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BES gardener wins $1,000 in cabbage-growing contest
1/24/2014 By: Melanie Brubaker Mazur
A Bayfield Elementary student who grew a 16-pound cabbage was randomly selected as the Colorado winner of a nationwide program and received a $1,000 savings bond for his efforts.
Jackson Artichoker received the cabbage at the end of school last year as part of the Bonnie Plants national cabbage program.
He said he kept the pot inside for about a week and half, then built a raised bed with his family, planted the cabbage, and fenced it to keep the deer out.
"I would water it every day, or every other day," he said. He picked the cabbage at the end of summer, and a photo of it was submitted as a contest entry.
In Colorado, 18,691 students participated in the program, according to statement from Bonnie Plants.
Jackson's mom, Melanie Artichoker, said she was proud her son was able to grow the plant at 8,200 feet at the Forest Lakes home.
"We were quite surprised at how well Jackson's cabbage grew," she said. She also was pleased that he completed the project from start to finish. When he picked the cabbage, it weighed 16 pounds. After it was cleaned and trimmed, it weighed 12 pounds, providing the family with lots of cabbage for corned beef, along with cole slaw.
Registration for the 2014 contest is online now at www.bonnieplants.com
Launched nationally in 2002, the program awards a $1,000 scholarship to one student in each participating state. 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 digital image of the cabbage and student is submitted online at www.bonnieplants.com. That student's name is then
entered in a statewide drawing. State winners are randomly selected by the Commission of Agriculture, in each of 48 particpating states.
Some cabbage growing tips from the contest sponsor:
• cabbages need at least six hours of full sunlight, more if possible.
• cabbages need at least three feet on each side to spread out. If you don’t have that much space, use a large container.
• Work some compost into the soil – cabbages love nutrient-rich soil.
• Start your cabbage off right with an all-purpose vegetable fertilizer, then fertilize it every 10 days to keep it growing strong.
• Cabbage needs at least one inch of water each week. If it doesn’t rain, use a watering can or garden hose to gently water your plant at soil level.
•Keep weeds out of the cabbage patch – they compete for the food and water your cabbage needs. Be on the lookout for brown or white moths – these come from worms that love to munch on cabbage. If you see any, get rid of them right away. Cold weather can damage your cabbage. If the weather gets below 32° F, cover your cabbage with a bucket or clothe covering.
•In just 10 to 12 weeks, you should have a huge head of cabbage you can be proud of.
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