Fields Description

Status of the Fields on the East Campus of Lathrop Retirement Community (100 Bassett Brook Drive)

11/5/17 by Barbara Walvoord, Chair, Land Conservation Committee

Information here is not official. It was drawn from sources available to the resident Land Conservation Committee.

We are looking for farmers who are interested in organic/sustainable farming practices on our land. We could offer a long-term lease.


Field #2 (known to us as the “Farmer’s Field”)

  • Estimated 3.4 acres that have grown corn until 2013, plus 1-2 acres in grasses.  Hayed until 2014; now mowed annually, 1/3 of the field each year, in rotation.
  • Lies within Easthampton
  • Classified as “Prime” farmland: Amostown fine sandy loam (mass gis)
  • Soil test in May 2014 from U. Mass Extension shows low potassium, calcium, and magnesium; optimum phosphorus; pH 4.8. Full results available on request.
  • Very slight slope to the west, but otherwise level
  • Roundup applied spring 2013 (verbal statement by farmer who farmed it in 2013), but no herbicide/pesticide since then.
  • Access will have to be discussed, depending on type of farming
  • No structures at present. Possibility of future shed?

Field #2a (known to us as the “Field Northwest of the Vegetable Garden” or “Rose Field”)

  • Rough estimate: 1- 2 acres
  • Classified “prime” farmland. Soil type not known.
  • Was brushhogged in November, 2014, to remove multiflora rose and other shrubby invasives. Now mowed annually.  Part of the field has pastured goats/alpacas.  Electric fence on part of the field, and 3-sided shelter for goats/alpacas.
  • Has had no herbicide, pesticide, or fertilizer in six years
  • Access via Bassett Brook drive to Cranberry Lane (both paved), and then short dirt road to the field. The dirt road crosses a wet spot. We would have to discuss how to manage this.
  • Adjacent to our community vegetable garden.
  • Underground pipe (shallow, not below the frost line) will bring water to a spigot near the field except in winter.
  • No structures at present. Possibility of future shed?

Field #11 (known to us as the “North Field”)

  • Estimated 15-20 acres
  • Lies within the town of Northampton.
  • Classified as “Prime” farmland. Amostown fine sandy loam and Raynham silt loam
  • Soil test of May 2014 shows low potassium, calcium, magnesium; optimum phosphorus; pH 5.0. Full results available on request
  • Flat, gently rolling
  • Eastern part can be wet in certain seasons.
  • A 1-2-acre parcel in the “thumb” has grown alfalfa, turnips, soybeans for wildlife, since 2014.
  • Remainder is grasses that are mowed annually, 1/3 each year in rotation.
  • No pesticide or herbicide that we know of in past five years, except perhaps in “thumb”
  • No structures at present. Possibility of future shed?
  • Access has been through Ravenwold farm on the north, because Ravenwold has been farming it. Access from the Lathrop side will have to be discussed because of adjacent wet meadows and wetland.

Field #5 (known to us as the “Mulberry Lane Field” or the “South Field”)

  • Estimated 6-10 acres
  • Classified as “farmland of statewide importance”: Boxford silt loam.
  • Gently rolling; small wetland spot in the middle,
  • Grasses with shrubs moving in.  Bushwhacked or mowed annually, 1/3 each year in rotation.
  • No pesticides or herbicides have been used in several years at least.
  • Access along paved roads (Bassett Brook Drive to Mulberry Lane), and then across a field skirting wetland to arrive at the field. Also, neighbor on the south has a dirt road leading to this field.
  • No structures at present. Possibility of future shed?
  • Nearby homes northeast of the field have outdoor spigots for Lathrop water. Possibility of running a hose or shallow pipe for water use on northeast side, except in winter.

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Nurturing Lathrop’s native plants and wildlife.

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