“All that I am I owe to my mother.”
My mom is a huge part of my life. When I count the hours we spend in the garden, traveling and doing all things Katie’s Krops I realized how different my life would be without her. She is not only the most amazing stay at home mom, but she is a full time cheerleader, supporter and hard worker to make my dream come true!
I have so much to thank my mom for. For driving me all over, to dinners, garden work days, events. She can even handle the LA Freeway! For working eighty hour weeks to support me and my efforts to end hunger. Katie’s Krops would not be here today if it weren’t for her. So this Mother’s Day I want to thank my amazing mom for everything she does for me! Thank you for the big, the small, the everything in between! I love you mom!
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -- BenjaminFranklin
In 2009 I was only in the fourth grade, but I had a dream, a dream that I could help end hunger by growing vegetable gardens. My first foray into gardening had resulted in a 40 pound cabbage. I was confident that I could turn my dream into reality, but I knew I couldn't do it alone. I had the support of my family, but I knew I would need more. I needed a teacher; I needed a Master Gardener.
That year, as the Clemson Exchange Master Gardener class graduated, volunteer opportunities were offered to the new graduates. One opportunity presented was to help a young girl with a small garden. I was that young girl and, well, as most of you now know my garden was anything but small. Lisa Turocy stepped up and offered to help. In March of 2009 I met Ms. Lisa for the very first time in a classroom at my school. I had no idea on that day just how Ms. Lisa would come to change my life and support my dreams.
For the past three years, Ms. Lisa has been by my side, guiding me on my journey to prevent hunger by growing vegetable gardens. Never telling me what to do, teaching me yes, but most importantly she has involved me every step of the way. Together we have worked plant by plant, row by row, garden by garden to grow my dream. I learned more than I ever could have learned from a book. Ms. Lisa's passion for gardening overflows into her work.
No matter the crazy circumstance, my Master Gardener has been up to the challenge. From Disney channel turning our gardening into a 'television set' to traveling miles down a bumpy, dirt road to plant new gardens; she is always up for the challenge. Perhaps the most amazing part is, I never realized just how much she has taught me. It wasn't until I was on a live broadcast in California with world renowned horticulturalist & landscape designer Jamie Durie, that information started to flow from my lips about companion planting, gardening techniques and so much more. It was then that I realized what an amazing teacher Ms. Lisa is. Nothing I spoke of I had ever learned from a book. I learn from doing, from growing side by side with Ms. Lisa.
Thank you will never be enough. I owe Ms. Lisa so much more. She is not only my Master Gardener, my teacher, my fellow Katie's Krops board member, she is my friend. Never did I image in March of 2009 the journey we would be on together as we grow Katie's Krops from a school garden to a national not-for-profit. I am blessed that she stepped up that day and said she would help that young girl with her small school garden. Because... "As the Garden Grows, so grows the Gardener." Thank you Ms. Lisa!
" We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
2012 is that next book, and there is nothing written in it yet. No inscription tells how the year will be, our actions will shape it, so 2012 should be amazing. Tomorrow, on our first page will be our grantees. I'll be calling them up to tell them that they are the newest members of the Katie's Krops family.
And this year, as I looked through the applications I was stuck, yet again. There were so many amazing ones; so I decided to give out not four grants but five. I wish I could give grants to everyone who applied. I know that they put so much time and effort into their application. But as I am picking applications for next year, I hope to award more!
Another story to grace my book is a cancer garden that we will be planting in the spring. I know that cancer puts a financial strain on families and I would like to help with that. Fresh vegetables are very important to a healthy diet, especially when fighting disease, so I would like to make sure that patients have them.
We are so excited that Summerville Baptist believes in our dream and mission and have put us on the calendar for every third Thursday of the year for a Katie's Krops dinner. It may only be one day a month but with no soup kitchen in Summerville, every little bit helps. Our dinners have become a very special way to connect with the individuals that benefit from Katie's Krops and I am thrilled that the dinners will continue in 2012.
Finally, we have our amazing forty-eight foot greenhouse at Mr. Bob's Farm. I am really excited to see what we can grow in there, even in winter; a luxury we have not had yet. We will be able to feed even more people in need. Thank you Mr. Josh, Mr. Klint and Mr. Aaron our new friends in Colorado!
So as we close our book for 2011, we open another one up, filled with exciting trips, opportunities, and being able to feed people in need. I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store!
Happy New Year from Katie's Krops!
Building our greenhouse!