Growing with Katie’s Krops

Article written by Katie's Krops founder Katie Stagliano
 
When I was 9 years old, I grew a solution to a problem I didn't even know existed. At nine, battling hunger was the furthest thing from my mind. That all changed the day my teacher handed me a tiny cabbage seedling.

 

I was in the third grade when I brought home from school a tiny cabbage seedling from the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage program. I planted the tiny plant in my backyard to see what would grow. What grew was a colossal 40-pound cabbage! I shared my cabbage with a soup kitchen where it fed 275 people. I, just a 9-year-old, had a way to help end hunger. I could grow an end to hunger, one vegetable garden at a time.
 
I am now 19 years old. I have dedicated the past 10 years to Katie's Krops, my not-for-profit that Troy-Bilt generously supports. The mission of Katie's Krops is to empower youth to start and maintain vegetable gardens of all sizes and donate the harvest to help feed people in need, as well as to assist and inspire others to do the same. My dream has grown, from one garden at the age of nine to over 100 gardens at the age of 19. Kids across the country, (I call them my growing family) are growing Katie's Krops Gardens and sharing their harvest with: food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, cancer centers, backpack programs and directly with families in need. Young Katie's Krops growers, kids all across the United States, are learning about agriculture, science, nutrition, compassion and responsibility while providing fresh produce to individuals and families struggling with hunger. Our impact has been tremendous. In 2016 alone, Katie's Krops donated over 26,000 pounds of fresh produce.
 
Our 2018 cycle to apply to become a Katie's Krops Grower, and start a garden dedicated to ending hunger will open on October 1. Starting a Katie's Krops Garden is so much more than just receiving funding to grow a garden. Youth selected as Katie's Krops Growers are empowered to grow a healthy end to hunger in their community and positively impact the health of their cities and towns. Kids 9 to 16, are eligible to apply. Applications for all types of vegetable gardens, such as a container garden if you live in a city, or a vegetable garden located in your neighborhood or at your school, will be considered. For further information please follow this link - http://www.katieskrops.com/start-a-garden.html
 
My journey, now 10-years long, has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I have received more than I have given. The families that benefit from the harvest have become my friends and supporters - they have become my chosen family. Katie's Krops Growers across the country have become my growing family. I am reminded daily of the importance of giving back to my community, and the wonderful gift that giving back can provide to you. Thank you Troy-Bilt for believing that kids can grow an end to hunger. We are blessed!