Sahas fought so hard to save from eminent domain for private gain from Coatesville all those years ago.

I hope you enjoy the photos I am sharing and I hope you will visit the farm or consider it for an event.

I received nothing for writing this blog post.  I went to the farm because I wanted to see it and I buy their products and lavender plants because they are awesome.

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in the garden, you get what you pay for

I am so mad at myself. I know better than to order from cheap unknown plant places, but every once in a while I’m just human and want to try to get a good bargain.

Well look at the shoddy plants I received today from Gilbert H Wild and Sons!

Wild has been around forever. I get their emails, I think I also used to get catalogs from them, and I never ordered from them before. But I thought what the heck, I might as well check them out.

BIG MISTAKE.

I might as well have flushed my money down the toilet. And that makes me so angry when it comes to plants for my garden. And I’m mostly angry at myself because I know better.

I always tell people you get what you pay for and it’s always true. It is better to deal with a company that you know is super reputable and maybe a little pricey than to try to get a bargain like this. Because what I got today were half dead plants and completely dried out bare root items.

I could go to them and demand a refund but I don’t feel like being bothered, so I’m going to write off the loss and tell everybody don’t order from these people.

I should have known when I had to call them to find out where my order was because I never got a shipment notification or a tracking number.

Bless their hearts, they didn’t like my opinion. I didn’t ask for a refund because of experiences other gardeners I know have had. But this unprofessional response to my justified opinion based on what was delivered to me? Caveat Emptor…

I opened the box today and nothing that was bare root was packaged properly and they did the bare minimum on the plants that were potted.

I plant bare root all of the time and I can tell you that I find it doubtful that any of these things are going to be resurrected from the dead. When something arrives bare root and it’s completely dried out it’s usually a goner unless you’re planning on smoking it.

So there you have it: at the tippy top of my do not buy from for the garden list is now Gilbert H Wild and Sons. They suck.