Morgan Hill third-grader Emma Johnson earned a $1,000 scholarship for growing a 24-pound cabbage in the family garden.
Johnson, who attends El Toro Health Science Academy, won the award through the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program. In addition to the money prize, Johnson won “Best in State” bragging rights for the giant cabbage.
Bonnie Plants relaunched the Cabbage Program this year as a remote-friendly learning activity to bring education safely outdoors, according to a press release from Bonnie Plants. Through the program, nearly 200,000 third-graders in 48 states have gained hands-on gardening experience by growing colossal cabbages.
Only one student in each state was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
“After pausing the program last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re thrilled to once again see so many students were able to participate and learn the basics of gardening as well as life lessons like responsibility, self-confidence and accomplishment,” said Mike Sutterer, president and CEO of Bonnie Plants.
At the beginning of the program, Bonnie sent each student a starter cabbage plant and the lessons needed to care for and nurture their plant every step of the way, says the press release. Students took a photo with their cabbage when it was fully grown and submitted it for a chance to win the $1,000 scholarship.
Bonnie selected the winners in collaboration with state departments of agriculture based on the student’s enthusiasm to participate and learn in addition to the size and overall appearance of their cabbage.
“It’s truly amazing to see firsthand how the 3rd Grade Cabbage Program is able to inspire a love of vegetable gardening in young people and grow our next generation of gardeners,” said Angela Thomas, corporate communications manager at Bonnie Plants. “We’re proud of all of this year’s participants and would like to congratulate all of the winners whose hard work is paying off!”