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Kids in the News: Let It Grow

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Nolan Anand and his cabbage - COURTESY OF ZANDRA ANAND
  • Courtesy of Zandra Anand
  • Nolan Anand and his cabbage

In November, 9-year-old Nolan Anand of Williston got some surprising and exciting news. Bonnie Plants announced that he was the Vermont winner of its Third Grade Cabbage Program, an award that comes with a $1,000 educational scholarship. Each year, the plant company — the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America — sends free O.S. Cross cabbage plants, an oversize variety, to third grade classrooms whose teachers have signed up for the program. Students who plant the cabbage plant in the summer can bring in a picture of their fully grown head of cabbage the following fall. Teachers select the student who has grown the "best" cabbage in the class based on size and appearance. Each student is entered in a drawing to select a state winner. This year, 1,116 Vermont kids from 34 schools participated in the program. Nolan, who planted the cabbage in a raised bed in his family's garden, grew a 12.5-pound head of cabbage in around 11 weeks. Kids VT sat down with Nolan and his mom, Zandra Anand, at Gardener's Supply in Williston (where else?) to find out more about his very large accomplishment.

Kids VT: Did you do anything special to make your cabbage grow so big?

Nolan Anand: Not really. Everybody's like, Did you talk to it? Did you sing to it? And I'm like, Noooo.

KVT: Did you eat it after you harvested it?

NA: Yes. We put it in a pot on the oven, and then we put it in corned beef and cabbage.

Zandra Anand: And we had potatoes and carrots from our garden, too, so we made a whole boiled dinner.

KVT: What was the most exciting part about the experience?

NA: Growing it and thinking, Am I going to win? No, probably not, because it's the whole state of Vermont. But still, Am I going to win?

KVT: What do you want to do when you grow up? Something related to plants or gardening?

NA: No. Archaeology.

ZA: So it's digging. But digging for different things.

KVT: Any gardening tips for other kids?

ZA: Well, I bet they know to water it. But one thing is that you don't really have to talk to it to make it grow big. I know some kids might be convinced, If I want it to grow big, I have to talk to it.

KVT: But that's not necessary?

ZA: No.

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