Edible plants for your tiny house garden in Florida

What to plant in your Florida tiny home garden

Most people agree that fresh local fruits and vegetables are not only much better for your body, but taste better and have a very positive impact on the environment.  If you are already an expert gardener you likely have a thriving source of free tasty food and could hopefully teach us a thing or two! If you are just getting started or looking to increase the amount or variety of food you are growing, this should be pretty helpful!

Florida can be a great place for an urban garden if you know what to plant, when to plant it and how to keep your soil moisture content sufficient throughout the day. With climates ranging from the balmy Miami heat, to the 40 degree nights in Jacksonville, Florida really offers tons of diversity!

What are the benefits of home composting?

For Spring:

Spring Tiny Home Garden Florida

For Summer:

Florida Summer Tiny House Garden

For Winter:

Florida Winter Garden Tiny House

Lifestyle Design and Innovative Housing Solutions

Innovative Housing Presentation from St Pete Tiny Home Festival

Being in the tiny home business I often meet customers who are looking to achieve something very specific with their tiny house dreams. There’s an underlying theme in today’s society. Whether we call it awakening, awareness, restlessness, a large audience of people are feeling resistant to what most might call the mainstream lifestyle. Pursuing possessions that did not provide happiness accepting conditions in your professional life that are detrimental to your happiness. Putting off enjoying your life with the hopes that you’re still healthy enough to enjoy yourself after 50 to 60 years of working. There’s a movement to turn all of this on its head and start to look at life differently, look at life for what it is in the moment rather than just working towards a future state at a future date. Why wait 50 years to go on a two-month vacation across the country exploring the wilderness, when you could achieve that now. It may seem unrealistic but that’s just a matter of finding innovative ways to achieve your goals.

Let me give you some personal examples. I work in the software development space as a project manager handling large global projects. My passions are nature, mountain biking, yoga, reading, gardening, sustainability, solving entrepreneurial problems, education and the like. I have a small home in Jacksonville Florida that is less than 1200 square feet and I  would be completely content with half that square footage. I bought the house because it is a small house on a large pie-shaped lot in a great neighborhood. I have one of the largest yards in the neighborhood with one of the smallest footprint houses. Exactly how I want it so that I can garden and have the feel of “the woods” in my backyard. I am lucky enough to work for a company that allows me to work from home one day a week and I found I would typically spend any free time that day out in the yard gardening or working outside on the computer perfecting one of my entrepreneurial passions.

Working from home was such a great solution for me and for my employer I thought to myself why can’t it be like this all the time. Great question it’s just a matter of achieving something others may see as unconventional. So I set my intention to become fully remote with my job within the next 6 months. Luckily through conversations in a great relationship with my Manager I was able to go fully remote within 3 months and have been working that way for over 6 months now with great success. What this means to me is that I can now work wherever I want as long as it allows me a stable quiet work environment with internet access. For me this is an extreme luxury and truly provides me happiness on a daily basis. That is the crucial understanding, for me it’s not another $10,000 a year it’s the ability to work from home or from a campsite or from a co-work environment or from anywhere really. That’s freedom is what truly provides me happiness, so that’s what I made my priority.

After getting settled from going remote I started to do a little traveling and gave some thought to what other changes I might be able to make that would provide me my ideal lifestyle. I’ve been learning a lot over the last year about becoming money neutral meaning having things that pay for themselves so you can have them without really paying for them. An example is now that I’ve started traveling more I have the option to rent my house while I’m gone to help cover mortgage expenses. By covering 1/2, 3/4 or even all of my mortgage while I’m out traveling I put myself in a great financial position, provide a great product to the people who rent my house and have the ability to travel and experience different parts of our world.

This is my small personal example of Lifestyle design and how looking at things from a high level and then drilling down to the innovative and sometimes unconventional solution that facilitates the lifestyle you’re targeting can lead to genuinely life-changing experiences. By taking the time to seriously analyze what it is you are fulfilled by, not just what society tells you you should seek but what truly fulfills you. What truly makes you happy to look back on? What are you proud of? Sometimes what on the surface seems to be a happiness inducing activity, like buying a new car, does not provide you any lasting happiness. On the other hand achieving a long-term goal, volunteering for a good cause or stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone might provide you genuine happiness for years to come. Being able to look back on those moments and relive the feeling of those experiences is something that far out last the shininess of a new car.

