My Favorite Things That Made 2022 Blossom!

Big Yellow Bags of Soil³ Hummus Compost
At the root of every great garden is the soil. Soil³ Hummus Compost has been a complete game changer
for our gardens! Our production has increased by an astonishing 50%! As a nonprofit dedicated to
providing fresh produce to our neighbors facing hunger and food insecurity, Soil³ compost has
transformed how we grow. We amend our garden beds with the compost every growing season and
have almost eliminated the need for fertilizer. The Big Yellow Bags are OMRI Listed  for certified organic
gardening and are delivered right to your garden.
Be sure to use the code KatiesKrops2023 when ordering this spring, and you will receive a discount while
we receive a donation for every bag purchased using the code. A true win/win! Also, save those Big
Yellow Bags and return them to the store. If you reside in Summerville, drop them off in our flagship
garden, and an educational garden program will receive a donation for every bag returned.
https://shop.soil3.com/products/big-yellow-bag


Proven Winners, Amazel Basil!
Make room in your garden for Amazel Basil from Proven Winners. And when we say make room, make a
lot of space! This beautiful lush plant grows to the size of a medium shrub in our garden, producing a
vast harvest to prepare our Katie’s Krops Dinners, share, and dry! Amazel Basil is not bitter, just
rich, delicious basil flavor. A huge bonus is that the plant is disease resistant. Amazel produces long after
all other basil plants have gone to seed in our garden but don’t toss them out when it goes to seed. Proven Winners Basil attracted more pollinators to our garden than any other plant this season!
https://www.provenwinners.com/search/content/basil


Plant Support Garden Clips

Year after year, these inexpensive plant support clips support our plants. For just $9.89 for 300 clips,
they are a bargain and reusable! We use them for training our plants to grow our fence and support our
tomato and pepper plants. You will also find these clips on our Amazon wish list (hint hint)!
https://smile.amazon.com/Support-Garden-Durable-Upright-Healthier/dp/B0899M1XQP/ref=sr_1_29?crid=1AP5IF7B1L63X&keywords=plant+clips&qid=1671560774&sprefix=plant+clips+%2Caps%2C156&sr=8-29


Bonnie Plants Cabbage
It all started with a Bonnie Plants cabbage, and fifteen years later, Bonnie plants cabbages are still one
of my favorite vegetables to grow. When fall begins, the growing doesn’t have to stop, and Bonnie
Plants cabbages are the perfect plant for a fall/winter garden in the south, and there is a wide variety to
choose from. The savoy is one of my favorites, with beautiful crinkles.
Don’t forget about the Bonnie Plants Third-Grade Cabbage Program. Open to third-grade students
across the country, this program introduces children to the wonders of gardening and growing their own
vegetables. It can be life-changing, and I speak from first-hand experience as one giant cabbage forever
changed my life!

https://bonniecabbageprogram.com/

Park Seed Zinnias
We don’t only share the harvest from our garden; we also share the gorgeous flowers we grow! Giving
people fresh flowers from the garden brings me joy, so I always make sure to plant plenty of high-
yielding flowers at the beginning of the season.
Zinnias are my favorite cutting flowers! We fill numerous garden beds with Park Seed Zinnia seeds at the
beginning of each season. I like to use the sprinkle method and mix several varieties of zinnia seeds to
get a fun combination. Whether you have a green thumb or brown thumb, zinnias are the easiest
flowers to grow, and the results are stunning. The more you cut, the more flowers you get, and the
pollinators love Zinnias! These flowers thrive in the summer heat and are a fantastic way to attract bees
and butterflies to your garden. All around, these guys are a win-win! Park Seed Zinnias

