Nurturing Seed Saving Communities: Global Seed Savers’ Partnerships in Bogo

Nurturing Seed Saving Communities: Global Seed Savers’ Partnerships in Bogo

Our recent meeting with the City of Bogo Farmers Federation (CBFF) at the Bogo City Hall was an inspiring gathering that laid the foundation for a promising partnership. With Purok Presidents from across Bogo in attendance, our objectives were clear: to attend meetings, establish connections within the SSC (Seed Saving Community) communities in Bogo, and link with CBFF officers. It was an opportunity for us to align our agenda with the mission and goals of seed sovereignty.

One of the most exciting outcomes of this meeting was the shared commitment to forming a Seed Saving Community in Bogo. The heart of this initiative lies in establishing a seed library at the Department of Agriculture office, and it all began with a conversation about the “Perahulis” seed variety, which may be a Lima Bean. This common vegetable variety, once abundant in Bogohanon backyards, is now at risk of being lost forever. The response from Letecia Decena, a Purok leader and CBFF officer, was heartening. She emphatically stated, “We are one with you on that cause, rest assured we will support.” This moment embodied the spirit of collaboration and shared purpose that this meeting fostered, bringing us one step closer to preserving valuable seed diversity in Bogo.

As we move forward, this partnership with CBFF and the dedicated individuals of Bogo reaffirms our commitment to seed saving and community engagement, illustrating the power of collective action in safeguarding our agricultural heritage.

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!

Cultivating Connections at our Meet and Greet Event in Baguio with Philippines Executive Director Hal!

Cultivating Connections at our Meet and Greet Event in Baguio with Philippines Executive Director Hal!

We recently hosted a momentous Meet and Greet event in Baguio with our Philippines Executive Director Hal! We gathered our farmer leaders, friends of the organization, creatives, and more to meet Hal and hear about our plans moving forward.

It was a wonderful opportunity for the Philippines team to express gratitude, strengthen relationships, and discuss future collaborations with our current and future partner farmers! This event was marked by warmth, enthusiasm, and a shared commitment to preserving Indigenous seeds and supporting farming communities in the Philippines.

By engaging in open and fruitful discussions, Hal and community members explored avenues for future collaborations, shared insights and experiences, and brainstormed innovative strategies to address the developing challenges in the field of seed sovereignty.


One of the highlights of the meet and greet event was leveraging Hal’s expertise and insights. Current and future partner farmers gained valuable perspectives that will shape their future initiatives, projects, and partnerships in the Philippines and beyond!

This meet and greet fostered the many meaningful connections, built trust, and provided a platform for community dialogue – ensuring that our initiatives are aligned with the needs and aspirations of our farming community in the Philippines!

We are grateful to be part of such a vibrant community of supporters here in Baguio/ Benguet and look forward to all the collaborations to come from this support network!