Thursday, January 10, 2013

A different way to grow money for farmers

I hate to taunt you with a dinner event that isn't happening in Charlotte. But it's such an interesting idea, I thought that I would post something about it just to get the idea out there. It's called Funds to Farms, it's N.C.-based and it's part of the growing micro-loan movement. So who knows? It could happen here.

The first dinner is at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham. Here's how it works: People attending  pay $15 for a buffet meal -- soup and salad by Vin Rouge Bistro and Piedmont Restaurant and bread from Ninth Street Bakery. Fullsteam also is donating money from sales at the launch part of its new ginger pale ale, Cackalacky, being held earlier that day.

While they eat, diners hear presentations from five people seeking money for a food or farming project. At the end, the diners vote on who gets a micro-loan from the money raised by ticket sales and donations at the door.

The dinners are a collaboration between Slow Money NC, The Abundance Foundation and Carolina Farm Stewardship.

So far, the Jan. 27 dinner in Durham is the only one scheduled, but Slow Money NC director Carol Hewitt tells me she's eager to hold one in the Charlotte area. She just needs organizers who want to step up and help her do it.

For more on the dinner (Durham isn't all that far away), go to If you want to contact Hewitt about doing something like it here, you can find her through or email her at