Weaving Wisdoms Project

The Weaving Wisdoms Project is a three-year initiative that surveys and amplifies educational, nonprofit, recreational and agritourism farms in our network, and across the region. Launched in 2021 with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Weaving Wisdoms helps us better understand the offerings and needs of these farms, as our movement seeks to visibilize learning spaces in the South, activate land, and create opportunities for skill development for the next generation of farmers and stewards.

Led by Tamara Harris, SAAFON’s Engagement and Education Coordinator, Weaving Wisdoms began after nearly a decade of ideation around how to scale land-based learning experiences for new and beginning Black farmers in the South, and the role they play in intergenerational knowledge transference. In 2023, with the completion of 25 farmer interviews and surveys, across six states and St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands), SAAFON documented the current educational and recreational offerings of each farm, and the barriers and challenges to their development and expansion. 

Examples of the dynamic offerings of our membership include:

  • An elder farmer in Georgia who mentors a collective of certified organic farmers, and has partnered with a historic Black boarding school to create a training and incubator program for new and beginning farmers;  
  • An elder farmer and organizer in South Carolina, who facilitates a young farmers program to teach youth about Gullah culture, based at her farm on land that has been in her family since before Reconstruction
  • An elder large-scale farmer and organizer in Mississippi who has mentored a generation of land stewards and organizers, and who is committed to intergenerational exchange and knowledge transference

In May 2024, SAAFON brought the participating farmers together for a gathering in West Georgia on Tamara Harris’ family land that made space for cross-pollination, knowledge exchange, and a shared commitment to fostering learning and joy on the land. Farmers feasted on beautiful food sourced from SAAFON Georgia farmers – Patchwork City Farms and High Hog Farm – in addition to a host of value-added condiments and products from across our network. These spaces, generative, rooted in culture, and focused on connection and building both individual and collective vision, are the foundation of SAAFON’s organizing, and ensure that our work transcends the moment. This culminating experience included a day of programming that focused on mapping the farm offerings, organizing around how they can be in support of each other, and visioning for the future of the project as we shift into data aggregation, storytelling about the needs and goals of our farmers, and resourcing in 2025.

“Our favorite element of the gathering was having the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and farmers, and learning about all the wonderful ways in which we are sharing our culture and love for humanity and the Earth. The multigenerational aspect was inspiring! A welcomed return to focus on community and family, where each member serves an important role, none greater than the other, each essential and valuable. Inspired and Empowered… a true respite and opportunity to recreate, refocus, and recommit. “

Elvin and Madeline Eaton, Fairport Farms
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