Slow Money

Slow Money Letter: December 2012

Slow Money
Click to read the opening letter
The Slow Money Letter December 2012
Woody TaschWoody Tasch Dear Slow Money Friend,
Goodbye, Twinkies? Hostess Brands, the manufacturer of Twinkies and a roster of brands that date back to 1888, shut its plants and began the liquidation process in November. Read letter.
Food Miles

Food Miles: The distance food travels from the field to your table. Concepts like “food miles” and “carbon footprints” are designed to make people think about what they eat and where it comes from. Becoming more connected with a local food system strengthens a community. It keeps money in a local economy and connects local food producers and consumers. Photographed on Lagier Ranches, Escalon, Calif., by Douglas Gayeton for the Lexicon of Sustainability.

Slow Money’s Role in the Next Stage of the Local Food Movement

By Gary Paul Nabhan. Remarks delivered on November 9 at the Inaugural Meeting of Earthworm Angels in Sausalito, Calif.

The food re-localization movement is coming of age, for it was 21 years ago that visionary Robyn Van En began CSA North America, the first organization to promote community-supported agriculture across the continent. From her own collaboration with Susan Witt and others in Great Barrington, Mass., while establishing CSA Gardens in 1990, the CSA movement has grown to at least 4,570 documented American farms as offering food shares to local community members, and their ranks actually may include as many as 6,500 gardens, farms, ranches and orchards using the CSA model. Read story.

Saving the Farm and Thinking Like a Foodshed

The Buck Slows HereBy Michael Brownlee

Boulder-based Transition Colorado, a 501c3, has been working toward food localization since 2007. With our for-profit investment company (Localization Partners) and a Slow Money Investment Club, we’re now focusing on localizing the food supply of the Front Range, Urban Corridor, a population area of 4.3 million people and an agricultural base of 9 million acres of farm and ranch land. As in many places, demand for local food here is outstripping supply. Read story.


As reported by Beth Gehred.
Meetup event in October; pilot investment fund; partnership formed with a CDFI. See more.
As reported by Lisa Daris.
More than $170,000 in loans facilitated; $350,000 in loans catalyzed prior to chapter forming. See more.

As reported by Julia Shanks and Eric Becker.
Four entrepreneur showcases; 520 Meetup group members; launch of Sprout Lenders; upcoming local investment forum. See more.


Utne Reader
From the Library

“We need to confront honestly the issue of scale. Bigness has a charm and a drama that are seductive, especially to politicians and financiers; but bigness promotes greed, indifference, and damage, and often bigness is not necessary. You may need a large corporation to run an airline or to manufacture cars, but you don’t need a large corporation to raise a chicken or a hog. You don’t need a large corporation to process local food or local timber and market it locally.”

Wendell Berry, from the essay, “Compromise, Hell!”,

The Way of Ignorance and Other Essays (Washington DC: Shoemaker & Hoard, 2005).

Excerpt selected by Don Shaffer, President & CEO, RSF Social Finance.

Slow Money MinuteVideo Embed

Select the above video for this month’s Slow Money Minute by Paula Somoza Manalo of Mendocino Organics, a biodynamic farm in Northern California. Then tell us what “bringing money back down to earth” means to you. Please send us your own Slow Money Minute, a video approximately one minute in length, sharing how what you do in the world dovetails with the Slow Money principles and vision.

Food Miles photography by Douglas Gayeton

Illustrations by Jere Dean / Urban Octopus

Slow Money Index

Annual global production of natural vanillin: 2,000 tons

Annual global production
of synthetic vanillin:
10,000 tons

Number of flavor-enhancing compounds, in addition to vanillin, found in natural vanilla: Approx. 250

Number of days during its life cycle that the vanilla flower opens and can be hand pollinated: 1

See more.

Slow Money Principle #1

© Slow Money, PO Box 2231, Boulder CO 80306

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"Indispensable reading, to be placed on the same shelf as Wendell Berry and E.F. Schumacher."  Gregory Whitehead, Treasurer, The Whitehead Foundation