Book Review: Financing Our Foodshed

Carol Peppe Hewitt, Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2013) Financing Our Foodshed Inspired by Woody Tasch, Pittsboro, NC resident Carol Peppe Hewitt co-founded Slow Money NC in 2010. It quickly became a robust network connecting those who wanted to invest in their own communities with local farmers, markets, and restaurants. Slow Money NC’s facility for connecting those lenders has proven equally transformational. Their largest project so far has consisted of raising $400,000 locally to restructure the debt of Chatham Marketplace, a co-op grocery in the old Chatham Mills in Pittsboro.

Hewitt, who came to Pittsboro long ago with her husband, Mark, an acclaimed potter, relates the stories of Slow Money’s borrowers and lenders in breezy fashion in Financing Our Foodshed. She avoided a didactic, do-this-not-that approach. Instead she just tells what happened as the funding circle figured out what they were doing, including the few loans that did not work out. Her method produces some amount of repetition, but otherwise provides an inspirational journal of “power of just doing stuff” and how even small local investments can produce profound results.

A rural county adjacent to the fast growing metropolitan areas of the Triangle and Triad, Chatham County provides a perfect ground zero for the slow money movement. Hewitt has become both the Boswell and spokesperson for Slow Money NC. The concepts presented her for fostering local food production and distribution can be applied in many places and in many other fields. Hewitt offers herein several profound truths, especially these: “Slow Money is for nurture capitalists, not venture capitalists” and “It turns out what’s most important to our survival is our connection to other people, especially our neighbors.”

One can find a Ted talks by Hewitt and Localvesting guru Amy Cortese, as well as the closely related movie “Real Value” on https://radicallocalism.com/radical-localist-video/

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