Unfortunately, we have to cancel our garden workday for today January 15th. We look forward to rescheduling in the near future.
Delivering Meals to Families in Quarantine
Unfortunately, South Carolina ranks #1 in growth in COVID cases over the last two weeks. To help our neighbors in need, we plan to deliver 300+ free garden-to-table meals next week to quarantined families as part of our Katie’s Krops Dinner. Families who are ill and in quarantine in Summerville can request meal deliveries for our January 20th dinner by emailing Katie@KatiesKrops.com. Please share a full address, phone number, and the number of meals needed. We will do our very best to honor all requests.
Join Us for Our January 2022 Katie’s Krops Dinners
We will host two free garden-to-table Katie’s Krops Dinners in January on:
Thursday, January 6th at 4:30 pm
Thursday, January 20th at 4:30 pm
Our dinners are held at Summerville Baptist Church, located at 417 Central Avenue in Summerville, South Carolina. We will continue to serve our dinners drive-thru style for the foreseeable future. We start dinner service at 4:30 pm and end at 6 pm, or when all meals have been distributed, whichever comes first. The dinner is always free.
If you would like to help sponsor a dinner in 2022, we would greatly appreciate your support. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Katie at Katie@KatiesKrops.com.
Our 2021 Katie’s Krops Honorees
Our 2021 Katie’s Krops Growers have done an outstanding job serving their communities in these difficult times. We are thrilled to recognize the Growers who have gone above and beyond this year. Congratulations to all. We are exceeding proud of you.
Katie’s Krops Grower of the Year-Cece Hartford
We are thrilled to announce Cece Hartford of Maryland as our 2021 Grower of the Year! Cece, 15, has been growing with Katie’s Krops for six years and has been a true leader during her tenure. Her efforts started at her home, expanded to a community garden, and then launched a large garden at her school. Gardening has been a family affair for the Hartford family. Her mom, dad, and brothers have grown with her and supported her efforts. Cece continually seeks new ways to expand her efforts, and we are so proud of her! We are honored to award Cece a scholarship for her higher education.
Rookie of the Year- Clayson Thayer
Our Rookie of the Year is Clayson Thayer! Clayson is 8 years old from Nevada. He has done a fantastic job. In his first year as a Katie’s Krops Grower, he grew over 350 lbs of produce! Clayson is already planning next year’s garden and how he can improve. We are so excited to see what next year brings!
Spirit Award- Toni and Austin Carr
Our Spirit Award goes to Toni and Austin Carr! Toni and Austin are 7 and 9 and from Ohio. In their first year as Katie’s Krops Growers, they have shown us how excited they are to make a difference in their community! Their creativity and enthusiasm are infectious, and we are so excited for them to continue to grow with us for years to come.
Leadership Award – Katie Rudins
Our Leadership Award goes to Katie Rudins! Katie is 16 from North Carolina. Katie truly embodies what it means to be a leader. Her garden is located at the Horizons at Carolina Day School and empowers 60 youth between the ages of 5-9 to learn about gardening, healthy eating, caring for the environment, and helping their neighbors in need! We are so proud of Katie!
Extra Mile Award- Alsyon Hanna
Our Extra Mile Award goes to Alyson Hanna. Alyson is 10 from South Carolina. Alyson continues to go the extra mile to make sure those in her community have access to healthy, fresh produce. When Alyson learned that a local farmer was going to plow under his entire field full of corn and watermelon, she knew she needed to step up. Along with her mom and her friend, she gleaned the entire field, gathering hundreds of pounds of produce to share with those struggling in her community. Way to go the extra mile Alyson!
Community Hero Award- Collin Howard
Our Community Hero Award goes to Collin Howard! Collin is 10, and he is from South Carolina. Collin is an incredibly hard worker and was always hungry for new knowledge to ensure that could have the best harvest and help as many people as possible! He went as far as drying his basil to prepare meals for those struggling in his community. Keep up the fantastic work Collin, we are so proud!
Green Thumb Award – Archer Ward
Our Green Thumb Award goes to Archer Ward. Archer is 10 and from Utah, and he certainly has a green thumb! Archer has won numerous awards for his beautiful crops, including a prize-winning turnip and cauliflower. We love seeing all of the amazing things he grows and shares with those in need in his community! Thank you for sharing your talents with your community Archer!
The Katie’s Krops Shopping Guide~ Support the businesses that help us grow
The holidays are right around the corner, and if you’re looking for the perfect gift, you’re Krops has you covered! Here is our guide to holiday shopping, featuring our favorite businesses that help us continue to grow!
Katie’s Krops Guide to Holiday Shopping:
~A gift card to The Celtic Knot Pub for some delicious burchy burgers.
~Have our friends at Opa cafe cater your holiday party and enjoy some fantastic Greek food.
~Check out Main Street Reads for the reader in your life.
~Grab a few bottles of wine from Accent on Wine.
~Visit Three Keys Yoga for a more peaceful 2022.
