Abby Shinovich, a fourth-grader at Bainbridge, has been selected by the Indiana Agriculture Commission as the 2011 Hoosier winner in the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program.
For growing a humongous cabbage in Putnam County, Abby has been chosen as the state winner and will receive a $1,000 savings bond toward her future education from Bonnie Plants.
Abby was selected from a group of 13,468 Indiana children participating in the Bonnie Plants Cash for Cabbages Program.
Kids across America are learning to garden and some are earning a lot of "green" participating in Bonnie's Cabbage Program. This season, more than 1.5 million students in 48 states dug in and got hands-on gardening experience growing colossal cabbages.
Each year Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, with 75 growing stations across the country, trucks free O.S. Cross, or "oversized," cabbage plants to third-grade classrooms whose teachers have signed up for the program online at www.bonnieplants.com.
If nurtured and cared for, youngsters can grow green, giant cabbages, some tipping the scales at 40 pounds.
First launched in 2002, the program awards a $1,000 scholarship to one student in each participating state, such as Abby Shinovich in Indiana. At the end of the growing season, teachers from each class select the student who has grown the "best" cabbage, based on size and appearance.
"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."
"Over the course of the past nine years, the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program has proved to be an exciting, worthwhile experience that children, teachers and parents across the country have embraced. We're pleased and proud to provide our youth with this enjoyable and enriching opportunity and engage their interest in the art and joy of gardening," Cope said.