By Barbara Walvoord
Originally published in the Lathrop Lamp Post for Nov. 10-16, 2018
Birds—you’ll be happy to know that Lathrop’s “Native Garden,” “Meadows,” and “Forest” cafeterias will remain open all winter. We had to brush hog 1/3 of our east campus meadows so they don’t turn into a woods, but we left 2/3 of them standing. The Inn native garden, and some resident gardens on both campuses, leave seed-pods standing, so you can get to them even when it snows. Both campuses also have many shrubs and trees with seeds or berries.
Birds, note in the photo above that some of the seeds in our Inn garden are already eaten, so get yours early, like this goldfinch!
We’ve been trying to eliminate the “junk food” section of our cafeteria– invasive shrub honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, burning bush, multiflora rose, buckthorn,and oriental bittersweet. A resident ornithologist calls them “bird candy,” because they’re not as nutritious for you as native berries. Even worse, non-native buckthorn berries give you diarrhea, which weakens you, so avoid those especially. Instead, in our winter cafeterias we have been working hard to provide healthy foods like native winterberries, maple-leaf viburnum, chokeberry, and crabapples.