now open: sycamore & stone

So yesterday I did a thing. I went and checked out the new Sycamore & Stone on 401!

Jeff Devlin‘s new property is one I am familiar with, because I used to patronize the antique store that was once in this barn. I love this property and was sad when it went up for sale because I was afraid some developers would snatch up the property and the beautiful barns and house would disappear. However when Jeff announced he had purchased this property I was totally psyched because I knew it was going to be saved, preserved, and wonderful!

Along with the barn which has the store there will be other things available to do on this property including the house becoming a fabulous Airbnb.

This is the kind of preservation in real time and adaptive reuse that Chester County needs more of! I will note that I first came to know Jeff and his fiancée Janelle, through our mutual friend Meg Veno, proprietress of Life’s Patina at Willowbrook Farm and the soon to be opened Mechantile at the Jenny Lind House in Historic Yellow Springs Village.

I will note that both the Mercantile/Jenny Lind and Jeff’s Sycamore & Stone are both located in West Pikeland Township. West Pikeland is a treasure trove of amazing historic properties. I hope that Township realizes how fortunate and blessed they are that they have people willing to come in and do these amazing adaptive resources that are viable on historic properties.

Jeff’s store is a feast for the eyes and there is all sorts of fun stuff! It has a great Americana country vibe. It’s a lovely space and shoppers feel relaxed in it. It is almost like welcoming someone into a great big farmhouse and not just a hands down super amazing barn. I gravitate to places that are warm and welcoming. And their staff is equally warm and welcoming!

One of the things I liked best are the reproduction hog scraper candlesticks he has available for sale. I collect the actual vintage/antique variety, so these are a real favorite with me! If Jeff Devlin had a wish list for customers mine would be to carry hand dipped taper candles that fit into hog scrapers because that is the right shape for them!

I look forward to this property further coming back to life and it is such a joy to see the work occurring on it every time I drive by. Jeff is a quality craftsman, and such a nice guy so I am glad he found his spot here on this property. My only lament is I don’t have a super old farmhouse for him to help me restore!

Anyway Sycamore & Stone is yet another reason to shop local! Enjoy the photos!

Sycamore & Stone is located at 1251 Conestoga Road, Chester Springs, PA. Right now the hours are WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY 12PM-7PM, SATURDAY 10AM-7PM, SUNDAY 10AM-4PM.

I will note that I have not been compensated in any way, shape, or form to write this post. I’m merely visited the store and I am now a happy customer: I like to shop local and support the businesses of people I know.

#shoplocal #shopsmall #stonehouserevival #schoolhousewoodworking #home

melangell antiques, house & garden: a beautiful new west chester, pa destination!

There is a new kid in town for antiques in Chester County and it is in a word: fabulous!

This business is newly opened in an old estate hunting lodge. A rather famous one to local history buffs. Also known as “Wrangley Lodge”, in an amazing century-plus old Arts and Crafts style designed by Charles Barton Keen as part of the original Greystone Estate. This is special to me because one of my very close friends and honorary other mother’s is his granddaughter. And those who know me know I love a good adaptive reuse, and some of my favorite antique stores have been in restored old houses! (You know like another favorite business down in Chadds Ford, Brandywine View Antiques.)

The house itself is magical all by itself. But store owner Laura DePrisco has created a wonderful atmosphere at Melangell. It’s lovely, beautiful, and welcoming. Every room moves effortlessly into the next. As a store it is so well put together and merchandised. There is so much to look at, but it does not feel crowded or cluttered. That is an issue I have with antique stores at times when they feel crowded and disorganized then it’s hard to look at things. And then there are other antique stores where you’re afraid to look at anything because it feels like a museum. This store is just right, and it flows.

Laura is welcoming and has a real artistic eye and an eye for detail. Seriously, every room is delightful. And there’s a second floor too. And that is something I love antique stores — ones that are more than one floor or level in a building.

We bought a few things, including a lovely old landscape oil painting that needed to be framed. So we left Melangell and next stop was my favorite framers, Framers Market Gallery in Malvern!

I can’t wait to go back! I also think it would be a place to take my friends. It would make a fab girl’s shopping night out place! Melangell also has some great pieces outside that would be fun for a porch and garden.

