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Sylvanaqua Farms

Sylvanaqua Farms Indigenous democracy in food and agriculture Healthy, responsible, accessible food for our neighbors, friends, and family.

Operating as usual

05/11/2022

Tiny breakfast mountain. They’re really getting most of their food out of the field at this point; feeding half the recommended ration and they’re still gaining like crazy.

Good morning!
05/10/2022

Good morning!

SUMMON THE DAMN TRUCK!.DC area on Thursday, CVL/RVA on Sunday. Get the meats on our website, link in bio
05/09/2022

SUMMON THE DAMN TRUCK!
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DC area on Thursday, CVL/RVA on Sunday. Get the meats on our website, link in bio

In nine years, only ever had two chefs work on my slaughter line: @the.messy.chef , way back when we did this thing on a...
05/09/2022

In nine years, only ever had two chefs work on my slaughter line: @the.messy.chef , way back when we did this thing on a utility trailer under a canopy tent (lol), and now this guy, @intergalactictacos
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They always turn out to be shockingly… unsettlingly……… frighteningly…. at home with the process 😂

05/08/2022

Happy Mothers Day thanks for not kicking us outta the house.

Richmond and Charlottesville, we’re doing door to door deliveries in your area this Sunday. Full compliment of all the s...
05/05/2022

Richmond and Charlottesville, we’re doing door to door deliveries in your area this Sunday. Full compliment of all the steaks, all the chops and ribs, all the poultry cuts, and a small amount of eggs. Hit the link in our bio (or Sylvanaqua dot com) to place you order!

I took this picture of my girls exactly one year ago. They saved me, really, at a time when people I’d taken a lot of pe...
05/04/2022

I took this picture of my girls exactly one year ago. They saved me, really, at a time when people I’d taken a lot of personal risks for took easy roads to safe spaces. I was told that I was alone, one last drop in a river of lies. I had these two. I had my family. I had my friends. The deadweight and sycophants left, blessing me in a way, with a leaner, lighter ship filled with the people who’d carried me here to this terrifying, but liberating, place
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Nine years ago I made a bold, reckless entrance into agriculture with visions in my head placed there by people with books to sell. I ran into a wall of reality obscured mostly by lies of omission. We got knocked down, got up, dusted ourselves off, moved on, and succeeded
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A year ago I’d tried a bold new thing in food sovereignty with visions in my head placed there by people with something else to sell. I ran into a wall of reality, largely obscured by lies of omission. We got knocked down even harder, got up, dusted off, and moved on
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Stitch is my spirit animal
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It’s rare for me to make the same kind of mistake twice, but I did it here. These intersectional spaces of equity and land and agriculture and care and community are so full of intoxicating, orgastic narratives that it can be difficult to see, through the mist, that there are few examples that match the good words
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I look back on this picture with gratitude to my one-year-younger self that he didn’t quit. I remember snacking on those strawberries and thinking very seriously that I could, and perhaps should, just pack it up, but ultimately deciding to dedicate my work to writing the narratives I wish I’d had in service of things I’m determined to make real in this world before I go home to my grandmothers
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I’ve had the world’s most famous farmer, White nationalists, a whole gaggle of fake farmer celebs, meme accounts, NGOs, pop journalists, and half-a$$ed leftists come for my throat… and all they have is black eyes and lighter wallets to show for it while I stand here more alive and happy and determined than I’ve ever been. I have to believe that someone in the spirit lands is clearing a path for something
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May I live to see it

A #rogueeats two-pack for your Tuesday.Sylvanaqua ground chicken meatball meals via @plentycville .Sylvanaqua chicken to...
05/03/2022

A #rogueeats two-pack for your Tuesday
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Sylvanaqua ground chicken meatball meals via @plentycville
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Sylvanaqua chicken tortilla soup via @markaustinsmith

A #rogueeats two-pack for your Tuesday.Sylvanaqua ground chicken meatball meals via @plentycville .Sylvanaqua chicken to...
05/03/2022

