Weekly Feature



2017-04-13 / Local News

St. Mary’s student receives $1,000 check for 38-pound cabbage

by NICK KONOTOPSKYJ Reporter


Kara Hassenfratz, a Lancaster resident and St. Mary’s Elementary School student, won the national Bonnie Plants cabbage program competition for New York State with a 38-pound cabbage. Kara Hassenfratz, a Lancaster resident and St. Mary’s Elementary School student, won the national Bonnie Plants cabbage program competition for New York State with a 38-pound cabbage. St. Mary’s Elementary fourth-grader Kara Hassenfratz has received a $1,000 check for earning first place for New York state in the annual cabbage program run by Bonnie Plants.

This third-grade program is held in 48 states, and more than 13,100 schools participated in 2016. Each state is allotted one winner per year, and out of the 381 schools and 26,728 students who participated in New York state, Kara is the 2016 state winner with her 38-pound cabbage.

In 2002, Bonnie Plants started the vegetable gardening initiative nationwide to help show the importance of eating healthy. It was also started in hopes of promoting an interest in gardening and teaching about the environment and the process of growing plants.

Participating students start off by receiving a small cabbage plant. They take it home and attempt to grow it as large as possible. At the end of the growing season, students then submit a photo of their cabbage to the teacher, who picks the representative from the school.

Kara was honored on April 7 in front of the entire student body as she received a $1,000 check, along with a certificate, from Bonnie Plant representative Wade Lindsey. Kara explained how her cabbage got so big to the point where she could no longer lift it.

“It sat on our windowsill at home for a while. Then one day, we went to my Uncle Stan’s farm and planted it there along with other cabbages,” she said. “We watered it almost every day, and it ended up being a lot bigger than all of the other cabbages there. It is important to use soil that is good for growing plants.”

According to Kara, it took roughly three to four months for her cabbage to grow to 38 pounds. She then explained what her family did with their giant cabbage.

“We ended up cutting the cabbage in half,” Kara said. “One half went to my grandma, and the other half stayed with us and we made sauerkraut with it.”

To learn more about the third-grade cabbage program, visit www.BonnieCabbageProgram.com.

Return to top