“Slow Money” is a consortium of people interested in devoting a percentage of their money to investing “new sources of capital to small food enterprises, organic farms, and local food systems” (slowmoney.org).  Woody Tasch, the founder of Slow Money and author of  Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money– Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008) has coined the phrase “nurture capital” to convey the differences of intent from the traditional venture capital.  He believes that there should be a new relationship between capital markets and the value of place.  Simply put, if everyone invests a bit of their capital in local farms and soil, slowly, place by local place, the earth could be healthy again.

Here in Alberta, a small group of farmers and citizens are exploring new funding mechanisms to support small niche farms that are gentle on the earth and provide great food for Albertans to consume.  These farms don’t fit traditional funding mechanisms of small business or big agribusiness commodity farming but they do need funding just the same so that they can carry on with their desire to provide great food to Albertans and make a decent living by doing so.  Often, it’s a relatively small amount of capital that can make a farm a self-sustaining unit.

People interested in Slow Money are investing in farms, people and land and not just lending money.  Their money will be repaid and interest may be paid in cash or in product.  As an investor you are helping to nurture the farm.  You may not ever invest all your wealth in such a fashion but imagine the health of Alberta’s farms if we all invested a small portion of our investment portfolios.