Enhancing Biodiversity, and Boosting Seed Production: A Successful IDOFS On Farm Consultation

Enhancing Biodiversity, and Boosting Seed Production: A Successful IDOFS On Farm Consultation

In a world where sustainable farming practices are becoming increasingly crucial, Global Seed Savers took a significant step forward in promoting eco-conscious agriculture. From June 30 to July 4, 2023, an impactful IDOFS (Integrated Diversified Organic Farming Systems) On-Farm Consultation was conducted in Catmon, San Fernando, Carcar, Argao, and Simala. In collaboration with our partners, Pestales, Cafei, Cebu Seed Savers, and the insightful Farmer John, the consultation aimed to improve farming practices and set new benchmarks for sustainable agriculture.

One of the primary goals of the consultation was to finalize at least two IDOFS-farm designs. As a result, participating farmers were empowered to implement innovative agricultural practices. Notably, some of the key inputs from Farmer John’s previous visit were put into action, including the incorporation of diversification and varietal crops, enhancing plant growth, and improving pest management techniques!

Moreover, farmers received guidance on creating more live fences and windbreakers using eco-friendly bamboo. These additions not only serve as effective barriers but also contribute to enhancing biodiversity and protecting delicate ecosystems.

We are so grateful to see our community take on new practices that not only support their farms but also build climate resiliency! The farms were celebrated for their diversity and effective intercropping techniques, promoting ecological harmony and maximizing resource utilization. 

The IDOFS On Farm Consultation didn’t just end with recommendations; it set new benchmarks for sustainable agriculture. Our partner farmers were encouraged to add more crops suitable for the soil conditions, expanding the diversity of their farms. For example, mulching, windbreakers, and hedge rows became essential features, contributing to the overall resilience of their farms.

As we move towards a seed sovereign future, it’s heartwarming to witness the passion and determination of our partner farmers! Our community of seed savers continues to grow and adapt to new sustainable practices! 

See more photos taken during our farm consultations! 

Founder and CEO, Sherry Manning Reflects on Spending June in the Philippines

Founder and CEO, Sherry Manning Reflects on Spending June in the Philippines

Sherry, our Founder and CEO spent three weeks in the Philippines in June. 

Through engaging in on-ground interactions with our partner organizations, meeting with local farmers, and digging into the intricacies of community-driven initiatives, our Founder and CEO is able to gain deep insights that will inform our strategic decisions moving forward. This endeavor allows us to further refine our approach, ensuring that our programs are tailored to the specific needs and aspirations of the communities we serve.

Here is what Sherry has to say about her trip: 

It was wonderful to all be together as a team during most of June. I could not be more thrilled to have Hal Atienza as our new Philippines Executive Director and our time together in person, in our founding region, was an essential aspect of his full onboarding in this new role. Hal is tenacious,  passionate about doing development work well, and brings deep experience and dedication to this next chapter of GSS. 

We had a jam packed schedule that included critical team internal operational planning, Hal meeting with and conducting farm visits with the Benguet Association of Seed Savers, hosting a Philippines Board meeting, and hosting a meet and greet for Hal in Baguio with some of our key supporters and friends. See pictures and learn more about each of these below. 

Together we will continue to follow our new slogan: Save Seeds, Grow Food, Celebrate Heritage! 

Trips like these make space for Sherry to witness firsthand the impact of our programs and the lives of our partner farmers touched by our work.

It’s only because of the support we garnered from our WONDERFUL community of supporters like YOU! Together we have impacted countless smallholder farmers, inspired local communities to strengthen climate resiliency efforts, and with our Founder and CEO just returning to the US we are well on our way to saving more seeds, growing more food, and celebrating our heritage! 

Seeding Success at Philippines Board Meeting and Courtesy Call in Tublay!

Seeding Success at Philippines Board Meeting and Courtesy Call in Tublay!

We recently convened a momentous meeting with our Philippines board, fueling the seeds of innovation and collaboration! During this vibrant gathering, Hal shared our revised strategic directions and we elected three new board members.

With passionate discussions, strategic planning, and a shared commitment to empowering farming communities, the board meeting laid the foundation for groundbreaking initiatives that will support the growth of our partnerships!

We also had the privilege of connecting with the Mayor of Tublay and Provincial Board Member Atty. Paoad and conducted courtesy calls! Meetings like these open the doors to fruitful collaborations, as we discussed our shared vision for sustainable agriculture and explored ways to support local communities. 

