Investing in Soil Trust

Woody Tasch, an Utne Visionary and founder of Slow Money, has a new project that aims to help communities and small farms—Soil Trust.

| March/April 2013

Humble and quiet, soil links individual nourishment to strong local economies and the health of the planet. Because overworked soil cannot produce nutritious food, our health and that of coming generations depends on how we care for soil now.

A first step toward sustaining soil health is getting more would-be small farmers onto land (or rooftops), helping community-focused grocery stores and delivery services get started, or lending funds to programmers whose software helps small farmers plan and evaluate yields. For Grist (December 5, 2012), Tilde Herrera writes that Woody Tasch—a 2010 Utne Visionary, founder of the Slow Money Alliance, and now the Soil Trust—aims to do just that.

In a world of big banks and “fast money,” as Tasch calls it, small farms and food businesses have had a hard time attracting investors’ attention. The Slow Money Alliance already works with investors to fund community-centered food endeavors, but requires hands-on involvement and large sums from backers. Soil Trust will operate more like a mutual fund, with many people investing small amounts and ceding control over specifics.

There is one difference between Soil Trust and a traditional mutual fund—you won’t see that money come back. Officially, your investment in Soil Trust is a donation that stays there. Your return on it? Healthy soil, people, and communities.

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