Melangell can be found on Instagram. The shop is located at 1133 Pottstown Pike, West Chester, PA 19380. The shop is opened Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM. (610)- 624- 4577.

🌟 Please note that I have not been compensated in any way for this review. I am sharing my lovely experience today at this new business 🌟

#ShopLocal #ShopSmall

sharing a few words from wildflower farm…

I have been writing about Wildflower Farm in Willistown for a while now. Why? The unending the nonsense they are put through by the NOFIMBY (No Farm In My Back Yard) folk.

I am not and never have been the Wildflower Farm spokesperson, but they are my friends and what they are going through is just awful. And unnecessary.

Recently I have been taking a lot of flak from those I presume to be the friends of the NOFIMBY neighbors. One person in particular kind of just takes one’s breath away. You would think she was the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey, but no she’s just from the Main-gy Line originally. She’s very big on assigning people their place. To her I am one of “those people”.

Not sure what “those people” entails. Fabulous, maybe? (LOL 🤣🤣) This person is significantly older, so I never encountered her (thankfully) before now. Her affect is rather amusing. Maybe I should genuflect and kiss the ring?

Anyway Ryan from Wildflower Farm decided to speak to Willistown neighbors via a local group. I have his permission to share with my readers. I am also sharing a couple of comments from the Democrat who ran for Supervisor in Willistown and failed. As a now former candidate for public office she made herself a public personage by doing this. Some say she will run again, hope not, but if she does I hope she gets a basic grasp on the issues and the basic way government works, other than her interpretation of what is somewhat supercilious / self serving.

Next in screenshots is what Ryan had to say to his extended neighbors. And in part this vindicates his friends and supporters as we are basically called nasty names etc for sticking up for them. Willistown has issues, and it’s too bad a lot of the Grande Dames are gone because they used to settle peoples’ arses down quite nicely.

So there you have it. Hopefully you find the information helpful.

#TheMoreYouKnow

#SaveSmallFarms

#SaveWildflowerFarmWillistown

hey radnor, where’s the beef ?

Not a sign you expect to see on the Main Line is it?

Radnor Township hates when you ask questions about Ardrossan and so does a certain Delaware County Commissioner and former Radnor Commissioner, right?

We will start with Radnor Township is just an odd place. Betwixt and between. They want to be super Main Line and forget they are part of Delaware County. (Of course people in other parts of Delaware County have always said they wished they could forget about Radnor, so it is a push me pull you, I suppose?) They were super slim shady politically until it came to a head years ago and the former manager was removed and elections (and scandals) bit by bit got rid of shall we say…interesting commissioners? Then they got another manager who didn’t use a Radnor credit card to buy stuff (like $400K was misspent or something? See this old report also embedded below) and there was a brief renaissance where things in Radnor veered away from slim shady into the sunshine.

But as with all things political, it was cyclical, and now the pendulum seems to be swinging slightly back slim shady or teetering on it, right? The current township manager is the last manager’s finance guy, not really suited to be a township manager either by education or temperament. Nice guy, very intelligent, but doesn’t seem to like to interact with the public much, does he? His assistant is the proverbial gatekeeper, and oh don’t necessarily count on a reply if you email. Control is the name of the game, I think, only who is actually in control these days? A lot of the commissioners are new and they don’t seem to get the basics like of course they might not get a quorum to have a commissioners meeting April 11th (today) which is undoubtedly why they cancelled it…Easter week.

But back to Ardrossan….

Adrossan was the estate legends were literally made of. The inspiration for A Philadelphia Story and High Society. A literally gorgeous and amazing estate. But once Bobby Scott, Hope’s son died, you knew it was only a matter of time until the march of McMansions really arrived. And McMansions were born.

So one has to ask since the McMansions seem to enjoy farming and agricultural perks although none of those people probably even cut their own lawns. The Ardrossan Farm development was approved in 2014. But what I can’t find is if the roads within the development suddenly became private roads? Why do I ask? That photo above. Taken at an entrance point into the nouveau development so are those roads publicly dedicated streets or not? If they are public with Radnor doing plowing, etc, why the “Private Community” sign?