The courtesy call was a significant step towards nurturing partnerships that will sow the seeds of positive change for our partner farmers in the Philippines.

We are thrilled to see our advocacy and work continue to grow and excited for Tublay to be the model Municipality for our Participatory Seed Governance work with BASS and more in the coming years!

Team Planning, Community Organizing, Advocacy, and Lobbying Training

Team Planning, Community Organizing, Advocacy, and Lobbying Training

Hal led two days of dynamic sessions for the GSSP Team sharing his deep experience in community organizing and how to leverage the various government mandated resources that are available to our Seed Savers Community organizations like BASS and CSS.

Drawing from his profound experience in community organizing, Hal shared invaluable insights on its significance in our work in the Philippines. These dynamic sessions served as a unifying invitation, reminding us that community organizing is the essence of our mission, supporting us to amplify our impact, nurture partnerships, and cultivate a global movement dedicated to seed sovereignty and sustainable agriculture.


“Being a Community Organizer (CO) is a way of life!” Hal shared at one point during the session. This could not be more true and is a value that all members of the GSS Team hold true. This work is about passion and knowing that together we can make the world better.


Hal’s CO framework is deeply rooted in the writings and teaching of Saul Alinsky the author of Rules for Radicals (among other titles).

“If people don’t think they have the power to solve their problems, they won’t even think about how to solve them.”- Saul Alinsky


Hal’s guidance served as a powerful reminder of how community organizing drives the engine of change and propels us closer to our vision of seed and food sovereignty. This is our role at GSS, to be a facilitator and accompany our partners on a process and journey for them to fully step into their ability to solve, lead, and guide the better future they know is possible and want to build.
Nurturing Collaborations: GSS Team Tours BASS’ Field Sites

Nurturing Collaborations: GSS Team Tours BASS’ Field Sites

We recently had the pleasure of reconvening with our cherished partner farmers at the Benguet Association of Seed Savers (BASS), and it was an absolute delight! Spending time with our partner farmers, learning from their expertise, witnessing their love and care, and building genuine connections have fueled our commitment to creating a more seed sovereign world for our partner farmers in the Philippines. 

The meeting was a vibrant gathering of minds, where powerful seed wisdom was shared and discussed. Coming together with these dedicated farmers, we celebrated the beauty and resilience of traditional seeds, exchanging knowledge that has been passed down through generations.

It is in these moments of connection and collaboration that we truly witness the magic of seed saving, reinforcing our commitment to nurturing this invaluable partnership. 

Seeds have a magical way of bringing us all together and we especially loved that by the end of the day everyone was leaving with more shared knowledge from each other’s farms.

We toured three of our partner farmers operations in Benguet!

The first tour was at Manong Macario’s farm where he shared with us his incredible wealth of knowledge of indigenous and wild crops. 

His farm is tucked back in Shilan, La Trinidad and he has built a diverse and wonderful eco-system with native and high yielding crops.

In this picture, he is holding Konig a root crop that he uses as a rice alternative! He also showed us his traditional seed drying area where the ash from the fire helps dry the seeds.

Manong Mac is a wealth of knowledge and helping preserve many forgotten techniques!

We then toured Annette’s farm, the newly elected President of BASS, who has a lovely oasis of a farm and a vast array of beans being saved and propagated. She and her husband run a beautiful farm tucked away in Daclan, Tublay, Benguet. They spent the pandemic making many improvements to the farm and the work has paid off!

It is a peaceful oasis and beautiful demonstration of a diverse eco-system aptly named Nature Lovers Garden. Annette is a prolific seed saver as well. It was wonderful to see her wide variety of beans being dried during our farm visit and learn about her technique of using ash inside her on farm seed storage jars to prevent pests.

Lastly, we toured Pastor Andrew’s, founding BASS Member farm in which he has built a diverse eco-system in his 200 sq meter lot! He has wild spinach growing everywhere and he explained how tobacco leaves are used as an insect repellent when storing seeds. We all enjoyed some seed foraging at his place! 

In the fields, we witnessed the love and care our partner farmers poured into their farms. Their dedication was evident in every plant, every seed, and every meticulous gesture. From tenderly tending to crops to preserving heirloom seeds, our partner farmers’ commitment to sustainable agriculture was evident. Being surrounded by the veggies of their cultivation, we gained a profound appreciation for the intricate tapestry of life they wove through their hard work and nurturing hands.

Moreover, farm visits provide an opportunity for us to check the progress being made by our partners in seed production and also help build community with our farmers!

Save Seeds. Grow Food. Celebrate Heritage!