Compostable To-Go Boxes
In 2023 we committed to eliminating styrofoam from our Katie’s Krops Dinners and using compostable
to-go boxes. It was a change we could make now that supply chain issues made compostable to-go
containers easier to obtain than during the pandemic’s peak. Of course, the change would cost us more,
but the environmental cost was much higher. These are our favorite compostable to-go boxes! We use
600+ boxes for our bi-weekly distribution, and they hold up wonderfully. Next time you require to-go
boxes, skip to the styrofoam, and go for a compostable option!
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0BF94KPZK/?coliid=I1NY1TW3SZ0BAL&colid=37GWNU08W5D5C&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

The Whatifs
Storytime in the garden has quickly become my favorite way to spend an hour. Main Street Reads in
Summerville graciously allows me to browse its excellent selection of children’s books and borrow
stories to share with my young friends. I see children’s books in a new light, and I love how so many
books share empowering messages in a light-hearted way. Recently, I read a book with such an
important message that I bought myself a copy to ensure that I would never forget it!
The Whatifs, has a wonderful message of not only what it is like living with anxiety but also perspective
into how changing your thought process can turn your whole day around. As someone with horrible
anxiety, it was a pleasant reminder that the whatifs don’t always have to be negative. I love watching
the kid’s reactions to the stories, and this one resonated with us all.
If you are looking for a great book to talk about feelings or maybe just a reminder for your adult self (it
makes a charming coffee table book!), I would highly recommend The Whatifs!

https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Whatifs/Emily-Kilgore/9781499810295

Bob’s Homemade Bread
There is truly nothing better than a soft yummy loaf of homemade bread. I am proud to share that fresh
bread has become a staple to our Katie’s Krops Dinners. Every dinner, as I pass meals to our guests, I get
requests for our “good bread.” That good bread our guests refer to is handmade bread by our dear
friend Bob. Bob bakes so much love and care into each loaf and leaves our dinner guests smiling from
ear to ear. To keep up with the demand, Bob bakes almost every day, making his delicious bread to
share with our dinner guests. While you may never get to try some of Bob’s bread yourself, you can help
him continue bringing smiles to everyone’s faces by supporting his bread-making endeavors via our
amazon wishlist. Our Amazon Wish List

Corona Tools Bypass Pruners
As our zinnias flourished, a good reliable pair of pruners to create beautiful arrangements was a must.
My favorite pruners are from Corona Tools, which have assisted in making hundreds of beautiful floral
arrangements and harvesting thousands of pounds of produce to share! These are the last pruners you
will need to purchase as they are built to last. The locking clip makes for safe storage.
As someone who has recently learned how to make flower arrangements, I will share a few of my
favorite tips. The more greenery, the better! The Corona tools clippers will especially come in handy for
this. Whether it’s foliage on shrubs with thick stems, some aromatic Amazel Basil, or some ferns,
greenery adds to the look of flower arrangements. Mix it up! Add veggies to your bouquet. Kale, Swiss
Chard, herbs, carrot tops, anything goes! I also recommend removing the leaves from the stems, as it
helps the arrangements last longer.
https://www.amazon.com/Corona-BP-3180D-Classic-Capacity/dp/B00004R9YQ?th=1

Ms. Rene’s Cards
Several times a year, a box arrives on my doorstep filled with the most beautifully handcrafted cards.
Hundreds and hundreds of cards made with love and filled with beautiful messages for us to share with
our dinner guests, recipients of fresh produce and flower arrangements, and our donors. To have
someone reach out from across the country to share their talents with us is one of the greatest gifts we
could receive. Every time I sit down to write a note, I think of Ms. Rene and the time and love she has
poured into making each and every card possible.

I am excited for 2023 and to explore and find more favorite things! Happy New Year!

Seven Ways to Support Katie’s Krops That Won’t Cost a Penny!

Share your kitchen scraps and coffee grounds with our compost bins. Our flagship garden has eight large compost bins ready to accept your kitchen scraps and coffee grounds. We will recycle your organic matter into a valuable fertilizer that will enrich our soil and plants. To learn more about how you can share your compostable material with us and where and how to drop it off, please email Stacy@KatiesKrops.com

Share our social media post or tag us in a social media post. Simply liking/following our pages and engaging with some of our content go a long way toward increasing our audience reach. By doing so, you can connect your neighbors who may need assistance with our resources and connect us with individuals who can assist us with our needs, allowing us to continue to grow.