Now in 2013, Radnor inked a deal to buy 71 acres of Ardrossan for $11+ million. Wheeler Field, Quarry Field, Rye Field. “Everyone loves the cows” was a catchy phrase back then attributed to a commissioner then who is on Delaware County Council now, and some say has higher aspirations still. The farmer is also on two other fields nearby supposedly, correct? Not owned by Radnor Township but old Ardrossan Land?

So there is a farmer farming on the Radnor Township land. That started I guess around 2015 as per an old Patch article? In same family that worked for Hope Scott when it was Ardrossan proper, correct? Main Line Media News reported back then that residents were concerned about chemicals being used on the land. At that time, Main Line Media News quoted Commissioner Elaine Paul Schaefer (now of Delaware County Council):

“I believe a license agreement with the current farmer will be on the agenda for one of our next meetings, so we will have the opportunity to hear resident comment and discuss all the issues involved,” said Schaefer. “The current farmer has been farming the Ardrossan land for over 25 years, and his father farmed it for the generation before him. I believe that most residents would like to see this farmer continue to farm the land, as his very unique operation provides the beloved cows that beautify the landscape. As I understand it, the proposed license will require that the farmer utilize best management practices and adhere to the NCRS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) approved soil conservation plan.”

~ Elaine Paul Schaefer to main line media news 3/3/2015

So, I think it’s wonderful part of Ardrossan is still farmed, don’t misunderstand me, but well, what chemicals are being used on the fields? Especially since the farmer who farms there (his farm is called Fern Valley Farm, correct?) also has the cows/steer he tends to, the last of the famous Ayrshire steer, right? So if he is raising feed corn etc. for said cattle, what are they ingesting? Way back when Radnor inked this deal with the farmer, people urged the farmer to be as organic as possible so what today, in 2022 is happening? Is there a correct list of chemicals? You know like Round Up and Round Up laced engineered seed?

Look, there are natural water sources everywhere, so isn’t it important? There is a sign outside the farmer’s farm that says “BEEF” so if he’s selling, wouldn’t you like to know what chemicals the butchered beasts were exposed to? This is why so many people like to buy organic meat today, correct? And people pay big bucks gladly for organic meat, poultry, fish, produce, yes?

So Radnor, where’s the beef? And is there an official farm store, USDA and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture listing for Fern Valley Farm? I looked and can’t find it. Truthfully, I think it’s great if the farmer can sell his products, as long as it is done right and isn’t meat it’s whole special category? How it’s butchered, stored, etc?

Back to field chemicals. Trout season is now open, right? So wouldn’t fishermen like to know what chemicals the Ardrossan farmer is using right now in 2022 and what they have been using in years past? Again, I looked to see if I could find it listed anywhere and came up empty.

So in addition to trout and the famous Ardrossan “cows” isn’t there a bald eagle now at the Willows nearby and there used to be big blue herons too, right? So what is the beautiful wildlife ingesting courtesy of whatever Radnor’s farmer uses? And kids are all over that area and isn’t that Quarry field slated for being part of the trails there or something at some point?

Sadly, public land requires public answers does it not? So what chemicals are being used on the land where the farmer farms that is owned by Radnor? I am of the opinion that Radnor Township can’t just be environmentally friendly for show, and it’s great they want to ban plastic bags too, but what about this? Why is it such a big deal for their tenant to produce a list of chemicals used?

So this isn’t the only curious part of Ardrossan tales of today is it? The other part is whatever benefits from farming the McMansion dwellers who have bought on Ardrossan land get? This has all swirled in the media for years. In November there was a movement which was defeated to cancel the farmer’s $1 a year lease:

Radnor official says cattle are part of a tax dodge at the former Ardrossan estate
Richard Booker’s motion would end Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease for land that the township paid almost $12 million for in 2013.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 12, 2021

An elected official in Radnor is pushing for the township to cancel its lease with a cattle rancher on publicly owned land that had once been part of the sprawling Ardrossan estate, saying the deal helps wealthy landowners on other sections of the former estate take unfair advantage of tax breaks for agriculture.

Richard Booker’s motion, which he plans to introduce at a Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 22, would end the agreement that lets rancher Richard Billheim’s Fern Valley Farm use 71 acres of township-owned property for its beef cow operation in exchange for $1 a year.

Booker said in a memo with his motion that he decided to take action on the lease after reading an article published earlier this year by The Inquirer about the tax breaks at the former estate enabled by statewide agricultural-conservation programs under Act 319 — better known as “Clean and Green” — and Act 515.

