Financing Our Foodshed
February 2019
Nurture Capital continues to blossom in Virginia, well ahead of springtime! We have now made our third loan, this time to Free Union Grass Farm, a well-established regenerative livestock farm in Albemarle County. You can read more about them below. We are in discussions with several more applicants and are so grateful to the growing support from so many people who are making our initiative possible. We could not be more encouraged and excited about the future of Slow Money in Virginia. Just this week we were also featured on a radio interview on a local NPR station. Be sure to check it out. More info is below.

Thank you again to all our supporters, and if you have not yet done so, please...
Become A Nurture Capitalist Today!

This is a grassroots effort! We hope as many people as possible will support our mission. Any size charitable contribution you can make to our SOIL revolving loan fund goes a long way toward helping us help the local foodshed with its financial needs. Our demand for loans continues to grow every day. Please help us to meet the needs of our local farmers in any way you can. Thank you.
Free Union Grass Farm

Owned by husband-and-wife team Joel Slezak and Erica Hellen, Free Union Grass Farm is a diversified livestock farm located near the Free Union community in Albemarle County. Using rotational grazing practices, the farm produces pastured chicken and duck, free-range eggs, 100% grass-fed beef, and forest-fed pork. The farm was started in 2010 on 13 acres of family land and has since expanded production to over 250 acres on several estates throughout the county. With the help of their Slow Money loan they will be making several investments this spring which will strengthen their business for many more years to come. One of those will include roll-out nest boxes for their laying hens, which make it significantly less labor-intensive to collect, clean, and package chicken eggs. We are very excited to be assisting these young farmers who have already built a thriving farm enterprise that is a mainstay of the local food ecosystem. We'll keep you posted on the farm's progress on our  website, Facebook page, and Instagram account .
Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak from Free Union Grass Farm
Slow Money CVA on NPR
Business journalist Roben Farzad , host of the radio program Full Disclosure, interviewed Slow Money CVA co-founder Hunter Hopcroft and Erica Hellen from Free Union Grass Farm . It's an awesome interview airing this coming weekend on WCVE-FM , Richmond's NPR station. It's also available on iTunes (Link Below). In addition to hosting the weekly podcast  Full Disclosure  on NPR One, Roben Farzad is a special correspondent on  PBS NewsHour . He was previously a senior writer for  Bloomberg Businessweek , where he covered Wall Street, international finance, and Latin America. Farzad is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School.

Nurture Capital at Work on Vanguard Ranch
Last month we told you about one of our first loans to Vanguard Ranch in Louisa County, owned by Renard and Chinette Turner. While it is rewarding to make a loan, it is even more satisfying to see nurture capital begin to bear fruit. Despite lack of cooperation from the weather, Renard has been hard at work building an aviary to begin raising squab (meat pigeon). He is seen here with his assistant Richard Yates earlier this month.

Always Accepting Farmer Loan Applications!
The mission of Slow Money Central Virginia is to support the financial needs of farmers and food entrepreneurs in our region. Our inaugural program called SOIL (Slow Opportunities for Investing Locally) is a 0% revolving loan program. We accept applications on a rolling basis. We can’t stress enough that no request is too small, as we want to be a friendly source of capital to help farm businesses grow in a way that’s best for them.

The Leavening of the Common Grain Alliance
While 2018 was the year of our launch here at Slow Money Central Virginia, it was also the year of the Common Grain Alliance . This organization is serving a critical need in the region by connecting and supporting farmers, millers, and bakers to build a vibrant, integrated, and sustainable grain economy in Virginia and surrounding areas. Slow Money was part of their recent meeting held in DC at the amazing Seylou Bakery . Owner Jonathan Bethony is shown here sharing his passion with the group

UnMoo Peer-to-Peer Opportunity
We are presenting a peer-to-peer loan opportunity from local, fast-growing, plant-based cheese company, UnMoo . UnMoo launched in late 2018, creating Virginia's first nut-based cultured cheese. The product has been picked up by restaurants and retailers alike and the UnMoo team is forecasting over $100k in sales for 2019.
Founder Josh Kadrich and his team are seeking a $15,000 patient capital loan to purchase equipment and expand production. "Any money borrowed would go directly into equipment improvements (vertical cutter mixer, blast freezer, colloidal mills, silicone molds, cheese aging racks, modified atmosphere packagers, etc) to allow us to scale the business and our search for our own space. It would provide cash reserves to hire folks from the Richmond community to help us make our products and nurture bloomy rinded cheeses."

If you are interested in learning more about UnMoo, please contact Michael Reilly at
Carpe Donut Update
Last month we told you about an amazing local food business called Carpe Donut . They make the most delicious donuts without sacrificing their commitment organic, local, and artisanal standards. This successful dozen-year-old business is seeking an investment partner(s) to launch it into the next phase in its development. Slow Money Central Virginia is collaborating with Carpe Donut to help find the right solution for its needs. We received several inquiries after our newsletter went out last month and we'd love to be able to put together a group of partners who'd can help. If you are interested in discussing further, please contact Michael Reilly at
Other Events & Opportunities
Allegheny Mountain Institute's Farm and Food Education Fellowship
Applications Now Due March 1
Now in its eighth year, Allegheny Mountain Institute’s fully sponsored 18-month Fellowship prepares and empowers individuals to become teachers and ambassadors for a more vibrant and accessible local food system. Selected Fellows spend six months in immersive training on our mountain farm campus (Phase I) and one year in service work with food related non-profit partner organizations (Phase II).

Market at 25th Opening in March!
March 28
Located in the historic Church Hill district of Richmond, the new Market @ 25th is set to open on March 28. The 27,000 square foot facility will employ local residents and feature more than 60 local vendors. It will also bring much needed fresh, healthy food to an underserved part of the city. Slow Money Central Virginia recently presented at their local vendors summit.