Can This Home Be Greened? A Green Trailer Home in Frankfort, Kentucky

Peg Wyse calls in the green experts to help green her trailer home.

| September/October 2004

When I first received the email asking me to green Peg Wyse’s home, I stared at it in disbelief. A trailer??? Everyone knows trailers are the most toxic of home environments—full of formaldehyde-emitting particleboard and other less-than-natural materials. Thankfully, I ignored my first impression, dug into the story a little deeper, and discovered a wonderful opportunity to help a woman achieve her goal of living in a healthier, greener home—on a budget.

This trailer’s biggest asset by far is location, location, location. It sits on a beautiful ninety-acre farm in the rolling hills just north of Frankfort, Kentucky. “I love this place like I’ve never loved anyplace else,” says Peg, a former English professor at work on a third novel. Although this area is completely rural, it’s only an hour’s drive to the urban amenities of Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Deer, wild turkeys, hawks, hummingbirds, foxes, coyotes, and other animals and birds all consider this place home,” Peg reports. Along with the wildlife, she shares her spot with three cats, a friendly Doberman, and a flock of Black Australorp chickens that lives in a henhouse Peg made from an old van.

Peg welcomed me to her home with a smile and a hot bowl of Kentucky burgoo, a country stew made from whatever meats and vegetables are at hand. Homemade biscuits were in the oven, and she served them with butter and honey. Though we’d just met, we held hands and said grace before eating.

Quick, cheap shelter

When Peg retired from teaching in 2001, it was a logical choice to move to her son’s farm; she had lived in the Lexington area most of her life. She bought a used trailer for $11,000, an affordable way to set up shelter fast and have a place of her own. And it fit in with the local vernacular architecture—trailers are widely used in the deep country where Peg lives.

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