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Seedshed Workshop: Seeds of Resistance, Resilience, and Reconciliation at The Organic Seed Growers Conference

February 12 - February 15

The power of seed lies at the intersections of cultural, genetic, spiritual, environmental, and personal connections. But over the past 600 years, seed has been accidentally or systematically separated from their stories. More recently, their genetic and cultural stories have been appropriated for profit. This panel and facilitated group discussion will share ways in which we can responsibly reconnect seeds and their stories through our lived experience. We’ll hear personal, cultural, and agricultural stories of seed keeping as an act of resistance to oppression, resilience in overcoming systemic and personal challenges, and internal and external reconciliation. These stories will illuminate how culture, race, gender identity, language, sexuality, religion, and ethics inform our seed practices. By sharing a rich diversity of seed stories, many of which have been forgotten or erased, we will collectively unpack how they relate to seed justice in our current systems, and how we can practice resistance, cultivate resilience, and plant seeds for reconciliation through the ways we source, plant, save, and share seeds and their stories.

Centered around four personal seed stories, this session will dig deep into questions around how and why seeds stories are shared and who gets to tell them. Whether you are a seed company, community seed initiative, seed grower, seed keeper, farmer or gardener, there are ways to be more accountable, and respectful to seeds and their origins.

Our four seed stories will be from:
Vivien Sansour from the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library who will be talking about the Palestinian Seed Library and the experience of reclaiming wheat in one of the world’s centers of diversity.
Kenny Perkins an Akewesanse Traditional Seed Keeper with Seedshed will share a very personal story about his relationship with Tuscarora White Corn and what the corn means for the Mohawk community in Akwesasne.
Ken Greene from Seedshed & Hudson Valley Seed Company will share his experience of being a queer seed grower and how pansies (the plant kind and the people kind) are helping him develop a practice of queer botany.
Amirah Mitchell a farmer from True Love Seeds will share about her stewardship of Green Striped Cushaw, (aka Sweet Potato Pumpkin) a diasporic seed that was passed down to her from her great grandfather.



Katherine Chiu, Farmer/Founder, Asian Vegetable CSA & Project Manager, Seedshed

Justin T. Herne, Program Assistant, Seedshed

Nathaniel Kleinman, Experimental Farm Network

Deborah A. Ni, Assistant Director, Seedshed

Mehmet Öztan, Ph.D., Seed Farmer & Co-owner, Two Seeds in a Pod Heirloom Seed Co. & Service Assistant Professor, West Virginia University


February 12
February 15


Organic Seed Alliance


Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR United States + Google Map