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A huge cabbage grown by a third-grader from Mark Twain Elementary was selected as the Colorado state winner of the National Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program.
Alena Shinabery's 26.6-pound cabbage was randomly selected by Colorado's agriculture department, and she will receive a $1,000 savings bond from Bonnie Plants.
More than 1 million third-graders in the 48 contiguous states gained hands-on gardening experience, growing colossal cabbages for the Kids Grow Green: Cashing in Cabbage contest.
Why a cabbage? Coincidentally, cabbages were the first profitable plant sold by Bonnie Plants in 1918 and are known to be a hearty vegetable. The cabbages provided to the third-grade program are “O.S. Cross” cabbages; this variety is known for producing giant, oversized heads, making the process even more exciting for kids.
Bonnie Plants is the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America with 80 greenhouses across the country. Bonnie Plants delivered the “oversized” cabbage plants to third-grade classrooms whose teachers signed up for the program. If nurtured and cared for, the plants could grow bigger than a basketball.
At the end of the season, teachers from each third-grade class select the student who has grown the best cabbage, based on size and appearance. A digital image of the cabbage and student is submitted online, and the student's name is entered in a statewide drawing.
“The Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program is a wonderful way to engage children's interest in agriculture, while teaching them not only the basics of gardening, but the importance of our food systems and growing our own,” said Stan Cope, president of Bonnie Plants. “We're certainly extremely proud of our Colorado state winner Alena Shinabery.”
The cabbage program is free to any third-grade classroom, and teachers can register at http://bonniecabbageprogram.com/ for the 2018 program. Bonnie Plants will deliver 2-inch cabbage plants to every registered third-grade classroom in the country; delivery will be scheduled based on geographic region.
Learn more at www.bonnieplants.com.
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