Slow Money, local chapter leaders

Slow Money, local chapter leaders

I do believe too many energies get trapped in our little box canyon over the course of the winter. Spring break seems to flush the system. With lots of people leaving for a time, things are calmer and clearer  around town – especially when those powerful winds blow. The valley benefits from no traffic; we personally benefit from a change of scenery. Those accumulated cares need to be shed as we move from winter through our very short spring and into our intense summer schedules!

We took a week off from EcoAction Partners and other business to camp in and around the Gila National Forest in southern New Mexico. I thought leaving the computer at home and the cell phone mostly turned off might be hard, but once I had done all I could to get ready, it was amazingly easy to disconnect from our electronic world.

Camping was lovely – the weather was quite nice if a bit windy, and we had a few chilly mornings, but well worth the trip. I could sing the praises of the places we visited, but one thing did bother me. I don’t know who or why or if it was just me, but it seemed like everywhere we went was kind of trashed. A campground spot where we stopped for a lunch break had obviously been the location for an Easter party of some sort – egg shells were everywhere, but worse than that, the entire site was covered with confetti! Seriously! It will take a long, long time for all those little pieces of colored paper to go “away” and I’m afraid to imagine the thought process that went into that, ahem, colorful decision.

Hiking up just a mile to one of the hot springs on the Middle Gila River near the Cliff Dwellings was nice. Not a soul in sight. Yet the first thing I notice just past the Gila Wilderness sign is a pair of kid’s soiled underwear – well aged, but still. Really? I picked up trash along the trail – old pop tops from cans, a wire hangar, and far too many pieces of dried up toilet paper. Ladies – come on – if you’ve thought it through enough to bring toilet paper with you, couldn’t  you also have a Ziploc bag to take your trash back with you? Toilet paper is not innocuous and it does not readily break down. It comes down to personal responsibility I guess.

The rest of my report is from the delightful People’s Republic of Boulder where the Slow Money Alliance is hosting its annual national gathering. I made one of the two days of meetings for local Slow Money Chapter leaders and was glad I did. It’s a growing network with lots to share, and attendees came from as far as Australia and France!

The basic premise of Slow Money (you may recall we had founder Woody Tasch speak at our February 2012 EcoAction Roundtable) is investing as if food, farms and fertility matter. Local chapters work to facilitate funding for local food projects. which they accomplish in many ways. In Telluride we have a very small Local Investment Club, which will hopefully be spurred into action after I return from this gathering. The idea for local chapters is to fund farm and food projects with low or no interest loans so that community members are investing in their local food system. Want to find out more? Drop me an email at or look for press coming out soon.

I’ll report more about the gathering next time, but foodies out there can understand the excitement of having Carlo Petrini from Slow Food, Mary Berry (Wendell Berry’s daughter), Gary Nabham of Native Seeds, Wynona LaDuke, Joan Gussow author of “This Organic Life,” and so many more in attendance. Also great to see our region represented including Lance from Jack Rabbit Wines, Brook from Sustainable Settings, and Ann Cooper (Chef Ann), a one-time Telluride resident and restauranteur. Bonus points if you can name Ann’s restaurant that used to be downstairs across from the Free Box!

Again, more to come, but sometimes I find a trip to the Front Range very worthwhile.

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