All posts by Peter Ruddock

Slow Money South Bay logo

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Join us the fourth Sunday of most months.

Sunday, June 25, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Los Altos Hills Town Council Chambers
26379 W Fremont Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022. [map]

  • 6:00 — Socializing
  • 6:15 — Start:  Introductions; What is Slow Money? and What is a LION? for new members.
  • 6:30 — David Kaisel, Founder and CEO will bring us up to date with Capay Mills

    Much has happened since we first met Capay Mills in March of 2016. David’s vision is still to reacquaint bakers with the forgotten flavors of freshly milled flour made from sustainably grown heritage grain. In fact, in the last year and a quarter, he has done enough re-acquainting to be in need of an expansion. David is fitting out a space in Esparto, and upgrading his production abilities, which will enable him to return to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and allow him to take on new customers as well.

  • 6:55 — Martin Bernal. Knife sharpening

    Martin Bernal, a resident of Morgan Hill, is planning on offering knife sharpening services to the southern Santa Clara County community. He plans to sharpen knifes, chainsaw chains and garden tools among many cutting blades.

  • 7:20– Mary Jane Marcus, The Kafenia: a Greek village hangout & gathering space in Palo Alto

    This space is for all of you global-hearted women (and men) who long for a place of welcome, friendship, understanding and peace in our community. We do this by reviving the village traditions of hanging out over earthy Greek foods, delicious divinations, and by curating and providing space for heartfelt gatherings that help us share our gifts and build deep peace with each other. Gatherings involve the arts, music, storytelling, culinary history & more, as long as they build cultural understanding & enliven the heart.
    The Kafenia is a reimagining of the traditional Greek kafenio where men shared food, friendship and social and political life together. My grandfather had a kafenio at 16th and Folsom in San Francisco in the 1930s to keep the village alive in a bustling metropolis – but it was only for men. Now, his granddaughter, Mary Jane, who has done peacebuilding around the world, is reimagining it as a multicultural village in Silicon Valley- with women front and center. (See World Pulse story.)
    Mary Jane is looking at business structure (NGO, for-profit) and input on funding possibilities for a community space many of us will value. The margins for the food alone are quite slim and make it tight to also do the gatherings in the space. Are there creative ways to find physical space? Ways to have people invest in this community existing? Are there creative ways to pay higher wages?

  • 7:45– Slow Announcements – what other kind would we have?
  • 7:55 — clean-up and networking

Occasionally we discuss the particulars of investment opportunities in the last part of the meeting To participate in this you must have signed the LION agreement.  If you have not signed yet, you can do so in the first part of the meeting and stay for the rest. Have you signed the Slow Money Principles yet?  Make sure you’re name is down as supporting our values.  The bigger the list of supporters, the bigger our reach.

November Slow News from the South Bay and Beyond

  • Slow Money held its 5th National Gathering in Louisville November 10-12. Approximately 800 people convened for 2 1/2 days of inspiring talks, entrepreneur presentations and great networking. If you would like to watch for yourself, the entire event is available on You Tube: Day 1 included a keynote by Joel Salatin; Day 2 included a panel with Wendell Berry and Louisville mayor Greg Fisher, that told us in part why Louisville is such a great farm-to-table city, and a keynote by Vandana Shiva; Day 3 included the Entrepreneur Showcases. Watch and be inspired yourself.
  • Rajnish Khanna of Global Food Scholar (October 2014) told us that one of the three legs of the company he is building will work on supporting the soil micro-biome. You can read more about the soil micro-biome in the article,Is This Fungus the Future of Farming? at Mother Jones.
  • Herb Moore, who with his band Elm Street entertained us at Farm Fest at Pie Ranch (2012) and at Farm Fest at Full Circle Farm (2014), is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of his new album, “River Time”. Support Herb and you can make sure that you’ll get your copy of the album.

January meeting

We had a great January meeting, hearing about Mercey Hot Springs and CropMobster. And talking with Full Circle Farm about a spring Farm Fest – we’re working toward verifying a date for this and will certainly announce something by next month.

We’re going to try something different in February: a themed meeting built around AB 551, the Urban Incentives Zone Act. We’ll hear from an urban agriculture business that has been involved in implementing the act in San Jose and wants to farm more land designated in new incentive zones. And we’ll talk about getting zones implemented in other South Bay jurisdictions. Should be interesting.

Starting 2014

Lots of good things happened in 2013 in the world of Slow Money. We met many great companies and organizations and started to build a local sustainable network. Some of our members made personal loans to some local businesses. We are no longer just a talk shop. We’re getting things done.

We’re looking forward to an exciting 2014 – and we’re starting to see a new path forward. I’ve talked about creating a “Sustainable Food (and Green Energy) Rotary Club”, whereby our members get to know each other, make connections and partnerships, find customers, suppliers, contractors, venues, supplies and more – including occasionally investing in each other. This is mostly a change of focus, where the possibility of an investment is just one of many outcomes. This is in part a response to the reality that there are only so many loans our members can make, but there are other things that they can do with their energy to foster more sustainable businesses. I wonder what people think of such a change. We hope that you’ll join us and tell us what you think – and help us evolve.