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posted: Mon, Sep 15th, 2014
Nico D'Amico kneels behind his colossal cabbage

Heads-up gardening          

Nico D’Amico has a head in his freezer – a head of cabbage that is. And it’s a big one too. The whole plant weighed 16.5 pounds and was almost four feet wide when harvested. Nico, a fourth-grader. grew the colossal cabbage over the summer in the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program. He’s now in the running for a $1,000 scholarship from Bonnie Plants, a national plant wholesaler, for the largest cabbage grown in the state.

Stephen Mickus shows off what he's growing in his garden

This was the sixth year in which Sandshore has participated in the cabbage program, a popular student activity that works to inspire a love of vegetable gardening and healthy eating in children. It also provides valuable life lessons about the importance of planning and responsibility. 

In May, Sandshore third-graders each received a free cabbage plant about four inches tall from Bonnie Plants. Armed with growing instructions and encouragement to track the growth of the plants every day, the students planted the seedlings in gardens or large pots. While Bonnie Plants supplies a variety of cabbage known for fortitude, tender loving care was still required. The plants had to receive the optimal amount of water, be kept free of insects, and be protected from hungry deer and other wildlife. The cabbages were harvested about three months after planting.

“The learning experience taught students how to care for a plant, a lost art today, and showed them the value of following a project through,” said third grade teacher Kathleen James, Nico’s teacher last year. “And since the students required help from adults, it also provided an opportunity for some quality family time.”

Many other Sandshore students came into school during the first week of the new year with photos of their cabbages and stories of cabbage rolls, cole slaw, stuffed cabbage, and cabbage soup. Kiera Louie, a student in Darcy McHale’s class last year, grew a cabbage that weighed in at more than 10 pounds.

Kiera Louie and her humongous head of cabbage
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Sandshore School
498 Sandshore Rd Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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Phone: 973.691.4003 Fax: 973.691.4027

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