A #rogueeats two-pack for your Tuesday
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Sylvanaqua ground chicken meatball meals via @plentycville
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Sylvanaqua chicken tortilla soup via @markaustinsmith

Week 13, which will mark the end of the first quarter of the farm’s season once it’s over.First two days are field days,...
05/02/2022

Week 13, which will mark the end of the first quarter of the farm’s season once it’s over
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First two days are field days, getting our finisher herd moved over to a new paddock (which should hopefully encourage them to sit still) and - weather permitting, auctioning off one last set of hogs
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Traditional door to door deliveries return to Charlottesville and Richmond this Sunday with a full compliment of eggs, poultry, beef, and pork, so keep your eyes peeled for ordering to go live again tomorrow afternoon
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Processing another set of birds on Saturday and expecting to have a full crew, so I might be able to IG Live this one. Two kills two weeks in a row before we go on a four-week processing break to take us through Fathers Day
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My field minion Aaron is getting married this week; congratulations to the Bear! I think this also means I’m on chores for 11 days straight so if anybody wants to hang out at my place and help me out… ya know… 🤷🏽‍♂️
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Have a great week y’all.

Took a quick shot of the van during golden hour outside @thefarmbus @rvacommunityfridges , unloading another umpteen pou...
04/30/2022

Took a quick shot of the van during golden hour outside @thefarmbus @rvacommunityfridges , unloading another umpteen pounds of free sausage, chicken, eggs, etc. at the end of a very long day
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High quality proteins are practically unicorns at food banks, pantries, and community fridges; they disappear VERY quickly (l’ll never forget the 40 lbs of bacon that disappeared in a three minute frenzy of elders and exhausted-looking day laborers at Venable) and are always in higher demand than supply
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Thanks to everyone who helped us meet and surpass our $7,500 April mutual aid goal to make this all possible, and to lay the foundations for new, sovereign food systems and supply chains

It’s Wednesday. It’s your daughter’s birthday, so you plan to take it easy.Retorteth God, “lol.”.I get a call at 7:30am ...
04/27/2022

It’s Wednesday. It’s your daughter’s birthday, so you plan to take it easy
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Retorteth God, “lol.”
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I get a call at 7:30am that our pigs were spotted nosing around our field trucks, which is a solid 800 feet from where they should be. Once I get to the field, they’re in a completely different field
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This is my fault. A few days ago I was TRYING TO BE GOOD and tightening the pigs’ paddock fence, had disconnected one of the sides, and forgot to reconnect it. So one whole side of the paddock went completely uncharged for a good three days
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The fact that 80% of the pigs were still in their paddock at all was a miracle, especially since we still have our last set of OopsPiglets in with that herd (which is a no-no, because they don’t really respect fences and give the bigger pigs a bad example)
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When this happens, I’ll load them into the corral with a single electric wire turned up to level Thor. Once they settle down and stop trying to get out, they’ve usually re-remembered the awesome power of the wire. This usually take less than an hour in a tight space (another reason I re-did the corral design)
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The fun part today was snatching all the piglets from that group - since I had em anyway - to take to the growout enclosure, where they can’t cause trouble till they’re 100 lbs or so, at which point they join the finishing herd. Didn’t get em all, but enough to make easy work of catching the rest on Friday and to (hopefully) discourage a piglet-led breakout before then
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And now my whole body hurts
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End rant

Everyone, meet Terry.No hokey, straw-stuffed, overalled pumpkin heads on this farm. Terry is the chiseled, stylish, mois...
04/21/2022

Everyone, meet Terry
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No hokey, straw-stuffed, overalled pumpkin heads on this farm. Terry is the chiseled, stylish, moist (oh yeah), offensively stereotypical QueerCrow™️ of your dreams, of a hawk and bald eagle’s nightmares, and whose glory will no longer be suffocated under a blanket of ranch culture’s one-dimensional masculinity
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Terry is White. Terry is hairless. Terry has no head, because look at that a—. Terry cannot turn left
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Feel free to send Terry new outfits and have them featured in this feed

