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RECIPE CONTESTSContest News, Winners & Recipes >  Bonnie Plants Free 3rd Grade Cabbage Program



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Registration for this FREE program is now being accepted for the 2014 growing season.

Giant Cabbage

Gardening teaches kids where food comes from, healthy eating and raises their environmental consciousness.

A great way to get kids started in the garden is the National Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program, it’s Free to any third grade classroom in the country and teachers can register NOW at

Registration for this FREE program is now being accepted for the 2014 growing season.

Each year, Bonnie trucks more than one million free O.S. Cross cabbage plants to 3rd Grade classrooms across the country. (O.S.  stands for oversized… these cabbages can grow upwards of 40 pounds making the initiative engaging and fun for kids)!

Teaches distribute 2” plants with instructions, provided by Bonnie, to students to carry home and grow. At the end of the growing season, teachers select a class winner, based on size, appearance and maturity and that submission is entered in a state scholarship drawing. The state winners are randomly selected by each state’s Director of Agriculture, and Bonnie Plants awards a $1,000 scholarship for education to one student in each state.

Madelyn Price, cabbage growerThis year's MINNESOTA State Winner is Madelyn Price.  She grew a humongous cabbage and was randomly selected by Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Mr. David J. Frederickson.  Madelyn will receive a $1,000 saving bond towards education from Bonnie Plants.
Minnesota State Winner:  Madelyn Price
School: Riverview Elementary School, Farmington, Minnesota

Getting It Growing:
Growing a colossal cabbage may seem like a giant undertaking for little kids, but it’s easier than you think.
All you need to do is:

  • Let the Sunshine In: Cabbages need at least six hours of full sunlight, more if possible.
  • Survey Your Space: Bonnie O.S. cabbages need at least three feet on each side to spread out. If you don’t have that much space, use a large container.
  • Supplement Soil: Work some compost into the soil – cabbages love nutrient-rich soil.
  • Feed the Need: Start your cabbage off right with an all-purpose vegetable fertilizer, then fertilize it every 10 days to keep it growing strong.
  • Water Wisely: Your cabbage needs at least one inch of rainfall each week. If it doesn’t rain, use a watering can or garden hose to gently water your plant at soil level.
  • Tend To Trouble:  Keep weeds out of the cabbage patch – they compete for the food and water your cabbage needs. Be on the lookout for brown or white moths – these come from worms that love to munch on cabbage. If you see any, get rid of them right away. Cold weather can damage your cabbage. If the weather gets below 32° F, cover your cabbage with a bucket or clothe covering.
  • Hefty Harvest: In just 10 to 12 weeks, you should have a huge head of cabbage you can be proud of.

Green thumbs and perseverance can pay off, providing participating children with as great sense of pride and accomplishment, a humongous cabbage, and for the lucky state winner…. the beginning of an educational fund for college. To see the 2013 winners and learn more about the 2014 contest, visit

As one of the first companies to sponsor a national vegetable gardening initiative for kids, Bonnie Plants has delivered over 11 million cabbage plants, nationwide, in the past 10 years, fostering an interest in gardening, healthy eating, and the environment.

 “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. 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.

 Why a cabbage?  Cabbages were the first plant sold by Bonnie in 1918. The cabbages used for the 3rd grade program  are OS Cross (Over-sized), which is known for producing giant, oversized heads, making the process even more exciting for kids. The biggest cabbage grown in the contest weighed in at 65 pounds! 
Bonnie Plants Website:



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