Financing our Foodshed – Growing Local Food with Slow Money
In towns and cities across North America, a quiet revolution is underway. Fed up with sending their money off to make a fast buck in faraway markets, people are putting their money to work where they live, in markets they trust and understand—starting with food.
Financing Our Foodshed is a collection of real life stories of these Slow Money pioneers and the local food entrepreneurs, sustainable farmers, bakers, and restaurateurs that they have chosen to support.
Fueled by their desire to do more than just eat local food, lenders of "nurture capital" are making low-interest, peer-to-peer loans to the people who produce, process, distribute, and sell food. Meet passionate entrepreneurs including:
-Abi, a talented artist-turned-baker, who borrowed the funds for a commercial oven to start a gluten-free bakery -Angelina, owner of a Greek local foods restaurant, who refinanced exorbitant credit card debt incurred by renovations -Chatham Marketplace, a much-loved grocery co-op whose monthly loan payments were reduced by a third, thanks to an ambitious collaboration between sixteen investors
Financing Our Foodshed tells the compelling stories of ordinary people doing something extraordinary, and will appeal to anyone who understands the critical importance of sustainably grown local food and resilient local economies, and wants a blueprint to get us there.
Carol Peppe Hewitt is a business owner, social entrepreneur, and lifelong activist. She is co-founder of Slow Money NC, working to help finance North Carolina's sustainable food and farming economy by guiding patient capital to small-scale farmers and businesses in North Carolina.
About Carol Peppe Hewitt (Chapel Hill, North Carolina Author)
Carol is a small business owner, author, life-long activist, counselor, kayaker, and a pioneer in the community finance space. Her straight talk about money and the imperative to get our money flowing into our local communities is both disarming and inspiring.
Fed up with sending her money off to make a fast buck in faraway markets, and to feed her addiction to local food and local economy, Carol created Slow Money NC, a state-wide non-profit network that includes 150+ lenders who have made 180+ low-interest loans to 110 sustainable farmers and other ‘agri-preneurs’ throughout NC to help them start or expand their businesses.
Carol also spear-headed the purchase of a 73-acre farm that is now the permanent home to the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Community Arts Center. Together these loans total nearly four million dollars and that number keeps climbing each month.
In her book, Financing our Foodshed, Carol tells the compelling stories of the first two dozen Slow Money NC borrowers, and several of the generous people who loaned them money. It is a heartwarming blueprint for anyone wanting to know how to get local financing going in their own foodshed.