The programs tax land for what it is worth as a working farm and not what its value would be if sold on the open market for housing, strip malls, or offices. Under Act 319, by far the most commonly used of the programs at Ardrossan and elsewhere, the land must produce $2,000 a year in farm goods.

At least two dozen parcels on more than 260 acres are successfully enrolled in the programs, accounting for more than 40% of the former Ardrossan estate’s acreage sold over the last quarter-century, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records….Properties covered by the tax breaks include homes of a leader at a major real estate firm, members of the family that cofounded the Apple Vacations tour business, and the top-ranking member of the County Council for surrounding Delaware County.

The only known agricultural products coming from the enrolled land are the corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay grown there to feed Fern Valley’s cows...While cows do graze on a portion of that land, most of their grass-munching is done on the township-owned property. To Booker, that means Radnor is helping private property owners get their tax breaks because those cows wouldn’t be there absent the generous lease.

~Philadelphia inquirer november, 2021

Radnor officials defeat measure to cancel ranch lease seen as aiding Ardrossan tax reductions
The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley Farm has said was vital to its 10-person operation.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Nov 23, 2021

Officials in Radnor have defeated a measure to cancel a lease on township land for a cattle operation that also helps residents on parts of the former Ardrossan estate save hundreds of thousands each year on their taxes.

In a 4-2 vote with one abstention, the township’s Board of Commissioners on Monday rejected member Richard Booker’s motion to terminate Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease to use 71 acres of publicly owned property for its 60-head Black Angus beef business.

The decision leaves in place an agreement that Fern Valley has said was vital to its 10-person operation, which also relies on feed crops grown on sections of the former estate that are now private homesteads.

Because of this reliance, Booker has argued that the lease is helping some of those private property owners claim property breaks available to land that is farmed.

~ philadelphia inquirer november 2021

So here’s an article about how the Ardrossan homeowners enjoy ag benefits although they aren’t farmers, per se:

Ardrossan homeowners qualify for local reductions, too — courtesy of programs to save farms
Dozens of properties at the former Ardrossan estate are covered under state abatement schemes, including the Act 319 “Clean and Green” program, that give landowners local tax breaks for farmland.

by Jacob Adelman
Published Jul 16, 2021

Thanks in part to 60 cows that they don’t have to wrangle, many of the wealthy homeowners who dot the sprawling acreage of the former Ardrossan estate have found a way to qualify for local tax breaks along with federal reductions.

That’s because the owners are taking advantage of state laws that permit them to pare down the property taxes owed to Delaware County, Radnor Township, and Radnor schools by registering their land as farms.

The tax breaks under state law are open only to parcels at the former estate larger than 10 acres. For lots under that size, the nonprofit that owns the land is arguing in Delaware County Court that it shouldn’t be taxed at all because restrictions on development have stripped it of all value….at least two dozen parcels — accounting for more than 40% of the former estate’s acreage sold by Eddie Scott’s businesses — are successfully enrolled in state agricultural-protection programs that qualify owners for tax cuts, according to an Inquirer analysis of Delaware County records obtained under the state’s Right to Know Law.

Those owners have seen their realty taxes reduced by an estimated total of $490,000 this year, a 30% reduction from the $1.6 million they would have owed without the discount, the analysis shows…

~ philadelphia inquirer july 2021

Yes, there were a LOT of Ardrossan related or touching articles in 2021. It kind of made me sad, in a way. Almost like the whole allure of that amazing estate were being tarnished in some way.

That is the problem with a lot of these large parcels of land. We see it here in Chester County. Not all are under any sort of conservation easements which is causing eruptions in many places in Chester County right now. You can’t make people conserve land, and then there is how do you make it attractive to conserve/preserve land? And developers just salivate at the prospect of these properties everywhere, and what developers can afford to buy versus what farmers can afford to buy versus what land and nature conservancies can afford to buy are all very different and difficult conversations, correct?

But the most bombshell of the Ardrossan related bombshell articles to me was the in depth Inquirer report:

Open Space, Closed Gates
Tax reductions were on offer to buyers in exchange for protecting the land. But the public cannot enter.

