On today’s episode we’re hosting Gerardo Martinez, founder of Wild Kid Acres located in Edgewater, Maryland. A Chicago native, Gerardo went on to study Engineering at the United States Naval Academy. After graduating, Gerardo served in the Marine Corps and then went on to lead in the corporate world. From leading staff sections in the Marine Corps, building divisions of a construction company, and assisting to create non-profits, Gerardo has a wide range of experiences to assist in building great relationships. Wild Kid Acres is devoted to providing farm-based educational experiences, inspiring community involvement, and creating opportunities for lifelong learning. Join us today to hear all about how happenstance (and a few creative minds) built this thriving educational farm from the ground up!

In This Episode:

How Gerardo got into farming 1:35

How Wild Kid Acres has evolved 14:20

How Gerardo built the farm’s revenue streams 15:53

How Gerardo tailors the experiences on the farm around neurochemical reactions 22:26

How Wild Kid Acres discovers new areas of business to engage with 28:53

What Gerardo thinks is the most impactful subject Wild Kid teaches on the farm 32:50

About the Wild Kid Foundation’s role on the farm 44:00

About the Guest:

Originally from Chicago, IL, Gerardo Martinez, is a Naval Academy graduate and former Marine Corps Officer. After his service, he combined his love of the outdoors and passion of rock climbing with his leadership development expertise to form Triple Direct Leadership, a executive development and experiential leadership company. While on assignment in Cameroon, Africa, Gerardo was incredibly moved by the community farm’s ability to provide food for the residents and serve as a dedicated community center. Instead of exchanging monetary capital they exchanged human interaction — something that was truly priceless.

When he returned back to the States, he made it his mission to recreate the spirit and vision of the farm in Cameroon, so he bought a farm in Edgewater, Maryland. The land he purchased was a rundown property, covered in trash and had a condemned house. Yet, Gerardo saw the potential. During COVID, he began to build a home for his family (by himself) and started welcoming animals like goats and chickens. In September 2020, a neighbor pulled in and begged to visit the animals. It was that visit that prompted Gerardo and his wife, Jessica, to open Wild Kid Acres. The farm now offers an array of programming including goat yoga, farmers markets, speech and occupational therapy and an array of other activity-based education.

When he’s not working, he’s spending time with his wife and two young children, rock climbing and competing in the Mexican Rodeo (Charreada).

Harvest Hosts Resources

If interested in being a host, please be sure to mention ​​Thriving Farmer Podcast on your application!

We are Harvest Hosts, a platform that connects over 180,000 RVers to local businesses and attractions. Based on our recent survey, Harvest Hosts members spend an average of $50 per night at each Host Location they visit; well-established Hosts are reporting an average of $13,000 in additional annual revenue. Our model is a cost-free opportunity for hosts to share their offerings with our members by opening up space for an overnight stay. We simply tell our members about you and they schedule their visit in advance. In exchange for the overnight stay, Harvest Host members are encouraged to make a purchase of at least $20 at each host location they visit. We hope to see you as a new host location of ours soon. ​If you have additional questions, please contact our Account Executive, JD at jd@harvesthosts.com

Harvest Hosts Facebook 

Harvest Hosts Instagram 

Become a Host InformationDon’t believe us? Hear more from a host!

Resources and mentions

Website – https://www.wildkidacres.org/

Facebook – ​​https://www.facebook.com/wildkidacres

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/wildkidacres/

TikTok – https://www.tiktok.com/@wildkidacres

And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!

We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, What to Look for in a Farm Property, etc), which you can download here.