Summary of Local Loans for Local Foods Event
By Kristin Gangwer
Approximately 20 interested farmers, food producers, and community members gathered at Peterloon on Sunday, August 4th, for the third Local Loans for Local Foods networking event. After informal mingling and a round of introductions, Carol Peppe Hewitt, co-founder of Slow Money NC, gave a short presentation to the group. North Carolina’s Slow Money chapter has seen much success, with over $1 million in loans having gone out to farmers and food producers across the state since its inception in 2010. Carol’s presentation and answers to audience questions provided many exciting ideas for ways to strengthen our efforts here in Cincinnati.
Anyone who missed the event can still learn more about the work being done in North Carolina, as Carol outlines her process and lessons learned in great detail in her book: “Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money” (available at www.financingourfoodshed.com).
After the discussion with Carol, individuals or entities looking for support had time to give a brief presentation. The following six presented:
*Dan Whorton: Dan is looking for 10-100 acres to lease sometime in the next couple of years. Ideally, he would like to find land within 30 minutes of Cincinnati. <email@example.com>
*Ken Stern, We’re All Nuts: Ken has recently started a business selling Fair Trade and Organic nuts at farmers’ markets and has plans to expand his offerings. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
*Kristin Gangwer, Our Harvest Cooperative: Our Harvest is a local co-op that operates a farm, trains farmers, and is developing a food hub. They are looking for 50-100 acres to lease or purchase, as well as support for new co-op members. <email@example.com, www.ourharvest.coop>
*Vincent Andwan, Habitat Restoration Guild: Vince has interests in habitat restoration, perennial polyculture, horticulture, agriculture, and cultivation of wild edibles in parks. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
*Brandon Jaeger, Shagbark Seed and Mill: Shagbark Seed and Mill is a Certified Organic regional mill located in Athens. They sell pastas, chips, beans, flour, popcorn, and other products. Shagbark has experienced much success and Brandon and his partner Michelle are looking for support as they scale up. <email@example.com, www.shagbarkmill.com>
*Michael Taylor, Real Food Community: Michael is developing a software program that will help connect food producers with consumers. <Michael@RealFoodDude.com>
Informal mixing followed the presentations. Delicious appetizers and deserts were again provided by chef Mark Stroud. Thanks to everyone who attended!