Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Small Food Enterprises and Slow Money

I've been reading a lot lately about Slow Money. It meshes with several other things I believe in, projects like Kiva, and many other micro-enterprises. Where it differs is that the scope is broader inasmuch as small food enterprises affect us all. Perhaps, rather than futile railing against BigAg, I can be more effective by supporting small food enterprises.

Here's some text from their website:

"Small food enterprises are bubbling up all around the country--new organic farms, niche organic brands, urban gardens, green rooftops, organic seed companies, composters big and small, edible schoolyards, developers of biologically benign agricultural products and technologies, local slaughterhouses and grain mills, artisan cheese makers, vertical gardens, microbrewers, biodynamic vineyards, community kitchens, slow food and local food restaurants, hydroponic growing systems, sustainable fishing and forestry enterprises, neighborhood food markets and farmers markets and CSAs...

The broad view goes something like this.

Since World War II, we have lost millions of farmers and tens of millions of acres of farmland and hundreds of billions of tons of topsoil and too many trillions of soil micro-organisms to count. We have filled our soil with chemicals and our stores with junk food. We have filled our portfolios with junk bonds and our heads with investments that we do not understand.

Somewhere along the way, it seems, we all signed up for the 100 Million Cars In China Club and the 500 Million Twinkies Per Annum Club and the Trillionth McDonald’s Hamburger Club. Somewhere along the way, it seems, we handed our money over to Masters of the Universe, hedge fund managers and computer programmers.

But that was then. That was the second half of the Twentieth Century, when, while slipping into deficits of culture and finance of globalization-sized proportions, some of us put on earphones, some of us lost ourselves in cyberspace and some of us burrowed deeper underground in order to survive.

And this is now, the first half of the Twenty-First Century. It is time for us to reemerge, reconnect, resurface, doing what only we earthworms can do: begin restoring the fertility of the soil and the health of the economy, from the ground up, starting with food.

Think about it:
A million Americans contributing to a grassroots, non-profit seed fund supporting small food enterprises and the emergence of the nurture capital industry . . . "

Here's just a few of the speakers at the upcoming 2nd Annual Conference:

Eliot Coleman
, Founder, Four Season Farm and author of several books including The New Organic Grower
Joel Salatin
, Owner, Polyface Farm
Gary Hirschberg
, CEO, Stonyfield Farm
Will Raap
, Founder, Gardener's Supply
Tom Steams
, Founder, High Mowing Seeds

Here's the intro to the Principles of Slow Money: "In order to enhance food security, food safety and food access; improve nutrition and health; promote cultural, ecological and economic diversity; and accelerate the transition from an economy based on extraction and consumption to an economy based on preservation and restoration, we do hereby affirm the following Principles..."

I strongly encourage you to take a look at the Principles of Slow Money (click
here), and sign on in support!

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