ShareThis Page
North Allegheny student grows massive cabbage, earns $1,000 scholarship | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

North Allegheny student grows massive cabbage, earns $1,000 scholarship

Patrick Varine
676774_web1_gtr-cabbage-012619
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants
Lily Ries of Peebles Elementary School shows off the giant cabbage she grew as part of the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program, earning her a $1,000 scholarship.
676774_web1_gtr-cabbage2-012619
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants
Lily Ries of Peebles Elementary School shows off the giant cabbage she grew as part of the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program, earning her a $1,000 scholarship.

If she were so inclined, Lily Ries could probably use the cabbage she grew in 2018 to make a life-sized version of pigs-in-a-blanket — with actual pigs.

Ries, 9, now a fourth-grader at Peebles Elementary School in the North Allegheny School District, earned a $1,000 scholarship as the Pennsylvania winner in Bonnie Plants’ Cabbage Program.

Ries was one of nearly 32,000 Pennsylvania children to participate in the program, in which third-grade students are provided with seeds for the O.S. Cross variety of cabbage, which is known to produce massive 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 Bonnie Plants President Stan Cope. “This program exposes children to agriculture and demonstrates, through hands-on experience, where food comes from.”

Lily’s mother Megan said her daughter loves to garden.

“We have a small one on our deck every year that she helps maintain,” Ries said. “The cabbage took us by surprise because we’ve never grown one and were amazed by how large it got.”

The cabbage grew to 8 pounds 12.5 ounces in a large pot.

“She didn’t do anything special,” Megan Ries said. “Just potting soil and the fertilizer that Bonnie recommend on the handout sheet Lilly received with the plant.”

Ries said the project was “a truly a wonderful experience for Lilly and all the kids who participated.”

“As a parent, am so grateful for Bonnie and the investment they are making in our children by giving them a chance to try something new,” she said. “All the kids took such pride in their plants big and small.”

Cabbages were the first profitable plant sold by Bonnie Plants when the company started in the early 1900s.

In 2018, more than a million third graders in the 48 contiguous states got hands-on gardening experience, growing colossal cabbages with high hopes to win “best in state” and, like Ries, receive a $1,000 scholarship.

“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,” Cope said.


Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.


Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.