Congratulations are in order to Emily Farrell, a student at St. Mary’s Primary School in Taunton. Emily was the Massachusetts State Winner in the National Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program.
Last summer Emily grew the beautiful, huge cabbage (23.6 lbs!) and was randomly selected by the Massachusetts’ Agriculture Department to receive a $1,000 savings bond from Bonnie Plants to be used towards education.
We are told that a total of 10,960 kids from Massachusetts participated in the program.
Each year Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, with 80 greenhouse facilities across the country, trucks free cabbage plants to third grade classrooms whose teachers have signed up for the program online. Kids can cultivate, nurture and grow giant cabbages, some much bigger than a basketball, tipping the scales, often at more than 40 pounds.
In 1996 Bonnie Plants initiated the 3rd Grade Cabbage Program in and around headquarters in Union Springs, Alabama, with a mission to inspire a love of vegetable gardening in young people and continue to “grow” our next generation of gardeners.
By 2002 the Cabbage Program became a national endeavor. The program awards a $1,000 scholarship to one student in each participating state. 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. That student’s name is then entered in a statewide drawing. State winners are randomly selected by the office of the Commission of Agriculture, in each of the participating states.
“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 also the importance of our food systems and growing our own,” said Stan Cope, President of Bonnie Plants. “This unique, innovative program exposes children to agriculture and demonstrates, through hands-on experience, where food comes from. The program also affords our youth with some valuable life lessons in nurture, nature, responsibility, self-confidence and accomplishment.”
The National Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program is free to any third grade classroom in the country. To learn more about the contest, visit www.bonnieplants.com.
Congratulations and Best Wishes, Emily!