Jacob Adelman
Staff Writer July 16, 2021

This is an article that is too extensive to unpack and briefly excerpt, so people have to read it themselves. What makes this whole thing at Ardrossan even more controversial is the involvement of the North American Land Trust, which has found itself in hot water in 2022 for it’s relationship with Donald Trump. (Also click HERE.)

In an effort to bring this post full circle, many people always wondered how things with Ardrossan and what is left of this estate got here to this point today. And I think that is in part because it has always felt dually shielded in secrecy and controversy, right or wrong.

BUT why else would it behoove Radnor Township to lift the veil? It makes it easier for other people, other municipalities, other farmers trying to farm in the tri-county area. Farming is so under siege, and ironically, most often the farmers under siege are the one who play by the rules, correct? No one is saying farmer don’t farm, they just want to know about the chemicals in the fields and the beef of it all, right? However, people are asking questions about McMansion owners doing a modern spin on the whole feudal thing of it all including ag benefits, correct?

Come one Radnor, set the record straight, and is it really that hard to do these days?

Here are some more articles of a more recent past vintage on Ardrossan:

Ardrossan estate’s final chapter by Ryan Richards May 8, 2007

Another Ardrossan tract goes on the block Anthony Roberts April 27, 2005

For sale: A piece of the storied Ardrossan estate Anthony Roberts, April 7, 2005

Residents worry over herbicide use at Ardrossan Farm By Linda Stein March 3, 2015

Calf at former Ardrossan farm in Radnor diagnosed with rabies by Linda Stein April 17, 2018

Development underway at Ardrossan property in Radnor by Linda Stein August 22, 2018

Conservancy raising moo-la to save the cows by Joan Bang November 2, 2011

Ardrossan: Preserving Radnor’s green heart by Mike Weilbacher September 20, 2011

Radnor inks deal with Ardrossan farmer, approves Villanova West End Zone by Linda Stein September 23, 2021

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.

dealing with lost mail is filled with platitudes and inefficiency

Who does USPS work for? Not really sure. Are you? Waiting for a package is about as fun as sticking needles in one’s eyes.

So a friend sent me a little package from England. A gift. Royal Mail got it to the United States in TWO days. My package arrived in New York March 21st at 3:36 A.M. The next log in the sad and pathetic tracking tale is March 22 at 6:57 it arrives in Jamaica, NY (Queens) “International Distribution Center”. It zips through customs at 9:13 PM on March 22. It goes BACK to Jamaica, NY (Queens) March 23, 5:32 AM. Next it arrives in Jersey City, NJ at 8:32 AM, and leaves Jersey City, NJ at 10:28 AM.

OK at this point, my package should have come to Philadelphia. But oh no, it went to Chicago, IL. Yes, apparently someone must’ve wanted Chicago deep dish. It arrives at Chicago, IL “Logistics Center”, then travels to St. Louis, MO. Steak and BBQ in St. Louis perhaps?

After it leaves St. Louis on March 25th, my package entered a parcel witness protection program apparently…between March 29, 2022 and April 4th, 2022 my package was “in transit to next facility” then it magically re-appears in Memphis, TN. I guess someone wanted Memphis BBQ?

It is now in Jacksonville, FL. FLORIDA, let that sink in. CRAZY right? Spring break or something?

Fear not, there is more in this twisted tale of USPS. I finally waded through the cumbersome USPS website and opened a case. They closed said case without resolving a god damn thing and sent me a survey. I felt like I was in the USPS Twilight Zone.

So the United States Postal Service sent me a survey to see how they did resolving my issue, right? Only they did not resolve my issue. They didn’t call, they didn’t e-mail, they did exactly zip, ziltch, zero, NADA, NOTHING.

I would think this was just happening to me, except hit up social media and USPS issues abound. And in most cases it is NOT issues with our local post offices, the problem is how the handle everything.

Wait and then there is whose packages USPS actually delivers….drug dealers….file under you just can’t make this stuff up. Hat tip to Vinny Vella at the Philadelphia Inquirer for this:

A drug ring that moved more than 800 pounds of crystal methamphetamine from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, then spread the narcotic throughout the Mid-Atlantic, has been shut down, Montgomery County authorities said Tuesday.