Amazon Smiles. Did you know that AmazonSmile, a separate portal from Amazon’s main site, offers the same items, prices, and benefits as Amazon.com with one distinct difference? When users shop on AmazonSmile, the retailer’s Foundation contributes 0.5% of the cost of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice. On your first visit to smile.amazon.com or AmazonSmile on your Amazon Shopping app, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We would be honored if you would choose Katie’s Krops. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.

Write a thank you note to a sponsor or supporter. Have you attended a dinner, received fresh produce from our garden, participated in one of our educational programs, volunteered, or believe in our efforts? Please help us thank the people who make it all possible by donating to our efforts with monetary or in-kind donations. The impact of one simple handwritten thank you note can make a tremendous difference. Email Katie@KatiesKrops.com if you would like to write a thank you note.

Share a grant or funding opportunity. Does your employer or a local business offer a grant Katie’s Krops may be eligible for? Does your favorite company, shop, or restaurant host a program to nominate a nonprofit for support? We would be thrilled and honored if you nominate Katie’s Krops or share the opportunity with us. Our efforts are only possible through grants and donations.

Donate household items and clothing you no longer use with Second Chance Thrift Shop. Second Chance Thrift Shop was opened in 1988 to support local nonprofits that assist those in need in our community. Katie’s Krops is honored to be a recipient of their efforts. The store is located at 975 Bacon’s Bridge Road, Suite 216, with their donation drop-off location just a few doors down at Suite 222.

The Shop Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

The Donation Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM and

Saturday, 10:00 AM- 2:00 PM.

And when you stop by to donate, don’t forget to shop by their fantastic store and buy those adorable boots, pick up a puzzle and grab a sweater for the winter. All proceeds help local nonprofits!

Volunteer! Share your time with us. Join our volunteer list and learn the numerous ways you can help. It is important to note that our volunteer opportunities increase dramatically in the spring and summer. If you do not see options that fit your schedule now, please know that we will have many more ways to help come the warmer months. Sign up here to join our volunteer list- https://katieskrops.com/volunteer/

Do you have a talent you would like to share? Photography, carpentry, videography, writing, graphic design, artist, baking, and any skill you would like to share with us to help us grow, please email Katie@KatiesKrops.com.

Celebrating Ten Years of Katie’s Krops Garden-To-Table Dinners

I was in the sixth grade when it all began. My mom and I pulled up to The Palmetto House, our town’s only homeless shelter and full-time soup kitchen. We had made countless visits to the shelter to deliver produce from our gardens to support their efforts. This time a small group greeted us with somber faces gathered around a locked front door with a handwritten sign on the front door informing visitors that The Palmetto House was closed permanently. My heart sank.

It was at that moment that I knew I had to find a solution, a way to provide healthy free meals to individuals struggling with food insecurity in my hometown. We started the Katie’s Krops Garden-to-Table Dinner, a youth-based initiative to have children grow fruits and vegetables and use the harvest to create healthy meals to share with the community.

The Katie’s Krops Dinners quickly became one of my favorite parts of the work I was doing. The guests became my second family. We shared joy and heartache. Births and, sadly, deaths as well. We rejoiced in graduations and new jobs. It has been an incredible ten years, and I am so incredibly proud of what we have created.

On Thursday, October 29th, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Katie’s Krops Dinner. This will be a celebration, unlike any before. With COVID still ever-present in our lives, we will host a ‘Drive-Thru Celebration.’ We are working to make this event extra unique and would love your support.

We are seeking the following sponsors:

~ A Beverage Sponsor- $450 or beverages for 650 guests

~A Soup Sponsor- $300 for us to make and share 150 to 200 containers of delicious garden fresh soup.

