WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO
WHAT IS FOOD SOVEREIGNTY? :
The degree to which communities are able to control and operate a supply chain providing a nutritious, chosen* diet in perpetuity. Those assets include but are not limited to: land and water, processing and packing facilities/methods, seeds/stock and seed/stock production, distribution and storage assets, physical and digital markets, cultural and technical education/expertise, data and analytical tools, capital, political power/influence.
WHO WE ARE:
A team of people that provides specialized support to food sovereignty projects, and then publishes the results for other people to follow. The hope is that, over time, as we help get these projects off the ground (or further into orbit) and publish more case studies and patterns for others to follow, that the people coming to our community will be better equipped to organize their own food sovereignty projects using our completed work as a guide.
WHAT WE DO :
SKYWOMAN PROJECTS: we have a small team of analysts that assist cooperative farming efforts with strategy, auditing, operations, finance, and any other area that we and our wider community might be able to lend expertise. Learn more about our current and completed projects.
SKYWOMAN TOOLS: our project work, as well as our internal deliberations, result in the creation of various tools, patterns, and other artifacts that food sovereignty organizers may find useful. These can range from production analysis spreadsheets, to conflict resolution patterns, to deployable software. A key part of our work is making these available to the public in our tools catalog.
SKYWOMAN STORIES/JOURNAL: we tap the organizers of food sovereignty projects to share their knowledge and experience through storytelling via our Skywoman Stories series and Skywoman Journal.
Community is the Deliverable. A foundation of healthy, deep, sustained, and reciprocal relationships among people can handle challenges with soil, plants, animals, air, water, ancestors, and the unborn. Weak communities will struggle on all these fronts.
Everyone is Useful. This is not a space just for farmers; community requires everyone, and we all contribute what we can, where we are, to strengthen those communities.
Relationships First. Those who would have influence must convince others by putting in the time to develop relationships and earn trust.
Skywoman evolved from "Something Else," a podcast developed by farmer and social entrepreneur Chris Newman dedicated to myth-busting and contextualizing around decolonization/Indigenization movements.
Within months of the release of the first podcast, an itch developed to take decolonial theory out of the ivory tower and apply it to the hot mess of real life: particularly in the development of multi-stakeholder communities that could work together to end food apartheid and establish food sovereignty.
Skywoman - which is still in its infancy - began with Chris sharing the methods for developing Sylvanaqua Farms' production and business plans in detail with Patreon subscribers, followed by a popular demand to discuss a set of "shared services" that could help farmers work together and coordinate their efforts to help "farm to table" movements scale in areas that traditional co-ops often fail.
From here, Skywoman began, and is continuing, to coalesce around a mission to help communities self-organize into effective agents in building sovereign food systems.