Financing Our Foodshed
115 Pages

You can change the print size of this book

Financing Our Foodshed


115 Pages

You can change the print size of this book


  • Print run 10,000
  • Co-op available
  • National advertising: On Earth, E Magazine, Sierra, Utne, Green Money Journal
  • National radio campaign: with Open Book Publicity
  • National print campaign: On Earth, Orion, Ode, Utne, Harper’s, Mother Earth News, Huffington Post
  • Excerpts in: Orion, Yes!, Green Money Journal
  • Email blast to CSA’s and targeted campaign to those interested in socially responsible investing

  • Slow Money loans are critical to improving food security and quality by promoting a local economy of independent food-related businesses, including farms, packaging companies, distribution operations, etc.
  • Carol Peppe Hewitt, business owner and life-long social activist, co-founded Slow Money NC in the spring of 2010 and got busy making loans. A dozen Slow Money loans totaling 475K+ are now at work fueling the local food economy in NC
  • The author is well known to all the movers and shakers in the Slow Money arena.
  • The author was on the stage at the 3rd National Slow Money Gathering in October, 2011, and participated in panels several times
  • Growing up in rural Northwest Connecticut, Carol watched as one by one working farms disappeared. She now works to change that trend, guiding patient capital to small-scale farmers and the businesses that support them in North Carolina.
  • There are over a dozen Slow Money chapters across the US: CA, CO, NY, NC, TX, MA, Pacific Northwest, ME, WI, MO, NM (in a year there will likely be twice as many), where the author will be welcome to speak, to do book readings, to help them grow their membership, and to assist in attracting lenders and borrowers.

  • Financing our Foodshed

    Annotated Table of Contents
    1. Why the Fuss about Finance?
    If small and medium scale sustainable agriculture, and the food enterprises that rely on them, are to remain viable in the US we need to find new, creative ways to finance them. Which brings us to the Slow Money movement as well as a quick survey of like-minded endeavors.
    2. Slow Money Comes to Town
    Within hours of hearing Woody Tasch, author of Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money, make his pitch in NC, an inspired trio found a lender to make his first low-interest Slow Money loan to a local baker. They made history in the slow money movement, and launched a local initiative that would reverberate throughout NC and beyond.
    3. The Sweet Side of Slow Money
    We’re sweet on bakeries. Our first loan was to a baker, and our third, eighth and eleventh! We even funded the same commercial bread mixer twice. These are the stories of four daring women, who each took a crumb of an idea, and with the help of Slow Money, created successful businesses.
    4. Making A Difference - One Loan At a Time
    Angelina expanded her restaurant using credit card debt, until we came along and took her interest rate from 18% to 3%. Making delicious food bought from local farmers (like Patrick and Kelly who also got Slow Money loans) is her mission and why her Greek restaurant is so popular.
    5. An Investment at only 2% Interest?
    Finding folks who want to invest in local, sustainably grown food turned out to be relatively easy. In several cases, having made their first loan, they came back to loan again, and again. At only 2% return, the money was clearly not their only incentive.
    6. Finding Borrowers – “Entrepreneurs”
    On the flip side was the search for local food entrepreneurs. This was more challenging; requiring creative networking and marketing to get the message to potential borrowers that Slow Money might be able to help them access the capital they needed.
    7. Bringin’ It Home – All 400K
    We’d made ten loans for a total of 35K when we decided to go for a much bigger deal. It took 16 shares at 25K each to pull off a 400K refinance of our beloved local coop grocery stores’ bank loan. We brought their monthly payment down by a third and paved the way for more large loans.

    8. Slow Money –From A Movement to An NGO
    From the first day - we made loans - and we bragged about it one month later at the Slow Money National Gathering in VT. Since then Carol has been collaborating with the other dozen local group leaders throughout the US and the National office, trying to wrestle these folks into a coherent, vibrant NGO.
    9. The Dog and Pony Show and a Million Dollar Challenge
    Taking the story of our success on the road to enthusiastic crowds throughout NC - in Southern Pines, Tarrboro, Wilmington, Asheville, Durham, Charlotte – means more loans in more places. Our goal? A million dollars moved from private investors into our NC foodsheds within a year.
    10. Riding the Seesaw
    First we found money, then we found borrowers, then more money, then more borrowers. Keeping these matches going is like riding a seesaw. Vetting the loans and making that match is what keeps it so interesting.
    11. Staying connected to our friends
    You could say Slow Money NC was really born, or at least conceived, under the Shakori Hills Festival of Music and Dance Sustainability Tent, which is how our third co-founder Jordan Puryear, who runs the festival fits into the Slow Money picture.
    12. Reaching Out to The Next Round of Eaters
    My speaking gigs to graduating students of the Sustainable Agriculture program, to the Food, Inc class at UNC, and to the Real Food Challenge trainees (college students turned food activists from all over the South,) aim to inspire our next generation of Slow Money eaters.
    13. Funds to Farms (or resource chapter)
    Getting low-interest capital to small and medium scale farms is crucial to insuring the availability of good, healthy, tasty, local food. There are many programs out there wanting to help - here are all the ones we have found.
    14. Inspire, Connect, Invest
    Making a Slow Money loan is not for everybody. But it is viscerally rewarding for some. Hear their stories, who they are, why they lend, what happens next, and ask yourself – Do I fit into their shoes?
    15. How to Get Slow Money Moving in Your Community
    This need not be complicated, nor need it be difficult. If we wish, we can remove obstacles to access to capital for a select group of borrowers in local food businesses that we like the sound of, and do all we can to help them succeed. It’s easy to make Slow Money work anywhere. It just requires the desire, and the nerve to call me. With a bit of guidance you can be ready to go!
    16. Money Matters – “Stewardship”
    Everyone has money, some money. And maybe a car, a house, maybe even land. What does it mean to be thoughtful, altruistic stewards of our assets, whatever they may be? How do we increase that level of altruism in our local food economies?
    17. My 2nd National Gathering – from the stage
    We made our first loan in time for me to dash up to VT and brag about it at the 2nd Annual Slow Money National Gathering in June 2010. By the 3rd National Gathering I was on stage, taking part in a panel, then in a Town Hall meeting, inspiring others to replicate our success.

    Epilogue – By the time this book comes out we will have made many more loans and created more stories and eaten many more pounds of delicious locally raised food. Some loans will have been paid off, and hopefully our borrowers (and lenders) will all be thriving in their various, brilliant local food endeavors.



    Published by
    Published 29 March 2013
    Reads 0
    EAN13 9781550925180
    Language English

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