Tiny House Tours – Ojai Green Home Tour

Tiny House Tours – Ojai Green Home Tour

We did something a little different this weekend, we took a short drive up to Ojai to visit a few tiny houses and farms as part of their annual Green Home & Building Tour. The tour was graciously organized by the Ojai Valley Green Coalition.

The green tour was a great opportunity for us to learn about: building an environmentally friendly home, organic and green farming including aquaponics and permaculture, and using recycled materials to decorate.

Have you ever been to Ojai? We hadn’t, and the first thing we noticed is how beautiful it is. They maintain the feel of a small town but still with all the benefits of living in the California climate!

And, it’s small enough that you can ride a bike pretty much anywhere! So that’s exactly what we did.

Jenna riding in Ojai

One of the first homes on the tour was the Sugarbox house.

Jenna checking out the outside of the Sugar Box house.

Sugarbox House – 400 sq feet

This house was 400 square feet, made of recycled materials from old barns, and was insulated with shredded blue jeans. The inside was beautiful, and the total cost to build was estimated about $40k in labor, since all materials were reclaimed.

T.J. Thyne talking about his Sugarbox house.

Sugarbox House – Interior

The Sugarbox tiled shower.

Sugarbox House – Shower made w/ recycled tiles. LOVE!

Then we sat in on Vina Lustado’s presentation on her brand new tiny home. Check out her Sol Haus Design page.

Vina Lustado's tiny house (Sol Haus Design)Read more here: https://tinyhousegiantjourney.com/2013/11/12/vinas-tiny-house/Subscribe here: www.facebook.com/tinyhousegiantjourney

Vina’s tiny house is special in design because she extended the trailer to make her house wider, which really opens up the space. This requires welding and a lot of experience, but Vina has that advantage – being an architect herself. Her total cost was estimated at $35k. (more pictures)

Vina Lustado talking about her experience with her Tiny House.Check out her project here: www.facebook.com/solhausdesign

Vina Lustado – Tiny House Builder / Owner

Lastly we went to East End Eden, which was simply mind blowing. These guys have a completely sustainable farm with chickens, ducks, quail, goats, fish, and thousands of different types of edible plants.

Connor Jones' ducks.

Connor Jones Gives a Tour of East End Eden

The entire property is a botanist’s utopia, and our brains were about to explode with the knowledge and inspiring stories the owners recited.

Connor Jones explaining everything about permaculture.

We were even allowed to tour their indoor aquaponics garden. It was really enlightening, and immediately Guillaume and I were yearning for a system in our tiny home (unfortunately, we decided it wasn’t practical while we are on the road).

Colin Jones explaining everything about aquaponics.

Colin Jones Explaining Everything About Aquaponics.


Step 1: The Fish Create Ammonia Rich Waste


Step 2: The Plants Eat the Nutrients the Fish Created

Colin Jones explaining everything about aquaponics.

Step 3: The Plants Grow in Water and Clay Balls Which Do Not Absorb the Water, Clean Water is Returned to the Fish Tanks

East End Eden offers tours and even courses in permaculture. Perhaps Guillaume and I will be back to take one!

Make sure to check out the Ojai Green Tour next year, if you can. It’s a great way to support a coalition for greener living.

And that’s the kind of day it’s been,




  1. March 31, 2015 / 4:53 am

    Thank you for show me such a wonderful project.
    Hope I caan make one in Japan!

  2. November 25, 2013 / 1:33 pm

    Great information. Lucky me I ran across your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

  3. October 30, 2013 / 10:43 am

    Interesting, I’ve never heard of insulating with shredded jeans! I imagine all the “mom jeans” at goodwill finally being laid to rest and put to good use! Did you happen to find out how many pairs it took?

    Also…is that TJ Thyne?

    • October 30, 2013 / 10:48 am

      Oh shoot, they told us the number but I can’t remember. It was several thousands of pairs I believe.

      And yep, it is T.J. Thyne, it’s his and his girlfriend’s house. Except we both had no idea who he was until we looked it up!

    • October 29, 2013 / 6:18 am

      Indeed! They wanted to have something that looked like a quilt. We think they succeeded.

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