Stories, strategies, and insights from some of Costa Rica’s more interesting eco-centers
Sharing Insights Podcast is designed to support landowners who have a dream to do something ecologically and socially beneficial with it, as well as those veterans who want to broaden their own perspectives for who's doing what and how they might improve the model of their existing project. Other listeners may be those who are actively planning to steward land soon, or who are looking to join forces with an existing project and want to show up with sufficient perspective for how they might be a more beneficial contributor.
The podcast sets out to explore stories about how different people are operating different aspects of their businesses. Each of the projects on my list has its own unique focus and may be called by a different name (permaculture farm, retreat center, homestead, eco-lodge, intentional community,) but they all have this in common. They chose to live somewhere in harmony with nature, they make an effort to build and do business in an ecologically beneficial way, and they've opened their doors, for others to join them, in co-creating these life-enriching experiences. Numundo.org has used the name Impact Centers to unify them. I use that term occasionally throughout the podcast, so now you know where it comes from.
Are these stories for you?
If you’re reading this, you may be one of the thousands of people around the globe who are positioning themselves to either start or join a land-based project or double down on the one that they already have. From the FB groups that I’m monitoring and the stream of emails that come in from people who want to visit our farm, I estimate that there are many, many thousands of people out there that are looking to places like this for solutions, experiences, and even refuge.
For most, operating a project like this, at any scale, has no end of challenges, especially for those who are underfunded. I've found that a podcast like this can be a powerful tool to learn not only what others are doing, but how they're doing it.
I’ve created a video component to my efforts as well, where we take the conversation out into the field, and get a visual look to what these pioneers have been up to. It's an education platform to stimulate creativity and courage to be better land stewards and hosts. You can find a link to that in the show notes to most episodes, or you can just search for sharing insights podcast on YouTube.
What's in it for me?
While I’ve been living the permaculture lifestyle for over 20 years and have owned my farm for almost twelve of them, I’ve engaged on this journey because I’ve finally arrived at that stage of life where I realize that I don’t know as much as I thought I did. To make the impact that I’d like to, on this planet, I need to know more. I’m seeking that wisdom, not just from the owners of these great places, but also from you, our listeners.
What's in it for you?
Please, please share your insights with us. Your questions, your thoughts, your concerns. We’re in this together. We’ve created a Group on FB where you’re invited to join the community of back-to-the-landers to engage in conversations, to support each other, to thrive together. You can find that group by searching FB for Sharing Insights Podcast, or you can find the link on our website sharinginsights.net, or just hit the link in the show notes. I really want to know what’s important to you on these topics. I have a great list of guests lined up to share what they know, and the more we hear about what you need, the more we can share what you want to hear.
Frequency & Format
I already have a dozen episodes recorded and will be releasing one episode a week, for as long as it makes sense to sustain this project. Your engagement and support is my only indicator, so please keep in touch, by subscribing, commenting, rating, and reviewing our content.
In those weekly episodes, you’ll find conversations ranging from 30-60 minutes, covering topics like soil building, hosting volunteers, building community, appropriate technologies, sustainable construction, cash crops, establishing cottage industries, off-grid living, and more. Each of the projects on my list is as unique as their founders. You’re going to get an array of approaches to round out your own idea for how you might want to approach your own garden of Eden.
If waiting for once-a-week releases isn’t enough for you, you can always follow us on Ko-fi. It’s kind of like Patreon, but it also allows for one-time offerings to access unreleased content. Additionally, I have a number of bonus episodes planned, that will be hosted there, from individuals who don’t necessarily have land, but who have supportive services to offer to land-based projects. Examples of these might include bio-digestor installers, tour-guides that work with eco-centers, community councilors, or natural builders. The aim is to cover as many topics as is pertinent to support landowners on their journey.
Of course, if you have a hint of what it takes to produce a show like this, you might feel inclined to support my efforts, right out the gate. If you’d like to do so, you can visit ko-fi.com/sharinginsights and drop a few coins in the bucket. Large bills are welcome, too. Just saying.
So what about me? I'm a guy who spent 6 years, in his twenties, hitchhiking around north and central America, as a vagabond balloon artist, visiting and volunteering at dozens of homesteads, permaculture farms, and intentional communities throughout the western hemisphere. In that time, I saw community and land management done a whole bunch of different ways. 12 years ago, I left MN, with my partner at the time, in a veggie oil school bus, drove south with our two young children looking for a new place to live. 6 months later we landed at our farm in Costa Rica and set up camp. A lot has transpired and changed over that time, and after a few years away, I've been back, bringing the place back to life. And I'm loving it!
I know that there are a lot of people, out there, who have land, or hope to acquire some someday, and want to do something impactful with it. Even with as much experience as I had as a contributor to places like this, the reality of owning and operating it has been a whole other learning curve. In today's climate, people are looking to ecologically and socially beneficial projects for guidance and inspiration. I decided that a podcast would be an effective way to start getting some stories and advice out there so that more places can have a better chance to thrive.
And that’s my goal. To see you succeed where too many others have failed. While none of us has all the answers, we each have something useful to share with the world. With this in mind, I’ve set out to gather the wisdoms of those who are already doing to work, so that the many who are preparing for the same will have the tools to build better systems. Best of luck to you in whatever you’re doing with your land-project. Again, if there is anything that I or the podcast can do to support your efforts, send me a message and I’ll do my best to share what I can.
Blessings on your journey,