~A Dessert Sponsor- $300

~A Gift Bag Sponsor- $400 to support a giveaway for each family

If you would like to support our efforts please contact Katie@KatiesKrops.com. Here is to another ten amazing years!

The phone call that helped us feed over 1,000 people

I want to share the very best story that shows the power of how one person, one phone call, can make a huge difference. Ms. Barb has been an avid couponer and Katie’s Krops supporter for as long as I can remember. During the pandemic, she and her husband have helped us tremendously.

A few weeks ago, she called Barilla and asked if they would be willing to share a few coupons for her to purchase some of the items we need to continue serving our weekly to-go dinners. After having a conversation about our efforts to feed our community in the wake of COVID-19, they agreed to help. Barilla sent coupons for 200 boxes of pasta and 200 jars of their amazing Vero Gusto sauce made in Parma, Italy. The coupons were not for 50 cents off or even a dollar. The coupons were for the FULL PRICE of the products make the 400 items FREE!

Last night we hosted our first Barilla dinner and fed 400 people. Words cannot express how grateful I am to Barb Janney and Barilla. Every week I think, how much longer will we be able to host a weekly dinner, and every week we are blessed by a wonderful supporter. So is there anyone else out there wants to call one of their favorite companies 😉

A grand adventure to say ‘Thank You’ to those who have stepped up to serve in difficult times

I have been on a grand adventure to spread cheer and gratitude in the past few weeks thanks to the Beekman 1802 Boys.

When the world shut down my plans to visit the Beekman Farm this month to grow and expand the Katie’s Krops mission to their community came to a halt. Although the trip was put on hold, they generously shared their amazing products with me, so I decided, with their help, I was going to thank those in my community who stepped up to serve while the world shut down. It has been a fantastic couple of weeks sharing Beekman 1802 lotion, spring body wash, and goat milk makeup wipes. From our Katie’s Krops volunteers to essential workers at the post office and grocery store, teachers, to those keeping our homeless shelters and food pantries running, to people who shared their stimulus checks with us to fund a Katie’s Krops to-go Dinners, I thanked them and let them know how much they are appreciated. The best part, I am not done yet! I have had the best time spreading cheer in these challenging times! We could all use a few extra smiles these days.

Thank you to my new friends at Beekman 1802! If you have not tried their amazing products yet, you have no idea what you are missing! Be sure to visit their website and learn about their story and what they have done to cultivate a beautiful life and product line. https://beekman1802.com/

Crops For Change: Volunteers Grow Gardens Nationwide To Feed Hungry Families Amidst Coronavirus

DAILY POINT OF LIGHT # 6780 | MAY 20, 2020 |

The average grocery store cabbage weighs a couple of pounds. So when Katie Stagliano grew a 40-pound cabbage in her home garden as a 3rd grader, she knew she had to share the bountiful crop. 275 people fed later at a local soup kitchen, the now 21-year-old Summerville, South Carolina resident says she realized the power of her harvest.

“I brought home this cabbage seedling as part of a school project, and planted it in our backyard, watering and weeding around it every day. Once it grew into a 40-pound cabbage, we knew it was far too big for just my family. It really opened my eyes to hunger. If one cabbage can feed 275 people, imagine how many people an entire garden could feed. That was the inspiration for my volunteerism. I wanted to help feed people in need.”

Launching Katie’s Krops in 2008 with the idea that “it only takes a seedling”, Katie, who serves as founder and chief executive gardener, has inspired hundreds of other gardeners, growing to include vegetable gardens of all sizes in 30 states across the country. Katie’s Krops “Growers”, aged 9-16 from California to Washington to Texas, run gardens in their backyards, school yards, and anywhere they can get permission to grow produce, their healthy harvests donated to help food insecure individuals and families. In total, Katie says 250,000-pounds of produce have been donated since 2008, not just feeding hungry mouths, but also changing the future for thousands of people in the U.S., says Katie’s Krops Grower Ian McKenna, a 15-year-old volunteer from Austin, Texas.

