Bonnie Plants' Third Grade Cabbage Program is designed to teach children the self-gratification that comes from gardening. Through the program, first launched in 1995, Bonnie distributes free cabbage plants to any third-grade classrooms nationwide whose teachers sign up to participate. By planting a Bonnie's O.S. Cross, or "oversized" cabbage plant, children can watch the "fruits of their labor" as their cabbage plants often grow to more than 40 pounds.
At the end of the season, teachers from each class select the student who has grown the best cabbage, based on size and appearance. A picture of the cabbage and the student's entry is submitted to Bonnie Plants by mail or online, and that student's name is then included in a statewide drawing to receive a $1,000 scholarship. The winner of each statewide drawing is chosen by the Commission of Agriculture, state to state, in a random drawing.
The program has grown from 5,000 third-grade class participants nationwide to 400,000 classes since it first began in 1995. With raves from parents and teachers alike, Bonnie hopes that their program will continue to grow so that they can reach, teach, inspire and grow more young American gardeners.
The deadline to register for 2011 is March 1, 2011 in the southern states and April 15 in the northern states. For more information or to register, visit www.bonnieplants.com.