Week 11, including rare shots of me and the family at work.I usually don’t have the kids around on the ranch; between th...
04/18/2022

Week 11, including rare shots of me and the family at work
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I usually don’t have the kids around on the ranch; between the vehicles and trailers, large mammals, sharp metal edges, and pervasive manure, farms really aren’t terribly safe places for young kids when you’re working with volume
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Busy week! Our last set of Spring broilers arrives; pigs are being moved hither and thither all over the property, and we at long last are bringing in beef from our packer
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The market van is also hitting the road on Tuesday (DC/BALT) and Sunday (RVA) loaded with eggs, beef, poultry and pork in the formal debut of our new distribution experiment
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Nice thing about this model is that it reduces reliance on filling the truck with bulky retail orders that tend to carry a lot of empty space. It lets us devote more truck space to mutual aid, less time to packing and less money to packaging (retail customers may note the delivery fee has been lowered slightly), and gives us time to actually talk to people instead of dropping boxes and running off in a big hurry to the next drop
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Our second poultry harvest is this Saturday! We might IG live it… depending on how fast I wanna get done to have beers afterwards. Probably not… but maybe
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Visit our website to get the food truck to stop at your door!

Y’all are probably gonna look at me like I’m crazy as this Easter bunny… but the door to door farmers market was a lot o...
04/17/2022

Y’all are probably gonna look at me like I’m crazy as this Easter bunny… but the door to door farmers market was a lot of fun, so I’m gonna do it again. Except a little more organized-like this time
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Here’s the list of locations and dates for the rest of April:
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Tuesday, April 19: Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas
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Sunday, April 24: Richmond, Virginia and surrounding area
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Thursday, April 28: Charlottesville and Fredericksburg, Virginia and surrounding areas
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The truck hangs out from 10AM - 4PM
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Here’s how to get the truck to come to your house… restaurant… office… daycare… book club… cookout… wherever you’re gonna be that day:
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1.) Go to the website to reserve the truck
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2.) When you checkout, select your location and, optionally, let me know in the order details section what times you’d prefer I get there (I’ll do the best I can)
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3.) The day before market, I’ll send you an email with a 15-20 minute window of when I’ll arrive at your location
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4.) The truck shows up, I’ll hand you a menu (menu items will be posted on IG and Twitter the day before), you choose what you like and pay by cash, credit card, Venmo, whatever
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Feel free to have your friends, neighbors, family, or whomever show up to shop with you. It’s a party; the more the merrier :-)
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If you’re not able to reserve the truck on the website (or if you’re just feeling lucky) that’s fine; you can always shoot me a DM or text message on market day with your phone number and address and I’ll do the best I can to get to you… I just can’t guarantee I’ll make it unless you take one of the reservation slots on the website
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CHEFS AND GROCERS: I’m also happy to stop at restaurants and markets; wholesale pricing applies! The truck will be ABSOLUTELY LOADED, including with eggs as soon as these friggin hens decide to stop holding out on me. Shoot me a DM and I’ll swing by, or reserve a slot on the website
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Looking forward to seeing y'all. Reservations are open on the website now
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Sincerely,
Your bizarrely extroverted farmer

