GROWING FOR THE GREATER GOOD
I was thrilled to learn about a national nonprofit called Katie's Krops. Based in South Carolina, Katie's Krops provide funding, education, and support to young people across the country to start their own gardens to feed those in need. It's an ideal project for families because it builds leadership skills in kids, connects young people to their community and their planet, and involves families in a fun, meaningful activity that improves lives. Why are we talking about gardens now? Because the application process happens in the fall. The organization was launched several years ago by a 9-year-old, so it also provides the opportunity to talk about how one small person can grow a very big cabbage (photographed on the website) — and make a very big difference.
- Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
DIG IN FOR THE HUNGRY
Make a Difference.....
Now through the end of December is the only time children between the ages of 9 and 16 can apply to be a Katie's Krops grower. If your child is interested, here's how to get started:
Sometime between October 1 and December 31, submit an application.
If your son or daughter is selected, he or she will receive a gift card for purchasing seeds and plants, gardening supplies, a growing manual, and assistance from a Master Gardener.
Growers also have access to a private website where they can record their garden's progress, post photos and compare notes with other growers.
All garden proceeds must be given away, but each grower can determine where he or she will donate - perhaps a local food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
Katie's growers get other opportunities, too, like eligibility to attend free garden planning workshops and the chance to attend an all expenses paid camp.
If your child is too young to apply (or would rather not commit to keeping their garden going season after season), your family can still garden for good. Start planning now to create a child-friendly garden in the spring, with the aim of planting a row to donate to a local food pantry, shelter or soup kitchen that accepts fresh produce.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Talk About It.....
If your child wants to be a Katie's Krops grower, pose these questions to be certain it's a good fit for your son or daughter -- and for your family.
There are a variety of opportunities to help those struggling with food insecurity, like hosting a food drive, volunteering at a soup kitchen or food pantry, or raising money for hunger relief programs. Is growing a garden the way you'd like to help now? Why or why not?
Why do you think it's important to donate fresh vegetables to people who lack access to nutritious food? Do you feel ready to commit to growing a garden season after season?
Where would we plant the garden? Who would be responsible for watering and weeding throughout the gardening season? How would we get our harvest to the recipients?
What do you think you'd like most about being a Katie's Krops gardener? What do you think will be the hardest part?
How do you think it would feel to work hard at growing your garden and then have to give away all the vegetables?
Learn About It.....
For more information about helping your child navigate the digital world, consider these resources:
Katie's Cabbage by Katie Stagliano. Ages 7 and up. Whether or not your child is applying to be a Katie's Krops grower, you'll want to read this fun and inspiring story of how young Katie launched her organization.
The Starfish Throwers, directed by Jesse Roesler. This unforgettable documentary tells the story of three individuals, including Katie, who are dedicating their lives to fighting hunger.
"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul."
- Alfred Austin, English poet