Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money

Bringing money home – real people and their stories from the Slow Money movement


Jennifer at the NC Organic Bread Flour Project in Asheville, NC

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 – 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 local food. Meet these passionate food entreprenuers like:

  • Abi, a talented artist-turned baker, who borrowed funds to start a gluten-free bakery.
  • Angelina, owner of a Greek local foods restaurant, who refinanced exorbitant credit card debt incurred by renovations.IMG_1148When we added the seating area to our restaurant we didn’t really have any choice. We put it on our credit card. It was about $6500 at 18% interest. We knew we could at least pay off the interest every month, and just hoped that making good, home-made food from scratch, using meat and produce from local farmers would bring us enough business to actually stay in business,” shared Angelina.
    Slow Money NC found local individuals who refinanced that debt at a mere 2%, and it is now nearly paid off. Not so easy to do with credit card debt…..
  • Chatham Marketplace, a much-loved grocery co-op was refinanced by  local lenders and their monthly loan payments were reduced by a third, thanks to that ambitious collaboration between 16 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 life-long activist. She is cofounder of Slow Money NC, and is consumed with helping finance North Carolina’s sustainable food and farming economy by guiding patient capital to small-scale farmers and businesses in North Carolina and beyond.  Read more about Carol here.

«  August  2014 »
Events on August 5, 2014
  • Sustainable Agriculture Educators Assoc. Conference
    12:00 am- 12:00 am
    Location: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States
    Description: Open Space - Carol facilitated a lively discussion of issues around financing farmers with attendees from around the USA.
Events on August 16, 2014
  • 'Thinking Differently' 2014 Community Biodiesel Conference
    12:00 am- 12:00 am
    Location: Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro, NC, United States
    Description: 8:00am - Breakfast/Networking at CCCC.
    9:00am - 9:45am - Track One:Farm to Fuel. Glen and his family have been farming land in Virginia's Shenandoah family for more than five generations. He has been making his own fuel, meal, and soap from oilseed he's grown for the past six years or so. Glen will share his common-sense, hands-on approach to farm scale fuel production.

    9:00am - 9:45am - Track Two:Cotton of the Carolinas. Eric Henry is not just the founder of Burlington Biodiesel. He doesn't just run his family's fleet on B100. He is also the founder of T.S. Designs, a textile company that made its stand in the face of a vanishing industry. By converting to sustainable practices, creating a transparent supply chain, and fostering the first organic cotton crop in North Carolina since reconstruction, he has figured out how to survive in a very tough business environment.

    10:00am-10:45-Track One: Omaha Biofuels Cooperative. Scott Williams, Ph.D is a founding member of Omaha Biofuels Cooperative and works professionally as a scientific researcher. Originally from Omaha, he attended Iowa State University, and has held appointments in Las Alamos, NM, and Berlin, Germany. His research has focused on advanced biofuels, including algae. He is passionate about science education, open access, and sharing information to appeal to the scientist in all of us.

    10:00am - 10:45am - Track Two: Financing Ourselves. Carol Peppe Hewitt was inspired by Slow Money to instigate peer to peer loans in our foodshed. She then branched out into non-food related businesses, and has placed over two million dollars worth of "self financed enterprises" in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Carol is a long standing member of Piedmont's Board of Directors, runs her family fleet on B100, and travels widely spreading her message of how to improve resilience in communities.

    11:00am-11:45am- Track One:Holding the Contract. Brian Potter is a third generation oilman who has long held the State Contract for petroleum fuel distribution in North Carolina. He's imported biodiesel from virtually everyone in the business, large and small, and has been North Carolina's premiere biodiesel distributor for many years. He will discuss the attributes he needs in a supplier, what he looks for in a C of A, and what a successful biodiesel business looks like.

    11:00am-11:45am-Track Two: Sustainable Oil Crops for the Southeast. David is the founder of Piedmont's founded Design Build group in 2006 that designed and built 26 facilities worldwide. David now serves as Clemson University's Coordinator of Sustainable Biofuels program while completing his masters degree in bio engineering. David will cover black soldier fly oil oil, algae from glycerol, sunflower, canola, and oilseed radish.

    12:00pm-1:15pm-Lunch@CCCC. This meal will be catered by Chef Hamm, restaurant owner and creator of the Natural Chef Program at Central Carolina Community College. The food will be what's in season, will come from within 100 miles and as we say in the south, it will be "to die for."

    1:30pm - 2:15pm - Track One:Rudy Pruszko. Rudy is an Iowa based biodiesel consultant who teaches at Iowa State. He has a manufacturing background with vast experience with plant design, engineering and troubleshooting. He's worked with most technologies, and feedstocks with all sizes of plants. He is co-author of Building a Successful Biodiesel Business.

    1:30 - 2:15pm - Track Two: High Tech, Low Cost Point of Sale and Pump solutions. Brian Roberts, Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-op will discuss the development of a more cost effective, standardised, open-source biofuel distribution model that can interface cheap surplus fuel pumps to inexpensive, cloud-based Point of Sale (PoS) systems is what’s needed to blow the lid off the growth potential for sustainable biofuels! Come to learn and to contribute to the collective development.

    2:30-5:00pm Combined Track: Facilitated Panel Discussion. Brian Roberts - Cowichan Biodiesel Cooperative, Ilya Goldberg - Baltimore Biodiesel, Jason Burroughs - DieselGreen Fuels, Woodrow Eaton - Blue Ridge Biofuels. Meet four pioneers with four fascinating grassroots projects. The first part of the session will be dedicated to Point of Sale (PoS) hardware/software development, this will be followed by a discussion of community based initiatives and then, in the spirit of the Sustainable Biodiesel Summit, we are going to allocate part of this time to a conference wide discussion and decompression period for the conference that has passed.
Events on August 24, 2014
  • 'Financing Our Foodshed' Gathering
    6:00 pm- 8:30 pm
    Location: The Buchi Bar, Asheville, NC
    Description: Enjoy a summer supper prepared by Rosetta's Kitchen, hear about great new projects happening in the Asheviille area, and network with folks who care about local food, local finance, local economy.

    Dinner is free (donations accepted) and there will be a cash bar.
    RSVP if you can to to give us an idea of numbers to cook for:)
Carol’s TEDx Talk

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