Mother Farmers: Five moms who farm for the future of the family

Julie Ann Lacsina with her three-year-old daughter in their garden, Hardin Ng Tala. (Julie Ann Lacsina)

What farming and motherhood have in common is that it takes dedication, patience, and instinct to raise seedlings or children to their full potential. Being a farmer isn’t easy, and motherhood isn’t a breeze either, but how about those who do both?

Mother’s Day is coming close! Aside from being a reminder to prepare a gift or to give your mom a hug, this article celebrates five previously featured farmers who did an exemplary job of juggling being a mother and a farmer.

Jane Basug a.k.a IlocaKnow Mommie

Based in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, Jane Basug, or social media’s IlocaKnow Mommie, is a mom with an abundant edible garden in her backyard. Basug was raised by her farmer parents in Nueva Vizcaya, which is why she developed a love and affinity for farming herself. 

Jane Basug, aka “IlocaKnow Mommie,” tends to different crops and ornamental plants, which allows her to connect with nature, her family, and community. (Jane Basug)

Now that Basug has her own family, she is determined to give them the same farm-to-table experience she had in her childhood.

She introduced farming to her young son, Jeter Basug, and her husband, who both engaged in it enthusiastically despite it being a completely new experience. They work together to keep their edible garden healthy and flourishing.

When the pandemic hit, the garden had been a great help to their family. Selling ornamental plants supplemented the hit to their family’s income, while fresh produce kept them healthy and safe.

Basug also made sure to share fresh vegetables with her friends and neighbors, and her kindness brought kindness in return. In exchange for her produce, she was given fresh eggs, pandesal, and other gifts.

“As a mother myself, I want to teach my son to eat vegetables. I want him to be aware of our lives in the province when we were kids and I thought that the best way to do so is to let him experience a part of it,” said Basug. 

READ: At home, life grows: Ilocano homemaker grows half of her family’s food supply

Julie Ann Lacsina of Hardin ng Tala

From an interest to a hobby to a productive business, this single mother tributes her gardening efforts to her young, toddler daughter. 

Julie Ann Lacsina with her three-year-old daughter in their garden, Hardin Ng Tala. (Julie Ann Lacsina)

Julie Ann Lacsina is a single mother to her four-year-old daughter, Azaliah Tala. She loves roses, which is why she started a business selling roses in Angeles, Pampanga and named it “Hardin ng Tala” after her daughter.

Even before her life as an entrepreneur, Lacsina loved gardening. She had the opportunity to start a garden during the community quarantine enforced by the Philippine government in 2020. In the beginning, she only had two pots of roses, but as she lived in Central Luzon, growing roses in a hot climate posed challenges.

She made the effort to connect with knowledgeable rose growers and improved her skill as a gardener. When she posted a picture of her roses on social media, people showed interest, and this inspired her to start a business from her hobby. 

Lacsina connected with the owner of Rose Farm in Benguet, and she is trusted as a distributor of their Esperanza Ecuadorian roses. The roses are shipped to her in Angeles, Pampanga and Lacsina then ships them to buyers nationwide.

With her business, Lacsina is confident that she can save enough to secure her daughter’s future. More importantly, she hopes to encourage other single mothers that they can do whatever it is that they set their mind to, especially if it’s for their children. 

READ: Single mother proves that she can grow roses and earn from her hobby

Joanne De Guzman of Mama Jo’s Organic Gardening

Joanne De Guzman used to be a music and arts teacher, but she left her job to be a full-time mom.

Gardening and selling heirloom varieties of crops allowed Joanne De Guzman to provide an additional source of income for her family. (Joanne De Guzman)

After transitioning to a new role in life, De Guzman began to take an interest in gardening. She consumed plenty of videos and books on edible gardening which soon led her to create her own edible garden in her home in Nueva Ecija.

De Guzman planted plenty of varieties of crops, but what makes her garden stand out are the heirloom varieties she tends to. She grows heirloom varieties of crops like okra, eggplants, tomatoes, corn, and leafy green vegetables. She cultivates Open Pollinated Varieties (OPV), or those that are pollinated by natural elements like wind and animals.

Her garden has also grown to become an additional source of income for the family. She sells heirloom seeds and produce, which allows her to earn an extra P3,000-P5,000 a month. Her family also works together to explore new ventures, such as making mushroom spawn and fruiting bags.

The shift from a teacher to a homemaker was tough, but De Guzman found fulfillment, peace, and sustenance in gardening while also being able to provide for her family’s needs.

READ: Nueva Ecija homemaker grows heirloom crops in her garden 

Analiza Alonso of Ana Strawberry Botanica

Strawberries aren’t the only sweet thing in this story, but so is Analiza Alonso’s love for her family and gardening.

Analiza Alfonso’s determination to grow strawberries in non-highland areas has led her to start a business that can provide for her family’s needs. (Analiza Alfonso)

Alonso was a private tutor, but when the pandemic hit the country, she decided to become a full time mom, but also searched for a hobby to dive into. 

The shortage of food and limited opportunities to secure it had motivated Alonso to focus on one of her strengths: cultivating plants. At the rooftop of her home in Cainta, Alonso grew different types of berries, one of them being strawberries.

Strawberries are known to be grown in the highlands, but Alonso proved that with proper care, strawberries can thrive anywhere.

The rooftop berry garden was this mother’s effort to provide food for her household, but over time it has grown to become a source of additional income for her family during the pandemic. So, not only has she fed her family, but she has also provided support for their financial needs.

Alonso is one of the people who had their life changed because of the pandemic, but fortunately her life took a positive turn as she is given the opportunity to simultaneously focus on her family and her hobby.

READ: Growing strawberries in Cainta allows a homemaker to supplement their family income

Amelia Rosales

There’s no bigger achievement than getting your children through school, and, through farming, Amelia Rosales’ seven children graduated with flying colors.

Amelie Rosales put her seven children through school through farming. (Amelie Rosales)

At 54, Amelie Rosales had dedicated decades of her life to farming. She and her husband cultivate different crops,such as cabbage, sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, and bok choy, on three hectares of land in Mamala, Sariaya, Quezon passed down by her parents. 

Farming is the Rosales family’s sole source of income, and it has supported their family of nine through the years. Throughout those years, Rosales has also invested her time in improving her skills and knowledge for farming, and she is now the current president of the association, Samahan ng Magtatanim ng Gulay ng Mamala Uno.

Rosales views farming as a business, and emphasizes the need to view it as such to ensure a sense of direction and proper financial management. Each move must be analyzed beforehand, and decisions must be strategic for a good harvest. 

Rosales is proud of the roles she has in life. As a businesswoman, farmer leader, mother, and wife, Rosales balances her various roles through proper time management. She believes that to succeed, one must have the desire and determination to achieve their dreams, including saving money and ensuring funds for their children’s education.

READ: The importance of treating farming as a business: Insights from a successful vegetable farmer

Farmers are heroes of our food supply and mothers are heroes of our families. We know that there are plenty more mother-farmers out there who do their best to provide food and a future for their family, and for that we give you a loving pat on the back.

Happy Mother’s Day to all hard working mothers!

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