The Daily Guide has been looking for fascinating people in our community to talk to, learn about, and tell their stories. The McGinnity family is about as fascinating as people get, especially with their latest project of creating a tiny home.

Raven McGinnity, a traveling herbalist and mother of four, contacted the Daily Guide with news about her and her family’s recent renovation plans. Married duo Oaken and Raven McGinnity are “turning a school bus into a tiny home” according to Raven.

The soon-to-be tiny home is a work-in-progress. According to Raven, “we started the project in March and it is almost complete (the wood stove won't be added until September). We travel to speak on local plant medicine, plant medicine making, minimalism with children, and renovating a skoolie.” The McGinnity’s nicknamed the school bus Viggo.

“We plan on traveling a lot for our business, Raven & Oak, because we teach workshops and speak at festivals,” Raven said.

“It started as the place we were going to live when we visited Dancing Rabbit, an ecovillage in northern Missouri,” according to R. McGinnity. “We are interested in Intentional Communities and this program gives us a chance to see and learn about one that has been around for 20 years. Then as we thought about it, what better way to teach our children than on the road where they can see the places we talk about, meet such a diverse population, and enjoy the years they are little while we can.”

Raven said, on the couple’s website, “I am an herbalist, medicine woman, and doula. I make and sell remedies and blog about herbal medicine, natural living, minimalism, and life as a hippie.”

“I am a tree hugger,” Oaken said on their website. “I believe people can take back their overall health through  the healing properties of plants and fungi; and their vitality by learning and utilizing sustainable traditional skills inside and out. I teach classes on traditional folk skills.”

“It definitely would be considered a tiny home,” Raven said, “with the caveat of no shower (camp shower only but plan on using campgrounds). The skoolie is mobile already. We have a sink, kitchen cabinets, composting toilet, beds for 6 (4 twins and a queen) plus ample storage. We are upgrading a few things this month to have a fridge as well.”

Raven said she feels the best way to teach her kids is driving a school bus across the country. She said, “In November, we drive up to Florida for a tiny house festival to give tours on all the same things [workshops on plant medicine, tours through Viggo] all over again. We get to do this work promoting our business a little bit, but, also, because I only drive 3 hours at a time in a school bus, we now get to see all the little parts of the country that we never would have seen if we were in a car. When you’re in a car, you’re like, ‘Let’s just get there! I don’t want to stay in this car any longer than I have to.’ But in a skoolie you get to go slower anyway, you’re just like, ‘We’ll take our time to get down there.’ What better way to learn U.S. history and geography than driving?”