Two Single Mothers Are Building A Tiny House in the City-Legally

Tiny Houses are a big thing in the city of St Pete, but technically it’s not legal to build one. You have to get special approval from the city, and even that’s not a certainty. But Jaleesa and Joni are two women determined to build their own tiny house and live small and more self sufficiently in the city. Tiny houses offer a low cost home for people without the burden of a huge mortgage, which can make a big difference in the lives of two single mothers. They gave me a little tour of their land and showed me the design an architect has drawn up for them.

You can help them raise funds to make their tiny house a reality by visiting their facebook page and contacting them to contribute.

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St Pete Ecovillage is Changing the Rules for Tiny Houses in the City

Last year I gave a tour of St Pete Ecovillage as it was just getting going. They held a tiny house festival to build interest in tiny houses and to get the city behind making changes to code to allow more tiny houses. This year I return with an update, and there is so much to talk about. St Pete Ecovillage has a lot going on and it’s changing so fast, it’s hard to include it all, so this is a longer than usual video.

Hassan’s Round House: Bottle Bricks, Natural Light and Ventilation

In this last installment of the tour of Hassan’s new round strawbale house at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, we find out more about the features that encourage natural lighting and ventilation of the house. He also shows us how he made bottle bricks out of wine bottles and glass jars to use as lighting features in his cordwood interior walls.

To see more photos of the building process of Hassan’s House and to find out more about his workshops and natural building business, visit

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Clever Sustainable Design Features Of Hassan’s Strawbale Round House Pt 2

Hassan designed every part of this strawbale house to be functional, sustainable, and aesthetically impeccable. It’s not a tiny house, but it is a small house made for multiple families to share a minimal space. It’s still unfinished but in this video he explains what he’s built so far, and what the house will look like when he’s finished. The tour continues with an explanation of the benefits of a round house design. From cordwood, cob and wattle and daub, to strawbale and light clay straw, this house features every kind of natural building method imaginable.

To see more about Hassan’s house and other projects go to:

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Look What the Critters Did to This Kitchen

Obviously it’s possible to cook without fossil fuel because humans have been doing it forever. At Dancing Rabbit some people cook with propane, one of about two ways DR members allow themselves to use fossil fuel. But the Critters, a subcommunity at DR, choose to cook without fossil fuel. In this video Kyle, of my Kyle’s Crazy House video, gives us a tour of the Critter Kitchen, a kitchen designed for community and sustainability.

To follow what Kyle and the other “Critters” are doing at DR, check out the Critter Blog.

Natural Building: Repairing and Refinishing Earthen Plaster Part 1

One of the great things about natural buildings is that they are recyclable. The earthen plaster in Wisteria Lodge has been around for nearly 10 years and it’s gotten a lot of wear and tear, so this season before a new tenant moved in I took some time to repair it and finish it with a natural clay alis paint. Earthen plaster is all organic and so malleable that you can chip it off, add some water, and it comes back to life for reuse in the same repair project. This little project transformed the house from kind of a junky looking quaint tiny house inside, to a beautiful, warm, and inspiring little space.