I would like to introduce myself - my name is Stephanie McDonough, I am a mother of 2 amazing kiddos (ages 9 & 7) and I am the Founder & CEO Farmer of Farm to Table Kids Inc (FTTK). FTTK is my third child it was born after I had my son and when I left my executive marketing career. FTTK has had so many evolutions over the years - from building restaurant gardens for chefs in Portland and Freeport, to selling at farmers markets, to partnering with restaurants to offer garden clubs...from the minute I saw my kids WANT to eat dirty veggies out of the soil in my back yard I knew I wanted to make gardens with the intention of children exploring and playing in them. So I did just that - FTTK (me & my 2 kids) built restaurant gardens wherever people would let me and I hosted garden clubs for kids. In 2015 all my labor and hard work was recognized and rewarded when Farm to Table Kids won the prestigious Entreverge Award through Propel and the Portland Chamber of Commerce. I thought FTTK was finally on its way to being a thriving successful business. Days later my son (age 3) was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He is OK now. But we moved to Boston for treatment and did not return to Maine for 2 years.
I left FTTK in the dark.
We returned home to Maine in the spring of 2017. I knew I needed to provide for my family but also knew I wanted to maximize my time with my kids and not return to a 9-5 marketing job.
So I rallied. I rallied to show them to be brave, to dream, to be (foolishly) optimistic, to never quit.
Kids learn through action. I decided to bring Farm to Table Kids back to life. We all just finished fighting a terrible battle against cancer and it was time to set roots back in Maine and fight a fun fight this time and get FTTK back in action. I sat at my best friend's kitchen table and told her the end game would be to create a farm for kids and run a summer camp. Like all best friends she dismissed the 692 reasons why it wouldn't work and said - it's a great idea, go do it!
She gave me strength to be optimistic again.
Once I started telling people my plan, more friends stepped up to help. The families from the schools my kids had gone to over the years signed up for the fist sessions, friends from NYA, MIW, Greeley, Freeport,... spread the word about camp, friends from the community gave their time and skill sets to help get FTTK established, and still people from our community continue to fill my heart with their generosity and support of Farm to Table Kids and our mission. Farm to Table Kids Inc. is powered by the people in our community and want to take this platform to thank you.
Each day I am reminded of life's fragility, but also the greatness of our world and children. I am full of gratitude and passion to live, grow, and educate children on the wonderful world around us and the magic and goodness that can come from some dirt, water, love, play, and seeds!
Thank you for your interest in Farm to Table Kids Inc. and thank you to our MAINE community for supporting our programming...this would not be possible without your continued support and that means the world to me.
With (so much) Gratitude,