Well before simplicity and downsizing were in vogue, Ben Brown had a core conviction – a drawing down into what he calls his farmer-parents’ “ethos for caring for creation.” For three decades, Brown has been on a quest for affordable, sustainable housing that leaves the smallest ecological footprint possible. And his tenacity has finally paid off. By year’s end, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and with support from the City of Kalamazoo, Brown will own and occupy the first legal, permanently constructed Tiny Home in Kalamazoo–230 square feet of Tiny, to be exact…
Brown’s favorite features are the portable, Japanese soaking tub (useful for treating his chronic health issues), the window views of his gardens, and the way that this home will enable him to live out his values and core convictions.
“I’m very concerned about my great nieces and nephews and the next generation and their children,” Brown says. “You shorten their lives by how I live today. And this house and the property–if anything, I want it to help reverse our climate change, our impact… I don’t want to live to consume this planet or their future.”
Timeless, sensible, and practical housing
Brown’s values of simplicity and sustainability were born out of the way he was raised. As a child, growing up on a sustainable farm, Brown says he learned early on that “simplicity really springs from an awareness of relationship to nature–that you don’t take more from the soil than I can put back into it.”