A Shady Lane At Fordhook

A Shady Lane At Fordhook pc1A Shady Lane At Fordhook pc2

The logo on the back of this postcard shows the initials W A B and the words “Registered Trade Mark” inside of a circle. These initials stand for Washington Atlee Burpee, (1858-1915)  founder of the famous seed company, W. Atlee Burpee and Co., better known as just Burpee Seeds. This publisher logo was in use at least as early as 1898 and at least as late as 1914, as confirmation on the logo can be found at the bottom right corner of the covers of two vintage farm and seed annuals that are displayed on the Burpee website (see the last source listed below). Fordhook is the fifty-plus acre historical farm of the Burpee Company, located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

The name Fordhook is also well known as the variety of lima bean developed by Burpee. The Fordhook lima is from the prolific bush type plant, which produces the larger beans, rather than the baby limas. My own dear mother-in-law, Pamela, (who never cooked from a recipe) taught me to simmer frozen limas with butter, garlic, salt, pepper, and plenty of water, as they need to cook down to tender in what becomes a beautiful lima-ish garlic butter sauce. Pam was from West Virginia and grew up in a coal mining area, where beans were a staple. She preferred the Fordhook variety, and on my way to the grocery store, always made sure to tell me to “get the larger ones, those are the best.”

On a last but not least note, if you’ve ever wondered where the Burpee name came from, according to the aforementioned website, the Burpee Family, well-established in Philadelphia, were descended from French Canadian Huguenots. The original name was Beaupe (Beaupé?) before having evolved into the anglicized name that it is today.

Undivided, unused postcard. Publisher the W. Atlee Burpee Co. Circa 1907.

Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Atlee_Burpee