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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.
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