This Independent Study examines the ways in which the relationships formed through seed saving and exchange in Appalachia foster community resilience by expanding emplacement and food sovereignty. My research begins by outlining the concepts and data that inform popular thought around seedsaving and food sovereignty, while attempting to discuss seedkeeping and its surrounding practices as place-based “ways of knowing.” I spoke with three seedsavers, farmers, and gardeners who grew food in the Appalachian region and developed the majority of my discussion chapter around the themes that arose during our interviews. My analysis endeavors to entangle our conversations in a broader discussion of how material relationships with living entities (those which develop among humans, but also between humans and other-than-human beings such as heirloom seeds) sustain and expand practical capabilities, sovereignty, and resilience. My writing on these linkages also includes reflections on my own shifting emotions and my evolving understanding of how to move towards collective flourishing while reckoning with ecocide and climate crisis.


Brown, Iemanja


Environmental Studies


Environmental Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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