March 2023
Happy International Women's Month!
GSS celebrates International Women's Month and we wanted to reflect with you on how! This month we are highlighting one of our woman partner farmers Manang Letty Bisco, the President of the Benguet Association of Seed Savers! Here is what she had to say about the interconnectedness between being a woman, a farmer, and a woman farmer!
"Traditionally the woman’s role in the family is working at home, and managing household chores. But, since no one is taking the farming role, I took the initiative to continue working at my family farm. There are some difficulties for women to work on farms given the difference in physical strength compared to menI had to hire help for the heavy asks on the farm which adds to the cost of farming.

Being the woman owner of the farm though, I have the financial freedom to spend my own money. I also have the freedom and control over the farm and I don’t have to answer to a boss, since I am the sole owner. I realized this sense of financial freedom when I assumed responsibility for being the sole breadwinner in the family, given the passing of my husband. I continued farming even in his absence.
When I was first a parent, I remember merely working in the household doing domestic chores. It feels like I was confined at home. It was a liberating experience when I decided to focus on farming full time. I can choose to go out of the house anytime, and I also have control over my earnings."

More on GSS Celebrating
International Women's Month!
Our Communications and Marketing Manager, Sarah wrote a piece on ecofeminism highlighting an important fact: food sovereignty cannot be achieved without the voices and perspectives of women.

Read her research article here!
Seeds in Common Invites
GSS Founder and US Executive Director for a Fireside Chat!
Seeds in Common held a fireside chat with Sherry Manning our Founder and US Executive Director last month. During the chat, Sherry shared about the origins and history of our work and how our seed saving programs are building climate resilient communities and networks across the Philippines.

Watch the video below if you missed the live chat!
Thanks to Seeds in Common for having us and hosting a great fireside chat!
Updates From the Field
GSS Supporter, Dr. Ernesto Amaranto and Guests
Visit the Benguet Association of Seed Savers
Dr. Ernesto Amaranto, a long time champion of our work through Rotary and beyond, visited our partner farmers and enjoyed a celebratory luncheon in Baguio last month.
Students from the Balay Sofia School
Visit BASS Farmer Anita Sinakay
Students from the Balay Sofia Waldorf School in Baguio City recently visited BASS Farmer, Manang Anita's farm in Tublay, Benguet. During this visit the students learned about composting and planting vegetables. We are excited to connect the next generation with the important of farming and offer these exposure and hands on learning opportunities to them.

GSS Team and Partner Farmers
Participated in Permaculture Design Course
"Permaculture for me serves as the backbone of any regenerative agriculture system. It is a conscious daily decision about how our actions affect nature and ecosystems. It is re-aligning and re-designing our choices and lifestyle in harmony with what nature generously gives and provides to us,
which is abundance.”

- Harry Paulino, GSS Cebu Seed Production Coordinator

Dedicated Cebu Seed Savers Sign Collaborative MOA for Organic Seed Production!
GSS' Cebu partner farmers gathered together and reaffirmed their commitment to seed saving by signing the MOA and dedicating more land to seed production! This ensures that our partner farmers will have sufficient sources of organically produced seeds that are locally adapted for their farm and communities.
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