Local food. Local fuel. Local finance. All these popular ideas can help us build a more resilient local economy, and that means an even better community to live in.
On Feb. 25, Carol Peppe Hewitt, author of "Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money," and Lyle Estill, author of numerous books on alternative energy and local activism, are bringing their sustainability roadshow, "Running On Local" to The Sentient Bean.
"I heard an idea, in 2010, 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," Hewitt said. "In the last three and a half years, I have helped facilitate over 115 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 about 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 it in your community, and I am here to help."
Hewitt has teamed up with Lyle Estill, who is well known in alternative energy circles.
"In a world of doom and gloom, 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," Estill said.
Estill runs one of the few surviving community-scale biofuel operations in the Southeast, turning waste cooking oil into about one million gallons of B100 biofuel each year.
Come meet and talk with the authors to be inspired and to network with fellow locavists.