The National Bonnie Plants Third-Grade Cabbage Program will deliver 2-inch cabbage plants to every registered third-grade classroom in the spring.
Registration for the free 2014 program is open now at bonniecabbageprogram.com.
In 2002, Bonnie Plants initiated the 3rd Grade Cabbage Program with a mission to inspire a love of vegetable gardening in young people. Each year, Bonnie trucks more than one million free Over-sized Cross cabbage plants to third-grade classrooms across the country. The cabbages can grow larger than 40 pounds.
FREE CABBAGES — The National Bonnie Plants Third-Grade Cabbage Program is offering free plants to students in registered classrooms this spring. The child who grows the best cabbage in each classroom will be entered for a $1,000 scholarship. -- Contributed
Teachers distribute 2-inch plants with instructions, provided by Bonnie Plants, to students to take 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.
As one of the first companies to sponsor a national vegetable gardening initiative for kids, Bonnie Plants has delivered more than 11 million cabbage plants, nationwide, in the past 12 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," Bonnie Plants President Stan Cope said. "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."
Cabbages were the first plants sold by Bonnie in 1918. The cabbages used for the third-grade program are Over-sized Cross, which is known for producing giant, oversized heads, with the biggest cabbage grown in the contest weighing in at 65 pounds.