Mira Staats from Silver Lake Elementary in Middletown was recently selected as the Delaware winner in the National Bonnie Plants 2018 Third Grade Cabbage Program. See a video about the program with this story.

Mira Staats from Silver Lake Elementary in Middletown was recently selected as the 2018 Delaware winner in the National Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program.

Staats grew a beautiful 26-pound cabbage.

Teachers from each participating third grade class in Delaware select the student who has grown the "best" cabbage, based on size and appearance.

The names of all the classroom winners are entered in a statewide drawing and one winner is randomly selected by Delaware's Department of Agriculture.

As the state winner, Staats will receive a $1,000 savings bond towards her education from Bonnie Plants.

"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."

In 2018, more than 1 million third graders in the 48 contiguous states have gotten 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, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America.

Each year Bonnie Plants trucks free cabbage plants to third grade classrooms whose teachers have signed up for the program online at www.bonnieplants.com.

In 1996 Bonnie Plants initiated the Third Grade Cabbage Program in Union Springs, Alabama, the location of the company’s headquarters, and in surrounding communities with a mission to inspire a love of vegetable gardening in young people and continue to "grow" our next generation of gardeners. In 2002, the program became a national endeavor.