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 registerNOW at http://bonniecabbageprogram.
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 O.S. Cross cabbage plantsto 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.
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 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”, 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!