Welcome to the gathering place of Moshav Derekh Shalom and bee enthusiast's Eve Bratman's home.Once a non-thriving lawn, now a biodiverse habitat with native plants, edibles, and bees. We bought this house in 2016, intending to steward the land in perpetuity, through developing a unique ownership model called a community land co-op. At first our landscape was entirely lawn, aside from a few flowering bushes, overgrown evergreen bushes, and bamboo. We converted it to emphasize edible and native plants, as well as pollinator-friendly habitat.
The front lawn is a "pocket meadow" featuring a variety of edible plants (oregano, sage, mint, savory, hardy kiwi) in addition to the rain garden, which is filled with native plants and a homemade bee hotel. The backyard features a variety of food and medicinal garden beds, in addition to honeybee hives in our little urban backyard. A rain barrel that is fed by approximately 180 square feet of roof surface captures rainwater from the roof as well. The rain garden is 55 square feet.
Out backyard size is approx. 220 sq. feet. We are host to approximately 50 different plant species including edibles like elderberry, spicebush, fig tree, sunchokes, sweet potatoes, raspberries, and red shiso, as well as a flowering pollinator garden.
We host honeybee hives at our native bee hotel. We are extensive food and garden composters. In addition to our two-bin backyard compost area, we have a composting toilet in our home. We have 4 honey bee colonies. The front yard's milkweed regularly attracts 5 bumblebees at a time, in addition to other pollinators.
The cost of the project was $800 (not including beehives). The city of Lancaster gave us a matching grant for our rain garden.
As you visit our site we offer this scripture for reflection: “Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the fowls of heaven?" (Jobe 35:11)