“Katie’s Krops has helped many, many, many people. I’ve grown thousands of pounds of produce to donate to people who are struggling with food insecurity. The food I am bringing them helps in more ways than just feeding them. If a kid receives our food, it helps them with school because I know if I’m at school and I haven’t eaten for awhile, I have trouble focusing. That, by extension, is helping their future.”

Katie Stagliano Daily Point of Light Award Honoree
AS A THIRD-GRADER, KATIE STAGLIANO GREW A 40-POUND CABBAGE IN HER HOME GARDEN, HER DREAM OF GROWING A HEALTHY END TO HUNGER, ONE VEGETABLE GARDEN AT A TIME, STARTING WITH JUST ONE SEEDLING. /COURTESY KATIE STAGLIANO
Feeding some of the more than one in ten U.S. households that experienced food insecurity in 2018 with fresh vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, eggplant, okra and more, Katie says that her dream of growing a healthy end to hunger, one vegetable garden at a time, is slowly becoming a reality.

“When I first began this service, I wasn’t really aware of the issue of hunger, food insecurity and how it affects families. People who have lost their jobs are dealing with medical bills and are worried about putting food on the table. (Katie’s Krops) has opened up my eyes to not only the problems the world is facing but also the amazing people who are passionate about making a difference and the changes we are able to make.”

Those changes are far reaching and yet personal for Katie, who is able to interact with recipients of her fresh vegetables.

Katie Stagliano Daily Point of Light Award Honoree
KATIE’S KROPS IS CONTINUING TO SERVE HUNGRY FAMILIES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, DISTRIBUTING 2,000 HEALTHY MEALS THUS FAR THROUGH WEEKLY DRIVE-UPS./COURTESY KATIE STAGLIANO

“I met a little girl at an event we hosted at a vacation bible school. The little girl raised her hand and said she didn’t have any questions for me, she just wanted to tell me that I was awesome. She walked up to me with a sticker that said “love” on it, and she gave me a hug and put the sticker on my heart. After all the kids left the room one of the counselors explained to me that the vegetables I’d brought for the event to help feed a homeless family were given to that little girl’s family. The family had been struggling to put food on the table. It’s heartbreaking to see that families just like mine have fallen on hard times and I know the solution starts with just one seedling to start helping these people.”

And now, as she continues her work to end hunger, Katie is adjusting her organization’s offerings to make sure hungry families can still receive food amidst the coronavirus pandemic, swapping what used to be a monthly garden to table dinner for weekly drive-up dinners for her community.

“Since in-person dinners are no longer possible, we are now doing weekly drive-up dinners every Thursday. For the past two months, we’ve been creating the meals and boxing them up for distribution to families in South Carolina. There are so many individuals out of work and out of school and struggling, so we want to be there for them. We’ve been trying to do fun and different meals while also keeping everyone’s meals healthy to keep everyone’s immune systems up. We’ve served two-thousand meals thus far and we will continue doing this for as long as it’s necessary.”

Do you want to make a difference in your community like Katie Stagliano? Find local volunteer opportunities.

Contest Time! Expand Your Garden Library

Congratulations to our winners Hilary & Brandon! We hope to offer more contests in the future.

Contest Time!

Expand Your Garden Library

Looking for fun and inspirational reading in these challenging times? Enter to win a signed copy of Katie’s award-winning children’s book ‘Katie’s Cabbage’ and a copy of Joanna Gaines ‘We Are The Gardeners’. Two people will win copies of both books to expand their garden library. To enter simply complete the entry form below. All entries must be received by midnight on May 2nd. Good luck & stay safe!



    Finding My Peace through Service

    ‘For three hours tonight, I was happy. I was not anxious. I was not worried. I almost completely forgot that we are living in a world where we face a pandemic. I completely lost myself in service. I was with my chosen family, the people I love and care about. I completely forgot about our new reality. Yes, we worked with a skeleton crew to serve 250 meals, and we passed meals through car windows, but the love was still there, perhaps more than it has ever been.’

