My name is Katie Stagliano, I am now 17 years old and here is the story of how Katie’s Krops began. I received a cabbage seedling from a third grade program with Bonnie Plants in 2008. I planted my seedling in the garden in the corner of my house. Every day I would come out with the watering can and water it. I would fertilize the cabbage and weed around it. My family and I watched it grow massively in size. One day our neighbors told us that deer had been seen in the neighborhood so my grandfather and I took action. We decided to build a cage for it. My grandfather arrived with supplies and we went to work. At the end of the day it was done. We had four wooden posts, one in every corner with chicken wire spread from one corner to another. It worked. No deer ate my cabbage or got anywhere near it. When my cabbage was fully grown it weighed in at an amazing 40 pounds!
I knew my cabbage was special and it needed to find a special home. My mom contacted Fields to Families a local organization that helps farmers get crops to organizations that feed the hungry to see where I could donate my cabbage. They recommended we give my cabbage to Tri County Family Ministries, a local soup kitchen.
In May of 2008 we brought my cabbage to Tri County Family Ministries. When I walked in I saw a huge line of people waiting for what might be the only meal they would have that day. The people who worked there and who were eating there were so friendly and nice. As I served my cabbage to the guests and they thanked me for helping to feed them I knew I could and I should do more to help.
That day at Tri County Family Ministries my dream was born. My dream is that there are no hungry people. I found help with my dream, first from Amazing-Kids.Org. They held a ‘Launch My Dream’ t-shirt design contest. I entered and out of hundred of entries I won! But I didn’t stop there, I asked my school to help and they donated a huge plot of land for a garden. The whole school kindergarten to 12th grade is helping and the harvest is donated to feed the hungry people. But I didn’t stop there either. I contacted Fields to Families and asked them if they could help. Their board of directors said ‘Yes’ and I now have a Master Gardener, Ms. Lisa, to work with. But I am not stopping there.
I want more people to get involved, more people to help in the fight against hunger. Growing vegetables is fun and it so great to help people. If I can do it anyone can. It doesn’t take a huge garden just a pot on your front porch with one vegetable plant can make a difference. If people (I hope lots of kids too) could grow even one vegetable plant and donate the harvest to a local soup kitchen we could make a huge difference in the fight against hunger.
I have lots of vegetable gardens now and so many wonderful people are helping me make my dream come true. The wonderful people at Bonnie Plants have donated so many seedlings to my gardens. I couldn’t do it without them! With the help of my family and friends I have started Katie’s Krops. My hope is that Katie’s Krops will inspire lots of others to help in the fight against hunger.
In 2015 there are 83 Katie’s Krops gardens growing across the United States. Every garden is youth based. To learn about how kids, ages 9 to 16 in the United States, can get involved with Katie’s Krops visit the grant section of our website.