Special to the Opelika Observer
Morris Avenue Intermediate School third-grader Shelby Morgan was selected as the Alabama state winner of the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program earlier this month, winning a $1,000 scholarship.
This year, more than 1 million third graders in the 48 contiguous state got hands-on gardening experience, growing colossal cabbages with high hopes to win “best-in-state” and receive a $1,000 scholarship towards education from Bonnie Plants. Morgan was one of 15,641 students statewide to participate, and her prize-winning cabbage was randomly selected by representatives from the Alabama Department of Agriculture.
Each year Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, and with 70-plus greenhouse facilities 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, kids can cultivate, nurture and grow giant cabbages, some much bigger than a basketball, tipping the scales, at more than 40 pounds.
“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 Bonnie Plants CEO Stan Cope. “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. We’re certainly extremely proud of Shelby (Morgan) … and we are grateful to have the opportunity to provide our youth with this enjoyable and enriching opportunity and engage their interest in the art and joy of gardening.”
For more information about the company, visit www.bonnieplants.com. It is located at 1727 Alabama Highway 223.
(334) 749-8009 (f)