Address

106 Castle Dr
Earlysville, VA
22520

Telephone

+14349736673

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While the bar at our sister restaurant South and Central makes pretty incredible drinks, you can't get a Panga Drop Shot. However! We happen to have a special bar menu that comes from their kitchen, so all is right in the Dairy Market 😮‍💨 Speaking of South and Central, don't miss out on their Cinco de Mayo party!!! We hear they're roasting a whole Sylvanaqua Farms pig for tacos 🤤 and will have that bangin' bachata dance party💃
Fantastic thoughts on the deeper ramifications of efficiency and labor analysis for food producing farms. When experts like Sylvanaqua Farms speak we should all listen and learn from their generously shared wisdom.
Wow! THANK YOU, Sylvanaqua Farms for your generous donation to the Free Fridge and Pantry!!! We are extremely grateful for your support, and for your contribution to the community. 🥩♥️🌱
Thanks for engaging in the conversation yesterday about the future of small farms. We 100% believe small family scale farms are the future. A few folks brought up the article that highlights the collective power of farming by Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms Here is the article if you would like to read further - https://heated.medium.com/small-family-farms-arent-the-answer-742b6684857e We appreciate having thoughtful and respectful conversations to hear peoples perspectives to move our food system towards a local, diversified and interconnected agricultural future built by family farms where ecosystems and communities thrive 🌈
From the most technical of standpoints, regeneration can be defined as a process of renewal or restoration of a body, bodily part, or biological/living system, such as Mother Earth herself. But regeneration is so much more than that. Regeneration means to reinvigorate, revitalize and recover our environment, our communities, our economy and our relationships to one another. Regeneration is the fundamental shift from the exploitative and the degenerating to the “truly sustainable” and the regenerating. As Wizipan Garriott mentions in his Seven Generations keynote at Session 3 of the 2020/21 Regenerative Earth Summit, regeneration means to “come back stronger and more resilient than before”. He reminds us that Indigenous peoples are the best living example of what it means to be regenerative. In fact, ‘regenerative agriculture’ is not a new idea but a new term for age-old Indigenous land management practices. Regenerative Agriculture is just Indigenous practices informed by the most modern technology. In the following months, we will be introducing and exploring a key term or topic relevant to the regenerative community the second Thursday of the month with the help from leaders in this space. When appropriate, we will also introduce any connections to Indigenous ideologies or happenings to further ground and credit these terms to their origins. If you happen to miss a post, all of our posts in this series can be found in an IG highlights folder for easy access. This post was inspired and informed by Sylvanaqua Farms, Wizipan Garriott, ect. through direct and indirect lessons, conversations & perception/un-learning/framing. #regenerativeagriculture #sustainableagriculture #smallscalefarming #groworganic #lovetheearth #foodsovereignty #soilhealth #circularfashion #circulareconomy #slowfashion #regenerativefashion #knowwhomadeit #ecosystem #regenerativebrands #organicbrands #nongmo #regenerativerising
Interesting interview in The Guardian with Chris Newman, founder of Virginia-based Sylvanaqua Farms, on why feeding people needs to be at the heart of sustainable farming.
“Our goal on our farm is to responsibly produce as much food as we possibly can and just get it into as many mouths as possible, making sure that what we produce isn’t just accessible to the upper crust. To meet that goal, Sylvanaqua has pledged to donate half its harvest to food aid organizations throughout the Chesapeake region, as part of a mutual aid program focused on people who ordinarily can’t afford high-quality meat and produce. Newman, who is Black and an enrolled member of the Choptico Band of Piscataway Indians, spoke with the Guardian about racism in the farm-to-table movement, how indigenous practices influence the way he farms and why, ultimately, feeding people needs to be at the heart of sustainable farming." - Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms in The Guardian article, "How is it sustainable if only 1% can afford your food?’: the man on a quest to change farming" https://amp-theguardian-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/25/sylvanaqua-farms-sustainable-food-affordable
