Our 2021 Grower of the Year – Cece ~Maryland

Many things have changed since we first profiled Katie’s Krops grower, CeCe Harford of Urbana, Maryland, in April 2020 (CeCe – Maryland – Welcome to Katie’s Krops ! (katieskrops.com). Her family has moved to a new home on 2 acres of land, so she was able to give up her five community garden plots and the grow bags she used at her old home to concentrate on creating a half-acre garden in her new backyard. She also has turned fifteen and earned a $500 college scholarship by being named the Katie’s Krops 2021 Grower of the Year!

Some things haven’t changed, though. CeCe is still is passionate about helping people in her community by donating produce to the local senior center and rescue mission. During the height of the pandemic, she shared her harvest directly to people in the community who were in need and/or having difficulty finding fresh vegetables in the grocery stores due to supply chain issues. She does this because she likes helping others, meeting people, and inspiring others, such as a young family friend who is now getting into gardening as well. Hopefully, that’s a future Katie’s Krops gardener!

With the space she has at home, and with the assistance of her parents and brothers, Jaxson, 12, and Kingston, 9, CeCe grows a bountiful harvest including but not limited to tomatoes, broccoli, beans, lettuce, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, radishes, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkins, beans, squash, zucchini, and various berries. Her parents have planted fruit and citrus trees to help with her vision. She faces the same issues that other gardeners do, including those various leaf eater bugs.

Before Covid, CeCe helped teachers and the Garden Club students with the garden at her old elementary school, Centerville Elementary. Over the past few years, she was able to help with funding to revitalize the garden at the school. As a 6th grader in 2018 and using a $5,000 grant from Lowe’s, she sponsored a youth service day at the elementary school for Martin Luther King Day to encourage the students to help in the garden and thus help others.

Covid restrictions have also affected CeCe’s ability to reach out to the community to encourage other youth gardeners. Now Zoom’s speaking engagements are being done, including an upcoming presentation to 6 to 9-year-old children for which Katie’s Krops supplied t-shirts. In addition, CeCe will provide gift bags with gardening items and fun activities.

A sophomore at Urbana High School, she has many interests besides gardening, including dance (both ballet and contemporary), painting, video games, working on the stage crew and with props for high school theatrical presentations, and simply hanging out with her friends. Katie’s Krops is privileged to have such a well-rounded dedicated gardener on our team, and we wish CeCe an excellent growing season this year and always.