what is the significance of the houses that surround the family meadow on three sides?

And talking about that three houses surrounded Jesse’s house. In my opinion their significance is to show that Jesse’s house is his private territory and he doesn’t want people to watch him. Moreover, it shows us that the family has its own life and it is not necessary for other people to know what they eat, what they drink and what they do. Uncle Jesse even didn’t want those houses in the picture, cause he wanted to save these reminiscences without any disturbances.