In what officials described as one of the largest drug busts in county history, authorities arrested five men and seized drugs with a street value estimated at between $2.6 million and $3.7 million….The ring was first identified last March, when an undercover police officer in Lower Merion bought two pounds of meth from a local drug dealer and learned of the larger organization, which had been supplying that dealer and others.

~ Vinny Vella Philadelphia Inquirer 4/5/22

Now in the middle of all this, I called my Congresswoman’s office. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan to be precise. Now I have no issue with Chrissy and her staff is among the nicest outside of former Rep. Jim Gerlach’s staff. And when you call other Washington DC Representatives (i.e. Senators Toomey and Casey 95% of the time you get voicemail, and the 5% of the time they do actually answer the phone you can tell they have zero desire to speak to constituents and it’s their job, but hey who is counting on that? Lord I remember the back in the day visit friends made to then Senator Arlen Spector’s Washington DC office and when they went in the staff was playing with a Karoke Machine. Yup, true story.

But back to the present day….

Congresswoman Houlahan’s staffer was incredibly nice, and they always all are. The woman I spoke with was polite and empathetic. But sometimes you want more than platitudes. Yes I know the Congresswoman supports USPS and some postal service reform act, BUT I wanted to someone actually say “How can we help you.” Again, I like them and Chrissy, but Jim Gerlach’s staff used to do more than listen, they did try to find a solution. I think part of the problem is everyone is so overwhelmed post -COVID and exhausted from the political slog that is Washington DC and the district represented.

I got off the phone with Houlahan’s office and decided to just get someone on the phone from USPS (damn it). And I did. Very nice and actually sounded appalled as to how my package wasn’t here yet and where it had gone. She made the comment about my packaging visiting more states than she has. Uhhh huh.

So I also pointed out that part of the problem in general with mail from my part of Chester County goes back to when Joe Biden was Vice President. We used to go through Southeastern for a hub or whatever you want to call it. He took it all away from there and we clear through Wilmington, DE. If we mail Christmas cards to our neighbors, for example, the cards go to Wilimington, DE before returning to Chester County, PA. It’s true. Not all of Chester County, but a good bit of it. It makes NO SENSE.

And I also remarked that EVERY time you have a problem with USPS outside of your local area they ask you from national if you have spoken to your local post office. That is SO FRUSTRATING when the issue has nothing to do with the locals who deliver your mail. It’s maddening. And you practically need an Act of Congress to even find where you can submit a complaint on their convoluted and staggeringly ridiculously ineffective and just bad website.

Oh and I think Biden could get rid of the current board of governors of the United States Postal Service, get a 100% new board, and THEY could ditch DeJoy. (Or at least that is what I think.)

Anyway, the other complaint I have with this whole process are the USPS social media people especially on Twitter. Maybe they are bots. Maybe they are outsourced to a country outside the US would be my other thought. Some are borderline OK and others? Just snide and rude and they are supposedly there to “help”.

I was going to end the post right here, but since I started raising hell this afternoon there has been an interesting development: like magic my missing package traveled at the speed of sound from Jacksonville, FL and arrived in Philadelphia at 6:04 PM. It miraculously departed Philadelphia at 7:28 PM and has arrived in Wilmington, DE as of 8:39 PM. It will come to Chester County from Wilmington. Now I don’t know when. But isn’t it just so interesting when you really start to complain, missing packages sometimes appear?

But why should customers have to expend so much energy just to get their own damn mail? The answer is we shouldn’t. And now while Congress is chasing their tails arguing over whether or not USPS should get electric cars how about actually fixing the broken system of mail delivery? And that doesn’t mean putting more tracking on postal workers delivering locally – don’t know what to call it but it’s a gadget they have in their signature device that is kind of Amazoning them – probably to try and increase productivity by electronically hounding the delivery folks so more quit.

And a word about electric cars: they have giant batteries. Batteries require specific recycling so electric cars may not be a complete environmental answer after all. And if you get the USPS electric trucks etc, how many charging stations will have to be installed and at what cost to taxpayers. Oh and the battery components don’t just grow on trees do they?

Anyway….here’s hoping I see my package soon. And #FireDeJoy

Enjoy my last word. An actual tweet sent by USPS on Twitter today with a Bridgerton reference. They thought they were being clever. Bless their hearts.

you will want to check out this sale – which won’t be repeated!

