by Barbara Walvoord
Originally published in the Lathrop Lamp Post Jan. 20-26, 2018
Lathrop residents are probably not supposed to just go out and build new homes on our land without master planning, Quakerly consensus, building permits, and all that, but I have to admit that’s what Sharon and I have done.
The new homes are located on Huckleberry Lane, behind the current homes. The new townhouse unit is nestled into the woods, right on the edge of a lovely wet meadow. It contains multiple homes all in one structure–very efficient.
New residents have already moved in, so Marketing– you are off the hook.
The construction materials for the new homes are locally sourced: Sharon and I used wood from invasive honeysuckle, multiflora rose, and glossy buckthorn that we had cut down nearby. Removing these invasive plants allows native plants to thrive, nurturing more birds, insects, and other wildlife.
Then Sharon and I used those cut-down branches to construct a tightly-woven, very secure brush pile. There was so much brush that we were able to build a multi-story pile with cathedral ceilings. Yet we wove the branches tightly enough to create small, secure interior spaces that can be warmed by body heat alone.
This photo shows the entrance to one of the units. We are especially proud of the triangle-shaped doorway on this one, and the intricate lattice-work on the front facade.
The plumbing and septic systems are very environmentally friendly. The residents simply poop on the ground (you can see the little poop pellets on the snow). That way, their waste can fertilize the land instead of being flushed through pipes into the Connecticut River.
The poop, along with tracks in the snow, tell us that our new neighbors have moved in. As we’ve just welcomed our new human residents at Lathrop, we welcome our new rabbit residents as well. Also welcoming them will be the bobcats, foxes, hawks, and coyotes who also inhabit our happy little neighborhood on Huckleberry Lane. Lane lunches have a new meaning.