“Our goal on our farm is to responsibly produce as much food as we possibly can and just get it into as many mouths as possible, making sure that what we produce isn’t just accessible to the upper crust...We are actively trying to figure out how to connect the dots between what we do here and the people who’ve been left behind by the farm-to-table movement. Without that mass participation, then all we’re really doing is creating castles in the sky.” - Chris Newman, Co-Founder of Sylvanaqua Farms Retired engineer and technologist Chris Newman is a farmer, enrolled member of the Choptico Band of Piscataway Indians and an outspoken evangelist of ecological, economic, and social sustainability in food. He’s garnered both criticism and praise for 1. advocating for a moderate, pragmatic approach to sustainable food systems that recognizes the complementary roles of both ecological farming and technological innovation; 2. frank discussions of the intersection of race and agriculture; and 3. blunt, unsparing criticism of the “clean food” movement’s often-elitist values and aversion to self-reflection. As a black and Indigenous man in America, he pulls focus onto the Indigenous ethics, values, and knowledge that the (often unacknowledged) modern regenerative agriculture permaculture movement was built on. As well as the decolonized worldview necessary to ensure the sustainable stewardship of natural resources. As said in his 2021 Regenerative Earth Summit - Session 4 Keynote, “The modern regenerative agriculture movement is adopting the tools and techniques of indigenous land management without adopting the world view.” Click on the link below to read the Guardian’s interview with Chris Newman in the article “‘How is it sustainable if only 1% can afford your food?’: the man on a quest to change farming”. 📷: Sylvanaqua Farms https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/25/sylvanaqua-farms-sustainable-food-affordable #regenerativeagriculture #sustainableagriculture #smallscalefarming #groworganic #lovetheearth #foodsovereignty #soilhealth #circulareconomy #ecosystem #regenerativebrands #organicbrands #nongmo #regenerativerising #sylvanaquafarms
Everyone should be able to eat higher welfare and sustainable food. At Sylvanaqua Farms Chris and Annie don't just farm with nature and animal welfare in mind, they donate half of their produce to food aid organisations.
“And finally, what I hope will be my legacy is what I call ‘people-centered food policy’ - thinking about food in terms of how it promotes personal empowerment, how it overcomes loneliness, how it brings people together, and how it makes a celebration of joy a part of everyday life. People-centered food policy needs to become as powerful as farm-to-table and nutrition models of food.” ~ Wayne Roberts, Corporate Knights Community-based regenerative agriculture is the key to people-centered food policy. The current food system brushes many minority communities off to the sidelines in favor of the powerful and privileged. Community-based agriculture is a way for those communities (BIPOC, Indigenous, and Latinx folx here in America) to use the food system as a tool of resistance, resilience, and advocacy that can create structural change while also serving as a platform for communities to work cooperatively to reclaim their health, economic opportunity, and food sovereignty. This form of activism is what grassroots movements are all about. A group of people who are not represented in our current systems stepping into their power, creating the conditions for sustained change that can be maintained and expanded upon in future generations - all while making the world a healthier, more equitable, more resilient place because of their courage, strength and action. This post is inspired by the good work that Dreaming Out Loud, Inc., Black Yield Institute, Sylvanaqua Farms and many more food organizations are doing to create a healthy & equitable food system. 📷: Dreaming Out Loud #regenerativeagriculture #sustainableagriculture #smallscalefarming #groworganic #lovetheearth #foodsovereignty #soilhealth #medicinalplants #circulareconomy #ecosystem #regenerativerising #blackfoodsovereignty #equity #foodjustice #community
Check out this new piece published by Executive Director Mary Beth Collins and PhD Candidate Allison Hellenbrand -- on different organizational structures within the Mission-Based Food Production Movement. This piece came together after various organizations approached the CommNS about how to structure their farming, food-making, and other enterprises. The paper lays out key considerations for structures ranging from LLC to nonprofit to cooperative to land trust and more, and cites real-world, inspiring examples from the field which use the different structures. We hope this piece may be useful to those who wish to making positive change through mission-based food system efforts. Planting Justice Menikanaehkem - Community Rebuilders Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming Alice's Garden Urban Farm Detroit Black Community Food Security Network Walnut Way Women's Environmental Institute Mentoring Positives The Farmory Green Bay Chrysalis Pops Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust American Farmland Trust The Kingston Land Trust Black Family Land Trust Marin Agricultural Land Trust Maine Farmland Trust Vermont Land Trust Rock Steady Farm & Flowers Shared Ground Farmers' Cooperative SLO Farmers Co-op Seward Community Co-op Sankofa Farms LLC Full Circle Community Farm Winter Green Farm Sylvanaqua Farms Tandem Restaurant Plum Organics Revolution Foods Hilary's Finnriver Green City Growers Soul Fire Farm Cooperative Coffees The Federation of Southern Cooperatives Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT Ohe∙láku - Among the Cornstalks https://commnsknowledge.wisc.edu/2021/07/28/learn-about-the-mission-based-food-production-movement/