Megan ~ Florida

Two continents, two gardens? Yes, that’s what Katie Krops gardener Megan Godwin has accomplished. When she was twelve years old, Megan moved to South Carolina, where her mother, a teacher, taught Katie’s brother and was Katie’s eleventh-grade homeroom teacher. At the time, the Katie’s Krops flagship garden was located at the school. With a heart for service even then, Megan participated in garden workdays in the large garden and helped cook and serve Katie’s Krops dinners using the produce from the garden. Megan became a core volunteer who embraced every volunteer opportunity Katie’s Krops offered and connected deeply with the people at the dinners.

Megan left South Carolina to attend Stetson University in central Florida, where she is currently a sophomore pursuing a double major in Health Science and Public Health. This did not dim her desire to serve and help people by providing fresh, organic produce and seeing the positive impact on their lives. Aloma Church, which she attends, gave her a plot of land for growing, and she received an annual grant from Katie’s Krops for creating her garden. As a result, she has provided an abundant harvest to the church’s Single Women’s Ministry and the Orlando Union Rescue Mission, a faith-based homeless shelter that runs homes for women and children and men, and volunteers her time to work with the children. Her efforts won her the honor of Rookie of Year with Katie’s Krops in 2018.

Gardening in Florida presents challenges, including only two seasons, at least with regards to weather. In winter, collards and swiss chard grow in abundance and are used by the shelter in soups and stews. Summer is longer – much longer – and her best crops so far are okra, eggplant, peppers, and squash. The high summer heat is problematic for many other vegetables, but Megan perseveres and keeps trying. One of those improvement efforts is rebuilding the raised garden beds. The beds will now be twelve inches high, rather than six inches, and use cinder blocks so they will not rot. Her 2021 grant from Katie’s Krops will fund this effort. As with all the garden work, the rebuild is being done by Megan, a group of college friends, and even the parents of the friends.

Now, about that second garden… Compassion International visited Aloma Church and shared their Compassion Success stories at camp. Megan prayed for guidance in helping people in an African country, and through the Mishono Foundation, she was afforded an opportunity to travel to Kenya to create a garden. Just five days after turning 19, she obtained a grant from Katie’s Krops and flew to Kenya by herself. She supplemented the Foundation’s efforts to feed, clothe, and educate children, thereby teaching the children how to garden. These homeless children work in the garden to share the harvest, but they’re happy and excited to do it since they are rewarded with fresh food that they produce themselves under the guidance of supervising team. The supervisors even say the kids are independent in doing the work. Megan is looking forward to returning to Kenya once Covid-19 does not affect travel.

In the meantime, Megan’s work truly reflects Katie’s Krops mission to fight for a more generous world. To think, it all started because her mother taught Katie in school…