“It only takes a seedling.” That is the motto of Katie’s Krops, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization dedicated to feeding the hungry in South Carolina and beyond. Here at Park Seed, we have partnered with Katie’s Krops to help home gardeners contribute to the cause. We started our partnership several years ago, and this season are proud to offer 18 vegetable varieties that all contribute to Katie’s Krops.
What makes Katie’s Krops different from many other charitable organizations is its founder and manager: teenaged Katie Stagliano, who began the company in 2008 as a child of nine. When we read this story, we couldn’t help but think of our own founder, George W. Park, who began growing flowers and vegetables from seed as a small child, and by 14 was printing his first “Park Seed” catalog in the form of an ad in a farming magazine. (He didn’t name the company until he reached the ripe old age of 16!) Of course, Katie’s interests are different from George’s — she wants to teach others to garden so they can feed themselves and their community. We admire her spirit, believe in her cause, and want to continue to help.
The seed horticulturists at Park Seed Company have selected 18 varieties to be designated for Katie’s Krops donation. A portion of the sales of every seed packet and collection will be donated directly to young Katie, who has started many vegetable gardens for the needy in communities far beyond her hometown of Summerville, South Carolina. Katie’s Krops has the goal of starting gardens in all 50 states, and that goal is within sight!
Another part of Katie’s story also attracted our attention here at Park. Katie initially became interested in feeding the hungry when she was in third grade. She brought home a cabbage seedling she had sprouted in school and planted it in her family’s garden. In time, she harvested a walloping 40-lb cabbage, donated it to a local soup kitchen, and was astonished to learn that it had helped feed more than 275 people. A gardener was born, but more importantly, a passion for feeding the hungry from the fruits of the garden.
We believe that you never really know how people become attracted to gardening. The most ordinary of moments can trigger a passion that will last a lifetime, bringing joy to the gardener and beauty to the world. Of course this is what we’re all about at Park Seed, and we love hearing stories of young gardeners discovering the fun of growing.
Katie’s Krops and Park Seed share a goal of bringing homegrown produce into more American homes through backyard vegetable growing. As Katie says, “If I can do it, anyone can.”
If you would like to read more about Katie’s Krops, please visit her website. If you would like to grow a few (or all!) of the vegetable varieties in our Katie’s Krops donation program in your spring 2016 garden, here’s the list of each variety: