As some of you know, I recently became a board member for this amazing organization, Global Seed Savers (GSS)!! Working at the grassroots level, GSS is dedicated to serving farmers in the Philippines through education and training around crop diversity and the historical practice of seed saving. Since 2015, GSS has conducted over 2,000 hours of technical training programs in 6 regions of the Philippines reaching over 1,500 farmers and community members.
Although I didn’t grow up in a farming family, when I reflect on my life, I close my eyes and I am brought back to a radiant garden. The sunlight dances across my face as I peer into my grandfather’s eyes, his calloused hands, beads of sweat replenished by the knowledge of a labor of love. Every year, I would help my grandfather tend to the vegetable gardens and the other flower gardens; we weeded and seeded together. That was such a pivotal part of my life. It’s where I get my green thumb and love of the land, I’m pretty sure of it! The international part, I am not sure of exactly. All I know is I have always dreamed of going to, far off, remote parts of the world to learn from other people and places! Collectively, this has carried forth in my personal and professional endeavors, particularly in my love for working internationally with smallholder farmers. That’s why I am so excited to be part of GSS as a board member; to contribute to the work they are doing that is so critical for giving farmers the tools and support needed to be independent and self-sufficient. In the Philippines it is the main source of livelihood, with 70% of the land devoted to agriculture, providing farmers with the ability to improve their children’s nutrition and education. One GSS farmer, Elizabeth shared, “Because of what I earn from being an inspector, I will be able to send my youngest son to school this next term. I’m so thankful for that.” (Read her story: https://globalseedsavers.giv.sh/6bfd).
However, with the ever changing climate, local agricultural production is being affected by intense flooding and droughts. The ability to have a successful growing season is becoming tougher and tougher. The need for adapting to this changing reality is critical and at the forefront of the Global Seed Saver’s work in the Philippines!
Join me and the GSS Team as we continue our growth and supporting farmers like Elizabeth!!