So take a deep look at your goals, motivations, dreams, bucket list, whatever. Then take another look at it. Talk to a trusted friend about it. Take another look at it. Eventually you won’t have anything else to say, add or delete. This is when you know that you have a solid base to start from and it’s time to design the path to getting there!

Eliminate Food Deserts and Build Community with The Food is Free Project

What if your neighborhood grew its own free food?

That is exactly the question that founders of The Food is Free Project asked themselves that was the catalyst for the creation of their program. Urban areas all across the country are suffering from a lack of access to fruits and vegetables that is greatly impacting a significant portion of our society. Many areas literally do not have a store with fresh food within walking or biking distance causing a severe lack of access to a product that literally “grows on trees”!

The USDA defines food deserts as “parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.”

What can we do about it? Start your own Food is Free Project. “Food is Free Project is an open-source project so we encourage you to take the first step to start a Food is Free Project in your community. It all starts with that first garden and from there things will evolve and grow. Stay in touch and let us know if we can offer advice. Plant a garden in your front yard or if you don’t have a yard grow some container veggies and set up a #foodisfree sharing table. Our actions ripple out and inspire others and this movement will grow like wildflowers. Share your #foodisfree photos with us and remember that together our ripples create waves of change.” http://foodisfreeproject.org

Learn more about the Free Food Project Here

Here is a video on how to How to Build a Wicking Bed Garden

Who is ready to get started in their neighborhood?

Check out their PDF guide on “How to Start a Food is Free Project” to get started.

Find out more here: http://foodisfreeproject.org/

How Can We Get a Trailer for Operation Shower Power?

Bringing Showers of Hope to the Homeless


 Operation Shower Power is a local organization providing services to the homeless community in the Tampa Bay Area.  Here is some information from their site about their mission: “Our mission is to provide hot showers to homeless persons in St Petersburg, FL and its vicinity. We will also provide clean clothing, toiletries and job referrals, as well as referrals for bus passes, shelter, food and healthcare. Help us to help them with a chance for a better life.  It is our belief that providing some of the basic necessities of life will boost the morale of those in need while giving them not only the confidence to face the day, but a better chance of finding employment and building a new life for tomorrow. ” http://operationshowerpower.weebly.com/


Currently seeking a donated or discounted travel trailer, RV or box truck around 20ft


 The team at Operation Shower Power is working to expand their service offering by building a mobile shower unit. They are seeking a donated or discounted trailer to build a shower station or an existing RV or Box Truck that can be modified. In addition they are seeking sponsors for insuring the mobile shower station once complete. Any assistance you can provide in identifying the vehicle, volunteering on refitting the vehicle once they have it or just donating is greatly appreciated.


If you are able to help please Contact Operation Shower Power directly at showerpowerpinellas@gmail.com
Support Operation Shower Power on GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/operation-shower-power-inc-2w5rhv8


What is Affordable Housing These Days? – Et Cultura 2017 St. Petersburg, Florida

Future Cities – What is Affordable Housing These Days?

If you missed the first day of Et Cultura you missed a great conversation between some very informed panelist including City Councilman Karl Nurse and former City Development Manager Shaun Amarnani. Nick Herring and Scott McDonald provided excellent insight from the developer perspective and drove some extremely informative conversations with the crowd. Big shout out to Jennifer Fessler, OPEN and The Station House who provided an wonderful venue and structure for this conversation. This is only the start of a year long effort to drive communication around affordable housing options for the St. Petersburg area!

Et Cultura Future Cities Panel

But don’t worry there is plenty more to come from Et Cultura and here are additional Future Cities events this week:

Et Cultura PostCard - Future Cities - Affordable Housing

Here is the presentation on innovative housing solutions:

Consider A Tiny House As An Investment Property

Can Your Tiny Vacation Home Pay For Itself?

Many people cannot see themselves permanently living in a tiny house on wheels or foundation. They may not feel their family can fit in a tiny home or just don’t feel comfortable in a minimal footprint as a permanent home. Many of those same people often take vacations and stay in a 200-300 sq ft hotel room for days or weeks with no issue. With that thought in mind we have found that a tiny house may be the perfect investment property for many individuals, couples and families.