Tonight I went to my friend’s studio for a prop house sale. And another friend facilitated the sale. I realized tonight how long it had been since we all just had fun. Like pre-COVID fun.

We were invited to the sale preview, and it was amazing. The space is fabulous and there were nibbles and laughter….and a giant space full of new, vintage, antiques, and everything in between. China, crystal, glassware, pottery, fabric, mirrors, linens, furniture, art, rugs, Dansk Kobenstyle Dutch ovens, and more!

Even better? It was this amazing well lit space that was filled with light and had high ceilings. Maybe it’s just me because I always love to see how loft spaces are interpreted.

The regular open days of the Maximalist Studios Prop House Sale are tomorrow and Saturday, March 25 and 26 10 AM to 2 PM each day. 501 W. Washington Street in Norristown. You can find out more information on the Sales By Helen website.

verizon, can you hear me now?

So remember a couple of weeks or so ago when I wrote about this tree on the wire near the Home Depot on Phoenixville Pike in Frazer, Pennsylvania? In East Whiteland.

It had been reported twice to PECO and after this post appeared someone from PECO reached out to me to let me know that it is actually Verizon wires that fallen tree is sitting on. They told me at that point in time that they had told Verizon about it, and essentially Verizon did nothing. PECO had gone out to the site to inspect it, and then notified Verizon.

Now I do not believe I am incorrect in saying that if it had been PECO‘s problem they would’ve had that tree removed weeks ago.

I know East Whiteland Township has been in contact with Verizon as well. They have had no luck thus far with Verizon.

This morning I heard back from Senator Carolyn Comitta‘s office. They finally pushed and had Verizon go out and look at this. And guess what? Verizon doesn’t see a big tree dangling on their wires not attached to the ground in anyway as a problem.

Can you imagine if we said to Verizon we didn’t feel like paying our bills right now? they would have absolutely none of that. Yet when it comes to actually doing something for people who use their services and people that just drive by something potentially unsafe every day, they don’t give a crap.

Verizon is kind of like Energy Transfer aren’t they? They just want to make money, they don’t really care about anything else.

The thing is eventually that tree is going to hit the road so will it take down wires? Will it hurt people? And if the wires snap how many people who are Verizon customers inconvenienced?

This reminds me of years ago when Verizon was first rolling out FiOS. They were putting up those beige boxes that had FiOS stuff in it on poles everywhere. They put one at the then end of my driveway where I lived before moving to Chester County. My driveway was on a slight curve, which made it difficult with the box where it was placed to get out of the driveway safely. It literally blocked sightlines. It literally took weeks to just get them to come out and move their stupid box a few feet up their pole. And at that time it finally took the intervention of the State Senator where I lived to get it done.

Calling Verizon as a consumer is a time consuming and frustrating process. Much like their competition Comcast. You can barely if ever get a real person on the phone. They should be accountable. They should take this tree down.

Verizon do what’s right. For once. Stop being a potentially negligent POS of a company.

so whose wires are these in frazer?

Reported this to PECO a couple/few weeks back. It is near the Home Depot in Frazer, PA. This is in East Whiteland Township.

Reported this to PECO again, and someone in the community says they may be Verizon’s wires?

So I don’t know whose wires they are, but this is dangerous.

Whomever is responsible can they just take care of it please?

Utility companies expect us to pay our bills promptly, so maybe they can actually take care of things regarding safety promptly too?

If it ends up being Verizon, it doesn’t surprise me because they have old wires from one of their poles up in a neighbor’s tree. They are sloppy.

from willistown to west whiteland: wche 1520 am is covering chester county today

What is new and newsworthy this morning? Honestly, nothing to do with me, two juicy podcasts from WCHE 1520 AM. Listen below:

(File under As The West Whiteland Turns some more) Audio Courtesy of WCHE 1520 AM from 3/3/2022

(File under Wildflower Farm, Willistown and the unending saga of the NOFIMBY neighbors of Castlebar lane) Audio courtesy of WCHE 1520 AM

The first video concerns West Whiteland Township and the next chapter of As The West Whiteland Turns.

The second video spotlights the NOFIMBY debacle in Willistown Township. The unending saga of Wildflower Farm.

Many thanks for WCHE 1520 AM for bringing Chester County’s issues to light.