Author, dad and farmer Ben Hewitt has emerged as one of the leaders in the alternative education movement. For over a decade he and his wife Penny have explored the nuances of “unschooling” their kids (a word they admittedly dislike). Basically, the idea is to give kids room to explore, follow their excitement and then – as parents – step in and facilitate, add enthusiasm and get out of the way. The result are two boys who are independent, confident and highly expressed. This road has led them through all manner of peaks and valleys, which we explore in this conversation. What happened when Ben’s eldest son wasn’t reading by the (supposed) “correct” time? What did Ben and Penny do when they discovered their youngest son trapping animals on their farm? How did they respond when their eldest suddenly desired a traditional school/educational experience? And, what are their views of the standard educational system in the west now with over 10 years of experience behind them? We discuss this and much, much more with Ben Hewitt in this Ownstream Podcast interview. Mostly, we delve into the remarkable nature of learning and creativity and how joyful and expansive it can be if we simply allow kids to follow their own excitement, and then, do the hardest thing: let go. Enjoy!
Mike Perkins and Gina Savage had, independent of the other, always dreamed of owning their own Oregon farm. Gina toiled away at a corporate job while Mike ran various businesses, while periodically traveling and living out of his camper. When they met, and fell in love, both felt buoyed to go for it and act on their excitement. Just three years later, the couple owns a thriving, organic farm in southern Oregon called the “Surf Ranch” where they grow vegetables, raise cattle and build community with other, local farmers. They also just happen to have one of the more amazing Airbnb rentals in the USA, and are praised by virtually everyone who stays with them (including us!). How have they elevated to the level of “super hosts”? What is their secret to inspiring epic, rave reviews? And, what is life truly like for two people who gave it all up for nature and their shared love of growing food? For many, cashing in the chips for the farm lifestyle is a fantasy, perhaps even a dream. For Gina and Mike, it’s a dream come true and they aren’t afraid to admit they are loving every second of it. Enjoy!
Stacey Murphy was on her way to her day job some years ago in New York City, when her body simply would not allow her to go any further. She called in sick and wandered over to a farmers market. Here, observing the interplay between farmer, food and soil, she felt the exciting stir towards entrepreneurship. 6 months later, she quit her job and embarked on her journey as an urban farmer in Brooklyn. She now lives as a digital nomad, teaching people from around the world to grow their own food. Learn about her journey and more in this episode of the Ownstream Podcast.