Tiny House Kitchen, Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

Tiny homes make an excellent investment property

Not only is a tiny home a micro investment compared to a condo, second home or even time share, but it is also a highly desirable rental property. Anyone who has been on Air B&B lately has surely seen the growth in available tiny homes for rent and many of these tiny houses are booked for months in advance. For the tiny house owner renting their property this means very little work to secure a consistent stream of short term renters. In addition there are services like Teal Door Hosting that will take care of the entire rental experience for you from listing to hosting and cleaning for around 20% of the daily rental rate.

Tell us more about your goals now: Client Introduction Form


Tiny House Bathroom with Tub - Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

Imagine investing less than half the money you would pay for a getaway condo or cabin into a highly desirable asset like a tiny house and allowing your rental property to pay for itself. At the least you will have a getaway that is cost neutral and the ability to control when you want to use or rent your getaway. Better yet your getaway could become a revenue stream that not only pays for itself but puts money back in your pocket. Now imagine having a second tiny home in a different location and you have two getaways in two different environments that both pay for themselves or make a profit. Sounds too good to be true? Well it is happening all over the U.S. as we speak and Florida is a prime location for this type of property with all of our beaches and warm winters!

Tiny House Kitchen - Tampa Bay Tiny Homes Florida

With a tiny house on wheels you can even move your rental property around to the most desirable locations based on seasons, highly desired locations or events! Contact us today to find out more about how this type of investment property can work for you!

Big demand for tiny homes in Tampa Bay area – News Channel 8

Big Demand For Homes, Bigger Demand For Communities

As this great story by WFLA News Channel 8 points out, the desire to move away from a large living footprint to a smaller more manageable footprint is gaining steam in an already established market. What we see on HGTV is meant to be entertainment and might not exactly be “reality” TV for everyone, but where there is smoke there is fire and we believe one reason for the popularity of this trend is the underlying desire to do more with your life than live to work.

There are three major hurdles to tiny living; finding a qualified builder, financing and where to put your home.

We call this the Tiny Triangle. You can rest assured that you have solved one of these three major challenges by finding Tampa Bay Tiny Homes. We build tiny houses on wheels on foundation and are certified by the National Organization of Alternative Housing.

National Organization of Alternative Housing

Tiny houses on foundation can be built as an accessory dwelling unit on a property that already has a primary residence in many areas of Florida. Building a tiny house as a primary residence depends on local building codes and zoning which often prevent a true tiny home from being built due to minimum size restrictions.

Tiny houses on wheels (THOW) also face challenges with where they can be parked or placed permanently. This challenge primarily is driven by tiny houses not having their own category in the many standards, laws, rules, etc and thus being pushed into the closest category of RV or Mobile Home. The solution to this problem is complex yet simple, we need to create a category in the many standards, laws, rules, etc specifically to address tiny houses on wheels and on foundation.

Here are some details from the fantastic story by WFLA News Channel 8

“Some tiny homes are finding a place in RV parks, others on private property. But currently, there aren’t many convenient neighborhoods to call home. Debbie Caneen wants to change that.

The Sun City woman and director of admissions at Sun Towers at Sun City Center, purchased a 210-square-foot tiny home created by University of South Florida architecture graduate Stephanie Henschen. The tiny home was featured on HGTV and resulted in Henschen landing a job on the West Coast. Caneen now uses it to drum up interest in tiny living.

Earlier this year, Caneen purchased an old trailer park in Ruskin, near the Hillsborough County Community college and Amazon fulfillment center and is developing the 4.5-acre property into what she’s calling Circle Pond Tiny Community. Her vision is a neighborhood with space for 24 tiny homes, with amenities including utilities and WiFi service included.

“I’d like to keep the rent around $400 a month,” says Caneen, adding that she hopes to use the neighborhood to not only welcome tiny homes, but also to encourage others to build similar communities.”

Keep tabs on the progress of Circle Pond Tiny Home Community in Ruskin, FL as it works towards launch in early 2018!

Join us Nov 15th at Et Cultura for the Future City Interactive Lunch

Tampa Bay Tiny Homes is excited to be a part of this great event throughout the streets of St. Petersburg Florida coming up in November. Co-Founder Chris Short will be a panelist for the Future City interactive working lunch on Wednesday November 15th at Station House from 11am – 2pm. This session will include city officials, lawyers, urban affordable housing developers and will surely spark some interesting and impactful conversation. Check out the calendar below for all the great options that make up this event!

