April and Ziggy built this gorgeous, yet simple straw bale house in Berea, KY for a friend of theirs. It features many different natural building materials, most of which were found locally. Conventional house construction these days has a huge impact on the planet. Mostly the materials aren’t sustainably sourced, the houses are cookie cutter, and although they may be more efficient in some ways than their predecessors, they cancel out all benefit by taking up an enormous square footage. The house you build largely determines the footprint your lifestyle will have, and this kind of naturally built small house can go a long way toward reducing impact, not only in the materials it consumes in being built, but in impact of the people living in it. Most naturally built houses apply permaculture principles to ensure they are practical, efficient, and sustainable. Aesthetic beauty is often a natural result of employing sustainable techniques.
Check out April and Ziggy’s natural building workshops and sign up way ahead of time because the spots go fast. If you’re not too far from them, they may be able to build a house for you too.
Living, Learning, Teaching
The Tiny House Festival at the St Pete Ecovillage not only featured talks by tiny house builders and tiny house designers, there were tiny house companies and organizations that build tiny houses for the homeless. And then there were the tiny houses themselves–nine tiny houses on wheels that were open for tours. I featured a few of them in the previous video, and I cover five more in this one. These are brief tiny house tours that just give you a taste of what the houses look like and maybe some inspiration for your own tiny house design.
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 shipping container tiny house showed up at the St Pete Ecovillage in the last couple weeks so I thought I’d give a little tour of it. This one has the unique feature of being able to fold up so that it just looks like a normal shipping container, which can be useful in the stealth tiny house culture. Come see it here at the St Pete Ecovillage Tiny House Festival Saturday April 1st.
For more info go to their FB page:
In this video I show you some more of the tall ship Amara Zee, a great inspiration for building and carpentry. This ship is very unique and every part of the ship was designed with purpose and efficience. It’s a whole new experience in living. The ship looks old, but it was completed in 1997 for the Caravan Stage Company a theater that was called by the New York Times “a cross between Cirque du Soleil and Occupy Wall Street”. It is patterned after a Thames river barge from the late 1800s.
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This is the first tour of the Amara Zee, the tall ship theater that I was living on when I first came to St. Petersburg. This ship was built in 1997 so that performers from the Caravan Stage Company could continue their traveling theater after they hung up the reigns from their horse and carriage days. The boat is a great example of tiny cooperative living when production for their next performance is in full swing, and then it continues to be a kind of mobile cooperative living situation. Twenty or so actors, dancers, and managers take to the water, going from port to port to perform their politically charged theater. Built by hand, the design and wood work is an inspiration for anyone building a tiny house.