Tiny houses are a big thing in Florida. The St Pete Ecovillage put itself on the map in a lot of ways by hosting their first tiny house festival on April 1st this year. It was a great demonstration of living lighter on the planet and was part of a larger effort to make tiny living more viable in St Petersburg. I was at the festival, since that’s where I was living, and have made a couple videos about my experience.
This is a little video of my musings on the differences between, positive and negative, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and the newly started St Pete Ecovillage. Both of these villages are providing a great model for living more sustainably, but they are located in completely different places geographically, demographically, and politically. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each location? Find out in this exploration of different factors.
One of the big reasons I wanted to go to Florida for the winter was to be able to eat delicious tropical fruit in season. Like most other places, because of our inefficient market-driven food system, it’s difficult to find locally grown fruit in any local stores. I had to search everywhere. Even the St Pete farmers market had a sparse selection of in season local fruit–oranges, grapefruit, and the occasional papaya. Like most places, using land to grow food just doesn’t pay compared with using it for high rise condos and shopping malls, so even when you can find “local” produce, it comes from over a hundred miles away. Fortunately, I made it to ECHO farms (see future videos for the tour), and one of the local flea markets also featured a wide assortment of unusual, but easily locally grown, tropical fruit thanks to some southeast Asian vendors.
The Amara Zee is technically a sailboat, but because it has been adapted as a theater ship, it can’t use its sails anymore. But I had the chance to take a ride on true tall sailboat, the Lynx, when it was docked across from us. The Lynx is a small replica a schooner from the War of 1812 and features 12 sails to harness the wind’s power to maximum efficiency. We invited the crew of the Lynx to dinner at the Amara Zee one night, so they offered us free rides on their ship. It wasn’t the best day for wind, but nevertheless we got to see how the crew uses the power of the wind to sail a boat the old fashioned way. It takes a lot of hands to sail a boat like this and it was inspiring to see the skilled, strong women and men on their crew working together to hoist the sails.
This is some older footage from earlier in my trip to St Petersburg. There’s so much happening at St Pete and so much footage I’ve taken since being here, I can’t find time to get it all in. Here is a taste of a bunch of different activities I took part in during January of this year.
St Pete is like a botanical garden. In certain yards and neighborhoods there is a diverse landscape of exotic tropical plants. For a gardener and horticulturalist like me, who hasn’t spent much time in the tropics it is an adventure just to ride my bike around. On this trip I happened across a very strange fruit on a strange tree.
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