Read Financing Our Foodshed Online

Authors: Carol Peppe Hewitt

Financing Our Foodshed

Praise for
Financing Our Foodshed

Carol Peppe Hewitt zeros in on one of the key vulnerabilities—and opportunities—in the local food movement. How do we finance the essential shift away from big-box faux-food and toward regenerative, regional food systems? The stories she tells are revelatory and inspiring. She leaves readers with the confidence that local food makes perfect economic sense, and with lots of practical ideas for how to spark the transition.

—Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute, author,
The End of Growth

I wish I’d had Carol Hewitt’s
Financing Our Foodshed
when I was writing the “Overcoming Obstacles” chapter of
Life Rules.
Her rich trove of stories about locally-financed organic vegetable and poultry farms, farmer’s markets, restaurants, cheese makers, bakers, repurposers and others engaged in Chatham County, North Carolina’s localization, sustainability and post-carbon movements would have made perfect proof’s-in-the-pudding accounts for my readers. With the establishment of Slow Money NC, Hewitt and her comrades in farms, shops, small businesses and trucking have removed the major stumbling blocks to sustainable economic relocalization: financing, networking, market share, and distribution. Her book’s combination of why-to, how-to and already-did is inspiring and very, very promising.

—Ellen LaConte, author
Life Rules

With this entertaining and often moving account of her work, Carol Peppe Hewett establishes herself the nation’s premiere practitioner of peer-to-peer lending. She shows how ordinary North Carolinians with a few extra bucks are able to provide critical support for dozens of great local food businesses. She also shines a bright spotlight on what the future of economic development should be. For anyone seriously interested in boosting his or her community’s economy – including politicians, policymakers, financiers, businesspeople, and activists – this book is essential reading.

—Michael H. Shuman, author,
Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity.

When the poetic fuses with the practical, the beauty of human potential reveals itself. As the unsustainability of our global economy steadily comes into ever greater focus, Carol’s heart warming Slow Money stories, and her determination to make them possible, offers a beacon for practical action centered on the idea that the purpose of finance is to serve life, and not the other way around.
Financing Our Foodshed
is poetry in motion!

—John Fullerton, Founder of Capital Institute and former managing director of JPMorgan

Carol Peppe Hewitt has written a lovely book that brings the lofty but often abstract ideals of Slow Money down to human scale. By introducing us to North Carolina farmers, bakers, butchers and vegan soul food mavens, and the citizen-investors that believe in them, she paints an engaging portrait of a community learning how to take care of its own, and offers inspiration for others looking to do the same.

—Amy Cortese, author of
Locavesting, The Revolution In Local Investing And How To Profit From It

Financing Our Foodshed
Financing Our Foodshed




Copyright © 2013 by Carol Peppe Hewitt. All rights reserved.*

Cover design by Diane McIntosh. All images: © iStock

Back cover images: Bett Wilson Foley

First printing February 2013.

Paperback ISBN: 978-0-86571-723-7          eISBN: 978-1-55092-518-0

Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part of
Financing Our Foodshed
should be addressed to New Society Publishers at the address below.

To order directly from the publishers, please call toll-free (North America) 1-800-567-6772, or order online at

Any other inquiries can be directed by mail to:

New Society Publishers

P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada

(250) 247-9737


Hewitt, Carol Peppe

Financing our foodshed : growing local food with slow

money / Carol Peppe Hewitt.

Includes index.

ISBN 978-0-86571-723-7

1. Local foods — Case studies.2. Sustainable agriculture — Finance — Case studies.3. Small business — Finance — Case studies. 4. Loans — Case studies.5. Investments — Case studies.I. Title.

HD9000.5.H49 2013338.1'9C2013-900258-8

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To Emma and Meg: May you, and your children and their children, live in a world where enjoying local food is just a no-brainer.

cat·a·lyst [kat-l-ist]

a substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a faster rate than otherwise possible

an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action





Why the Fuss About Finance? And Why Local Food?

Slow Money Comes to Town

The Sweet Side of Slow Money

Making a Difference — One Loan at a Time

Funds to Farms

Getting the Word Out and Building Our Network

Why Lend

Taking Our Dog and Pony Show on the Road

Slow Money: Power in Numbers

Filling in Gaps in Our Foodshed

Staying Connected to Our Friends



About the Author


In North Carolina, there are now over 60 generous, forward-thinking, remarkable Slow Money lenders
another 30 courageous, passionate and extraordinarily hard-working Slow Money borrowers (small farmers and local food business owners). These are the people who most deserve my thanks. I wrote this book to tell their stories in the hopes that they will take even more pride in the important work they do

with the hope of inspiring others to follow their lead.

My gratitude also goes to Tony Kleese and Mike Ortosky of Earthwise Company in Raleigh, who, in the spring of 2010, invited Woody Tasch, author of
Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money
to speak in my hometown of Pittsboro, NC.

I was immediately intrigued by his challenge to fund our local farmers and local food enterprises. Thank you, Woody, for your brilliant ideas and your writing, for your insistence that we all can make a difference, and for your leadership of the burgeoning Slow Money movement.

Thanks also go to my friend Lyle Estill who knew I would love the idea of Slow Money and finagled an invitation for me and our mutual friend, Jordan Puryear, to hear Woody speak that afternoon. Lyle not only made our very first Slow Money loan, he has been a steady source of encouragement and help in running this project.

When we needed a fiscal sponsor, The Abundance Foundation was a perfect fit. Thank you to the “Women of Wonder,” Tami, Jenny, and Mary, for all you do to support Slow Money NC and manage our meager finances.

The good people at the Fund 4 Democratic Communities offered us a matching micro-grant, for which I am extremely grateful. Their support and the matching donations from dozens of generous supporters allowed me to get some much-needed part-time administrative help. Thank you all.

Bett Wilson Foley shared a few photos with me that she had taken at one of our Slow Money farms, and they were so lovely I asked her to keep going. So she traipsed around the countryside finding more farmers, restaurateurs and others who had received Slow Money loans. Her photos are delightful, and many are in this book. Thank you, Bett. It was great fun working with you. I encourage readers to visit
to see more of her photos as well as color versions of those that appear in black and white in this book.

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