Mill Spring Agricultural Center hosts slow Money event April 10

Published 7:29 pm Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Mill Spring Agricultural Center, Polk County office of Agriculture and Economic Development and Slow Food Foothills will host “Running on Local” author event
Local food, local fuel and local finance – all of these popular ideas can help build a more resilient local economy, and that means an even better community to live in.
On Thursday, April 10, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., the Mill Spring Agricultural and Community Center, which is located at 156 School Rd. in Mill Spring, will host  “Running On Local,” to help get all moving in that direction.
Authors and locavists from North Carolina, Carol Peppe Hewitt, author of Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money, and Lyle Estill, author of Small Stories – Big Changes, Agents of Change on the Frontlines of Sustainability and other books on alternative energy and local activism, are bringing their sustainability roadshow called “Running On Local” to Polk County.
“I heard an idea, in 2010,” Hewitt explains, “of moving money into the hands of farmers and the local food businesses that support local, sustainable farming – by making small affordable loans to those folks who had a viable need for affordable capital. It was called Slow Money, and I tried it and it worked.
In the last three and a half years I have helped facilitate nearly 120 direct, peer-to-peer loans in North Carolina from about 80 different lenders to 55 farmers and food entrepreneurs. Many of those loans are already paid off. They total over 1.2 million dollars and they have kept people employed in their own businesses, put more local food in our stores and restaurants, preserved small farms, and strengthened local economies. It’s brilliant and simple. You can do this in Polk County, and we are here to help.”
If that’s not inspiration enough, Hewitt has teamed up with Lyle Estill, who is nationally known in alternative energy circles.
“Localizing?” questions Lyle Estill, “We’ve done it. We’ve empowered ourselves, and others. We’ve written about our experiences, and we are happy to share them with you. We have practical ideas you can use in your community as well. We spread hope.”
“In a world of doom and gloom,” Estill continues, “where financial instruments are too complex to understand, and money moves at the speed of light, where governments are struggling to take action, and individuals are at the mercy of faceless global corporations, there are ways to localize all aspects of your life.”
He should know. He runs a successful community-scale biofuel operations, turning waste cooking oil into about one million gallons of B100 biofuel each year in Pittsboro, NC.
Together they host a powerful conversation they call “Running On Local” and have taken their message and expertise to Miami, Orlando, Savannah, Beaufort and Charleston, SC, as well as Washington DC, Brooklyn, NY, Western MA and now to Polk County.
The event is open to the public.
That’s just the message and the expertise of the Running on Local duo. Whenever possible find ways to go local, and build community in the process.
Come meet and talk with Lyle and Carol on Thursday, April 10, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to be inspired, and to enjoy networking with your fellow locavists.
Don’t miss this rare chance to meet and talk with these pioneers in local food, local fuel, and local finance while they are our area.

– article submitted
by Dawn Jordan

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