~Stop by Coastal Coffee Roasters for the coffee lover in your life.
~Need the perfect gift for the gardener in your life? Visit Matthew Ward Landscapes on Butternut Road.
~Shopping on a budget? Second Chance Thrift Shop has it all!
~Pick up the perfect holiday outfit at Sassy Shortcake Boutique.
~Drive away with the ideal car at Kia Country of Charleston.
~Step up your gardening game with Super-Sod Soil3 Cubes.
~ Looking for sweet treats? Try Lito’s Table.’
For our friends across the United States:
~Stuffing their stockings with CLIF Bar.
~ Park Seed makes the perfect gift for the home gardener in your life.
We are so grateful to all of these fantastic small businesses and companies who have supported us and our efforts to fight hunger throughout the year! Please consider supporting them with your holiday shopping
Claire~ South Africa
Claire Brown, a 30-year-old missionary in eManzana (also known as Badplaas), South Africa, is just a little bit older than the age range for Katie’s Krops gardeners. When our Ohio Growers introduced Katie’s Krops to Claire’s efforts after visiting her garden in Africa we were compelled to help. She was in such dire need of funds when her garden was first started that an exception was made. That has made a difference in how she and her employees at https://lydiasmission.org have grown to feed 1,600 children daily at their Hope Centers.
The organization began in 2017. The garden itself was started in 2019 and has grown in size to cover 43,000 square feet. It has gone from producing 3,000 pounds of vegetables in 2019 to 11,502 pounds of fruit and vegetables through the first ten months of 2021. The climate allows the garden to produce year-round with shade cloth used to prevent crops from burning. In addition, generous donors funded an irrigation system using water from the river at the property’s bottom. Although electricity to run the pumps is not always consistent, the irrigation system is much needed. It is not uncommon to have no rain at all for three-quarters of the year once the rainy season of a few months has ended. Claire and a team of 19 local women grow food based on the local diet and crops that grow successfully in the area, including tomatoes, pumpkins, cabbage, onions, beets, butternut squash, peppers, lettuce, spinach, and green beans. Other items that have been less successful and less well-received include avocados, baby marrow (a type of zucchini), carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, watermelon, peas, and kale. Orange, lemon, and grapefruit trees started bearing fruit in 2020.
The workers are also involved in raising 1,500 chickens whose eggs are sold to raise funds for the organization and breed worms. In addition, they create their compost using the chicken and worm droppings along with cow manure to which they have access.
Gardening in eManzana is not without challenges. Monkeys steal food from the garden (definitely an African problem!). The rain is sometimes accompanied by damaging hail. Six of the workers cannot read or write, and Claire has had to learn the most prominent language, Siswati since that is the only language 16 of the 19 garden workers know. She does use an interpreter when the conversation exceeds her basic knowledge. The level of need can be discouraging. Even before Covid hit, the area was a food insecure community. With COVID it is dramatically worse. Claire regularly meets children, families, and senior citizens who have not eaten in days because they do not have the money to buy food. Many times, they are so discouraged that they have given up even caring for themselves. When workers from Lydia’s Mission show up with a box of fresh vegetables from the garden, their hope is restored, and their faces light up like a small child on Christmas morning.
Bristol & Kinsley ~ South Carolina
Working in their backyard garden has provided many fun moments this year for the Morris sisters of Goose Creek, South Carolina. Their mom, Jackie, found out about Katie’s Krops through Facebook. The family volunteered in the group’s flagship garden in Summerville, South Carolina, in 2020, where they enjoyed helping nurture and harvest vegetable crops.
Nine-year-old 4th grader Bristol and eight-year-old 2nd grader Kinsley have many things in common, including attending Devon Forest Elementary School and being on the autism spectrum. So their parents thought that growing a garden at their home would be a good thing to do since it allows them to work on their own and to do those tasks they love the most, such as getting dirty and playing in the mud. Mixing dirt, fertilizer, and peat moss was not a chore for this team; they loved doing it!
Their mom has been their primary gardening instructor. She taught them to plant seeds, one of Bristol’s favorite tasks, water with a hose, weed, and harvest when the crops are ripe. The primary beneficiary of their efforts has been retired elderly neighbors who no longer drive and are dependent on others, including their family members, to take them to the store. They were very grateful to receive cabbage, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, and, soon to come, watermelon once they ripen.
There would have been more to share if not for a couple of problems. It turns out that the squirrels liked the seeds and ate them. Once the garden was replanted and started growing, rain flooded their raised beds not once but twice, and they had to be replanted again. It was at this point that Kinsley cried and who could blame her. The rain also affected the cucumbers, which didn’t produce because of the flooding.
Kinsley didn’t mind the vegetables not growing for her own sake because she doesn’t like eating them and prefers apples; she was just disappointed that there would be less to share since she likes giving them away. On the other hand, Bristol loves vegetables and has been known to eat fresh-picked beans straight from the vines. However, she lists flowers, including sunflowers, as her favorite thing to grow.
