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Biocultural Conservation Farm

Bio-Cultural Conservation Farm

A “bio-cultural conservation farm” (BCCF) is a farm that stewards the cultivation of heirloom and heritage vegetables and fruits, and conserves them as living plants or as seed, in order to illustrate, save and share the biological diversity of the edible plants that underpin our food system. We are currently recruiting for a Fellow that will manage a BCCF at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation – see our Call for Applicants to learn more.

Appalachia has been recognized as having the highest documented levels of agro-biodiversity in the U.S., Canada, and northern Mexico. OSGF’s Rokeby parcel in Upperville, Virginia is located in the foothills of Appalachia (mapped here), in the north-eastern fringe of this biodiverse region. This Appalachian agro-biodiversity that will be the focus of the “bio-cultural conservation farm,” though we envisage that this BCCF will grow varieties of produce from many sources, not all of it from Appalachia.


The BCCF site includes the following:

  • A ca. ¾-acre walled garden, and additional unfenced (<3 acres) — both with good soil health, having been managed for decades for floriculture and agriculture on the estate of Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon.

  • Substantial cold frames.

  • Substantial series of unheated greenhouses. The greenhouses were constructed in 1939 and are currently unheated. It will be cost prohibitive to renovate and heat these greenhouses but they could be used creatively in many ways in conjunction with the garden and cold frames.

  • Significant indoor storage space for equipment and materials.

  • A large potting shed.

  • Office space.

  • Basic farm equipment.