Et-Cultura-Calendar-2017 - Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

“This multi-day culturally immersive event is on a mission to spotlight the creative and innovation culture coursing through our streets & bring the world to inspire, collaborate, and discover! Our goal is to foster conversations with audiences, our community and contributing artists while supporting emerging artists and providing an environment for learning through film, music, art, and Interactive sessions. To create signature event that will encourage new avenues for innovative thinking, new collaborations and unique experiences – to make an indelible mark in the minds of all who come to see what Et Cultura and St. Petersburg is all about.” https://etcultura.com


1974 Airstream Sovereign Renovation is Underaway

Renovating a 1974 Gulfstream Sovereign

When the Gulfstream came into the shop it had been sitting in a yard too long and let’s just say was not exactly in prime condition. Pretty much everything needed replacing, but what a great canvas to work from. Thank you Wally Bynam! We had to start by ripping out the entire interior and removing all the windows.

The outside started to come clean with some serious elbow grease and aluminum cleaner. You can see in the picture above the difference in the top and bottom of the body. We also started cleaning up the rest of the exterior details.

Interested in Airstream Renovations? Client Introduction Form

Once we got down to the frame we found we needed to replace that at well for the most part so the team started cutting and welding!

After a bunch of hours sweating it out we had a solid new structure to work from that will last for years to come!

With a solid frame to work from the team started by putting in a new sub-floor that will be the base for the rest of the build out.

Gulfstream Floor In - Renovation Florida

The team is pretty happy with the results so far! Nothing beats a job well done and for Presley a good cigar at the end of a long day!

Gulfstream Beards

We have a long, long, long way to go! But this has been a great start so far and we look forward to sharing our progress as this masterpiece comes together. Interested in having your own Airstream renovated or buying an old used Airstream for renovation? Contact us today for more information on how we can help.

Tiny Home Show Coming Soon! Nov 11th at HCC

Learn About Tiny Homes With Workshops and Tours

We are honored and excited to be a part of the Tiny Home Show on Saturday, November 11th 2017  at the Hillsborough Community College. This even will provide an abundance of information, opportunities for tiny house tours, presentations on sustainability, logistics of buying a tiny house and much more! Get your tickets today!


Tiny Home Show Ruskin Florida - Tampa Bay Tiny Homes

Join us Saturday, November 11th for a wonderful Tiny House themed festival discussing the creation of a unique Tiny Home Community in Ruskin, Florida recently featured on Tampa Bay TImes. You’ll be able to tour each tiny house at your leisure and listen to our host of speakers. There will also be raffle prizes to win!

The presentations include:

  • “Composting for Tiny Living” John and Fin Kernohan, Founders of the United Tiny House Association and Georgia Tiny House Festival®, LLC
  • “Designing for Change, Alternative Housing” Josue Robles – USF Architecture and Urban Design Faculty
  • “Celebrate Outreach – Tiny Homes for Homeless Veterans” Sabine Von Aulock
  • “Tiny Triangle” Financing, Building and Placing your tiny home” Chris Short, Co-Founder Tampa Bay Tiny Homes
  • “Financing My Tiny Home on Wheels” Adam Curtis, Freedom Bank
  • “Rainwater/Graywater/Permaculture Solutions with Smart Technology” Alberto Jauregui CMO at Raincube
  • “Permaculture for Edible Landscaping” Kendrick T. Henry, Permaculture Design Specialist Numa Nursery™
  • “Solar Solutions for Tiny Home Energy” Nancy Kettle, PhD, Analyst, Researcher, Solar Energy & Energy Storage Consultant
  • “Aquaponics – Sustainable Food in Your Backyard” Jim Gibson, creator of the “Aqua-Pod” with The Cryson Ranch Aquaponics R&D Center
  • “Ex-Offenders Re-enter through a Tiny Door” Michael Jalazo, ED Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-entry Coalition (PERC)

You’ll learn how sustainability, hydroponics, solar power, edible landscaping, aquaculture, permaculture, alternative energy, becoming debt-free, reducing your carbon footprint, and ability to travel play into the tiny house lifestyle and concept of a tiny home community.

$5 General Admission and FREE for Veterans.

All proceeds benefit the Firehouse Cultural Center & South Shore Coalition for Mental Health and Aging.

On Saturday, November 11th 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Hillsborough Community College – SouthShore 551 24th Street N.E., Ruskin, Florida 33570

Check out the article “Woman hopes to create ‘tiny house’ community in Ruskin” featured on the Tampa Bay Times website!