National garden vegetable grower Bonnie Plants turns millions of third graders onto gardening through its educational program and contest growing cabbages.
Students participating in the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program receive a free Bonnie oversized cabbage plant to cultivate, nurture and grow. These humongous cabbages often grow bigger than a basket ball and can weigh up to 50 pounds!
At the end of the season, teachers from each class select a student who has grown the best cabbage, based on size and appearance. A picture of the cabbage and student entry is submitted to Bonnie Plants by mail or online. That student’s name is then included in a statewide drawing to receive a $1,000 scholarship towards education. The winner of each statewide drawing is chosen by the state’s commission of agriculture. Last year approximately 2 million children in 45 states participated in the program and 45 winners were issued a $1,000 educational savings bond.
“The cabbage program is our way of sharing our love of gardening with children,” says Dennis Thomas of Bonnie Plants. “Because we believe so deeply in the joy and peace gardening can bring to the soul, we want to afford the opportunity to children to experience this same joy and sense of accomplishment. We also want to do our part in supporting education.”