April 20 – 23, 2024

The 2024 Cumberland Seed Commons Spring Convening is an educational gathering of farmers, primarily from the Southeast region, with the focus on seeds and their foundational role in thesustainable agriculture movement. Participants will learn about: seed history in the USA, USDA seed vaults, seed farming, seed saving, seed sovereignty, seed research, seed rematriation, Indigenous and African American cosmology of seeds as well as seed diversity and seed adaptation as a necessary pathway of building community resilience as we are challenged by decreasing biodiversity, environmental degradation and climate change. 

Our bioregional approach is meant to ensure community resilience with the development of an intimately connected community of seed farmers, seed savers, seed researchers, seed hubs, seed companies into a network that we call a SEED COMMONS. The bioregion that we have elected to use is based upon the Cumberland River watershed which begins in the mountains of southeast Kentucky, flows across northern Tennessee, and returns to western Kentucky before joining the Ohio river near Paducah, KY.  So, thus we call our network the Cumberland Seed Commons and our long-range vision is to develop a network of 1,000 seed farmers, educators, researchers and 50 seed hubs in this bioregion.

We began this effort back in October 2022 during the Fall Convening of the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance held in Accokeek, MD. We continued our efforts at the April 2023 Spring Convening of UCFA in Berea, KY. Our efforts continued at our 1st winter convening of the Cumberland Seed Commons in Lebanon, TN at Cumberland University held December 1-3, 2023, as part of the Tennessee Local Food Summit.