1st Place: Stacy Stagliano, Summerville, SC

wp-staglianoThey say that every picture tells a story. After the judges picked the winner in this year’s Harvest Photo Contest, we learned the photo had a big story to tell.

The heart-shaped arrangement was photographed by Stacy Stagliano, who happens to be the mother of Katie Stagliano, the young gardener who started Katie’s Krops, a South Carolina-based organization with the goal of fighting hunger. Katie started with one garden in 2008, when she was 9. Today this teenager has 61 Katie’s Krops gardens in 25 states. In 2010, Katie was named a Garden Crusader by Gardener’s Supply.

In her entry, Stacy wrote: “We are growing a harvest of hope. Our peppers, okra, eggplant and tomatoes are all grown with love by kids, kids who want to grow hope, hope for a better tomorrow, one vegetable garden at a time. All will help feed families struggling with hunger.”

More Photos

To see more of the entries, go to the Harvest Photo Contest on Facebook and click View Entries.

The vegetables in the photo are from the flagship Katie’s Krops Garden in Summerville, SC.” Last year, this garden produced over 3,000 pounds of produce,” Stacy reports. To learn more about Katie and her organization go to katieskrops.com.

Stacy’s shot was one of 800 entries in the Harvest Photo Contest. The quality of the work was amazing and it was difficult to pick just three winners. Here are the stories behind two more of the winning shots:

2nd Place: Lorely French, Forest Grove, OR


Lorely French, who was raised here in Vermont, has been a gardener since she was young. “When I was in high school, my sister Angela and I started vegetable gardening, but we thought the weeds were part of the garden and didn’t always keep everything so tidy,” she says.

Before settling in Oregon, she and her husband lived for awhile in Los Angeles. “When we rented a house, our landlord was very angry when we dug up part of the lawn to put in a garden. We have lived in Forest Grove, OR, for 27 years now, and we have a large garden with our house in town. We keep digging up more and more lawn to put in vegetables and fruits and other edible landscaping.

“We have at least 17 fruit and nut trees (apple, pear, almond, walnut, plum, Asian pear, fig, cherry), at least eight kinds of berries (strawberries, gooseberries, blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, currants, loganberries, raspberries), big plots with tomatoes, potatoes, basil, beans, carrots, lettuces, broccoli, cabbages, brussel sprouts, peppers, garlic, onions, rhubarb, artichokes, herbs, peas, snowpeas, kale, swiss chard, pumpkins and squash.”

With such a large harvest, Lorely is an avid canner, freezer, and dehydrator.

3rd Place: Rebecca DePorte, Landenberg, PA


Rebecca draws from a big garden, too. It’s 40′ x 40′, with a fence all around it. There’s lots of space dedicated to fruits: blackberries, raspberries and strawberries and a separate area for vegetables. “Often after I bring in my daily harvest, I arrange everything on my counter, take pictures, and post them on Facebook. My friend Kittie calls it ‘food porn.'”

“Tomatoes tend to be the dominant and most successful plant in my garden,” Rebecca says. “While the plants have trouble with the leaves turning brown and drying up, the tomatoes themselves are always healthy and plentiful. I have yellow pear, a variety of cherry (orange, “black”, standard red in various sizes), grape, and a small red pear-like tomato. I also have Romas, a variety of red full-sized, green-striped, Black Cherokee, and Old Germans, which look like a tequila sunrise when you cut them open.”

“As soon as I bought my first house 22 years ago, I started a garden in my tiny back yard, using the “Square Foot Gardening” book. I have been gardening ever since. Now I have five acres, so I have more room to experiment. I do everything organically and have had issues with pests and disease, but I still seem to be successful in getting lots of vegetables and (some) fruits.”