Slow money and Stone Leaf Teas

Four or five years ago we employed John Wetzel for the summer. Smart and motivated he proved to be a great addition to the farm. Farm laboring paid the bills, but John’s real passion was teas. He had traveled the world as an employee of the Dobra Tea House, and every day during lunch he broke out his stash and introduced us to the world of teas. We were hooked, and to this day drink tea all day everyday. John went on to start Stone Leaf Teas in the Marble Works in Middelbury. You can check him out on the net at, but we recommend that you visit his store next time you’re in Middlebury.

We find inspration in all aspects of our work, it’s not a stetch to say that learning about teas has changed our lives. On a seperate but combined note, last year while attending the Vermont Fresh Network annual event we listened to Woody Tirsh, founder of Slow Money, give the keynote address. We’d never heard of him before, but we liked what he had to say. Somebody in the audience asked “what is slow money?”. Woody responded by explaining that slow money is an investment where the return is so small that you can actually understand it. That’s how and why we lent John $500 to buy teas for his shop during his recent travels to China. It’s a simple concept, lend a small amount of money, get paid back in a year and collect a little interest in the form of world class teas. Nobody’s getting rich, but then again micro loans have never been blamed for world wide economic meltdowns.

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