This project is mainly an eco-business incubator and aims to be an impact hub and creative maker space.
As you read through the following list of elements we envision incorporating into our initiative, think of the many component parts of each element – many of these parts are potential businesses.
- permaculture-based Eco-village (on The Finca)
- eco-enterprise incubator, shared workspace for eco-community members & volunteers (at Astoria Guest House)
- artisan & craftspeople’s incubator, creative maker space & storefront for eco-community members and local residents
- promoting and strengthening the local economy through example
- training/workshops in eco-economics, the circular economy, ‘buy local’, and local economic development
- community gardens and local produce and artisan markets
- permaculture courses and other practical, hands-on learning experiences such as eco-building
Self employment opportunities
There will be a series of self employment opportunities created through the integral design of the Eco-village – and we won’t know what they are, specifically, until that’s done. But through our years of investigation and learning, we know there are several initial ideas that would ensure a solid Eco-Business base to make the community very viable & prosperous for all, especially the local economy. Here are a few ideas of businesses that could be started during the early phase of the project, as they don’t require us to be physically present on the farm all the time:
- Bamboo: it grows quickly, has many possible uses on the Finca, and can be sold locally. Resident members will source building materials for their houses on the Finca first, and there will be many uses in the common areas. It’s also good for furniture and can be used for decorations.
- Honey: maintaining a healthy bee population in the world is an important task – and honey production should be linked to other agricultural products, like possibly passion fruit.
- Hemp: we’ll need to study Panamanian law to be sure it can be grown here, but it would be great to have this plant for construction, consumption and so many other uses.
- Coconuts: there are a number of products that come from the coconut, including coconut water, milk, and oil, shredded coconut, and coconut fibers.
A few more business ideas:
- Rustic campground: the land is ideal for this and a small section of the land could be designated for this use.
- Eco-building: we are keen to have eco-builders / engineering enthusiasts, especially those that are excited about working with recycled materials. Possibly the most important tasks for next generations, together with re-creating soil & regenerating vital ecosystems, is to find ways to use the huge quantities of ‘rubbish’ that our industrial societies have generated, and transform those once again into valuable resources.
- Energy: making small-scale windmills, water-pumps, water-collection infrastructures and solar-power tech is an important addition to all of the above.
- Organic produce: can be sold in the popular local markets or in tourist oriented markets or can be sold more profitably processed in some way : fruits and vegetables, nursery plants, chickens, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, sheep …
This is just our initial list — what else can you think of?