Cassie ~ Massachusetts
Cassie Gordon is a 16-year-old Junior in Quincy, Massachusetts, growing at Houghs Neck Congregational Church. Her efforts to grow a healthy end to hunger began at age eleven. The garden initially started when a local teen, Alex Samsel, built raised garden beds for his Eagle Scout project. He was followed by another Eagle Scout candidate who added rain barrels to the garden. Cassie is now working on obtaining the Eagle Scout rank and the Girl Scout Gold Award herself, expanding the garden this year by adding potato bags to improve the variety of food grown and the overall yield. She also has created a whole curriculum and website, Healthy Home Gardening – Home (weebly.com), dedicated to teaching young folks about the benefits of healthy eating and growing their vegetables.
This year, Cassie serves as the garden coordinator, developing a watering schedule for the 8-10 youth participating and ensuring the garden is tended. After Covid prevented group activities from taking place last year, the kids look forward to getting out in the garden as they complete planting and then weed, water, and harvest their crops. In addition to the potatoes, they grow cucumbers, carrots, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, onions, scallions, chives, green beans, and parsley. Their methods include growing the green beans up a triangular teepee shape formed by eight poles and growing onions in a separate planter. They also have help and support from the congregation, including obtaining tomato plants from a member who starts them in their basement under grow lights. This work produces hundreds of pounds of food for the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, where the food is distributed to those who need it.
Planting starts at the end of May, but this year potatoes went in the ground on May 1. The first frost is typically in November, but most plants start dying before then. This is not altogether bad since the gardeners are caught up in their studies, school activities, and other obligations by then. It does mean, though, that Cassie no longer gets to enjoy seeing the things that her group grows; she takes a lot of pride and pleasure in being able to grow food from seed and from something that they see in the garden, such as a nursing mouse that had made her nest under a rubber tile this past April. After oohing and aahing over the sight, the gardeners gently put the pathway tile back in place to give them their privacy and keep them safe. Things like this make up for the not-so-nice things that happen, such as the destruction of growing trellises on Halloween night several years ago.
All told, this church Katie’s Krops garden is a team effort from start to finish. The garden is thriving with supportive church trustees, Eagle Scouts donating their efforts, youth group members doing a lot of physical labor, and, of course, support from Katie’s Krops.
Clayson ~ Nebraska
One thing you can say about the Katie’s Krops garden that Clayson Thayer, 9, of Champion, Nebraska, grew in 2021 is that it’s big – really big – 817 square feet big! The other thing you can say is that he grows a wide variety of vegetables and grows a lot of them, such as 25 pounds of squash.
After his dad learned about Katie’s Krops through the city of Imperial’s Facebook page, Clayson applied for and was selected as a 2021 Katie’s Krops Grower. Using knowledge and guidance from his father and grandfather and with help from the entire family (parents Chance and Chandra, seven-year-old brother Cryder and four-year-old sister Cayven, and even Grandpa on occasion), the garden was planted with acorn, spaghetti, and butternut squash, carrots, green beans, radishes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, and lettuce. The spring lettuce did exceptionally well, as did the tomatoes, although the latter were grown a bit too close together, making harvest a challenge.
Clayson had problems familiar to all gardeners. The cabbage did not do well at all due to bugs. A summer drought became another issue. Even though there was finally a downpour of 5 inches of rain, it was too late for the spinach at the end of the garden that unfortunately wasn’t getting watered.
Even as a fourth-grader in the Chase County school system with school work to do, Clayson has shown a lot of dedication to his garden and maintaining it throughout the growing season. A 43 by 19-foot garden takes a lot of time, even when it’s located in your yard. However, he likes helping people and making them happy, and the abundant produce he’s grown does just that. In addition to giving food to family and friends, especially the elderly, both the Imperial Community Center and the Crossroads Wesleyan Church pantry have benefited. Most donations have gone to the community center, where they use the produce for daily meals. Any produce not used is set out for people to take as needed.
When his parents recently asked Clayson for thoughts on his garden, he responded with several lessons learned. The tomatoes need to be spread out more, so they are easier to pick. The corn needed to be planted at the same time for better pollination. The sunflowers were a big success, and he’s hoping to save some seeds for next year. The pumpkin pie pumpkins, and squash did great. He also experienced that feeling familiar to all gardeners: It’s so hard waiting for the plants to produce vegetables ready to pick!
Pour It Forward at Accent on Wine
During the month of October at Accent on Wine at Whitehall, we will celebrate their 1st-anniversary by “Pouring it Forward” to honor and support Katie’s Krops. Enjoy a designated red or white wine by the glass for the month of October in which a portion of proceeds benefits Katie’s Krops. In addition on Saturday, October 23rd they will host an anniversary party that benefits Katie’s Krops! More details to come on this event but we would love for you to save the date! Accent on Wine Whitehall is located at 5401 Netherby Lane Suite 1003, North Charleston, South Carolina.