    Like everyone around the world, my life has been turned upside down. I have worked very hard to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in three years. My senior year was going to be amazing. I had the most adorable apartment, a job as a nanny for a family I loved; I was enrolled in the most amazing classes on the campus of the most beautiful college in the United States. Well, my year didn’t start off as planned. A lengthy illness made my first semester difficult. As the new year kicked off, I was excited for a fun last semester, but a car accident in January side-tracked me for several weeks. Things were back on track as I had just ordered my graduation dress, had lined up many trips to grow Katie’s Krops, and my classes were going great.

    As I write this, I am home with my family in quarantine. I only leave the house to feed my community by preparing and distributing weekly meals, working in the gardens, and making deliveries to families in need. Is this the senior year I imagined? No, I don’t think any of us fathomed how the world would change in the past few weeks, month. What I do know is that I have found a deep sense of peace as I have thrown myself into service. A smile on the face of a long-time Katie’s Krops dinner guest pulling up to receive a to-go meal on Thursdays brings joy I could have never imagined. Planting seedlings in a garden brings me peace. Sending seeds off to kids across the country fills me with hope. When everything is out of control I have grounded myself, by serving my community and my country.

    I know things will get worse before they get better. I also know that small acts of kindness are magnified in this new world. We can get through this if we come together to serve and be kind to one another. We are all in this together. Stay safe, everyone.

    A Dream Come True

    Five years ago I made a decision that forever changed the course of Katie’s Krops. That decision was to offer grants to other kids across the country to start Katie’s Krops gardens. I was only 12-years-old and filled with doubts. Would anyone apply for a grant? Did other kids truly share my passion for growing an end to hunger?

    Putting my doubts aside, we moved forward with launching the first Katie’s Krops grant cycle. The results were truly surprising. Over 200 applications were submitted for the very first Katie’s Krops grant cycle. Selecting the recipients proved to be the biggest challenge. I poured over the 200 plus applications, reading and reviewing each and everyone. One stood out among the rest, a class of third grade students in Watkinsville, Georgia. I selected Mrs. McGrath’s third grade class as one of our very first growers and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

    Fast forward five years.  I finally had the honor of visiting one of our longest standing gardens in Watkinsville, Georgia. You see, with over 80 plus gardens growing across the country it is impossible to visit even a small fraction of the gardens that bear the Katie’s Krops name.

    The moment I walked into the classroom the energy was electric. The students greeted me with open arms, eager to share the gardens. Yes gardens, plural. With every year, with every third grade class that passes through Mrs. McGrath’s classroom their garden grows and expands!

    The door leading out of the classroom into their garden is paved with ‘Gardening with a Purpose’, a sign of what these students do each and every day. You are welcomed into a garden filled with raised beds filled with vegetables. A beautiful garden mural adorns one wall. Fig trees and even a greenhouse constructed from recycled windows complete the garden. This is the garden that was constructed the very first year that the students started growing with Katie’s Krops.

    Next the students guided me to a chicken coop filled with fresh eggs and chickens racing around. This is year two with Katie’s Krops. A walk to a beautifully fenced in-garden wrapped with fragrant flowers brought us to year three. Inside the fence, hand painted stepping stones led us down a path  to a lush garden filled with berry bushes, raised beds, flowers and vegetables. The pride these students had for their work was amazing. Lastly, we explored year four, the fruit orchard.

    Words on a page do not do the gardens justice. How can I express just how proud I am of these students? How can I express how grateful I am to Mrs. McGrath? She is the driving force behind these students. She is the amazing woman who spends her in-school, out-of-school and summer hours growing my dream. How can I express how proud I am to have my name associated with this garden? There simply are not words to do so.


    To that 12-year-old girl who was filled with doubts about who would apply for a grant, who would share the dream to grow and end hunger, in five years you will walk into the most amazing garden and realize dreams do come true! To Mrs. McGrath’s students in Watkinsville, Georgia, I can’t wait to see what happens in year five!