Old Town student’s 22-pound cabbage wins state competition
OLD TOWN — At the end of June, Kellan Plourde, 10 of Bradley, planted a tiny cabbage seedling to grow over the summer as part of the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program. In November, the fourth grader from Old Town Elementary School was named the program’s Maine State Winner for his 22-pound vegetable.
Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetables and herb plants in North America, started the 3rd Grade Cabbage Program in 1996 to inspire a love of vegetable gardening in young people. Plourde’s then third-grade teacher, Rachel Sullivan, signed up for the program and picked the student with the “best” cabbage based on the size and appearance. State winners are randomly selected by the Commission of Agriculture.
Plourde’s cabbage — which was strictly organic — was picked from a class of 17 students based on size, the quality of a photo with him and the cabbage, and a submitted poster.
Plourde’s father, Steven Plourde, said he helped Kellan plant the seedling in their backyard garden and pulled it out after 68 days. The plant almost got ruined by the family cat, but the winning cabbage prevailed.
“Yeah, I wanted to win,” said Kellan who added that his classmates also shared his excitement.
“When he found out, I’ll never see something like that again,” said Steven Plourde. “When he heard he won, he lost it. He couldn’t believe it.”
Steven said after they pulled the cabbage from the ground and cleaned it up, they had 11 pounds of edible cabbage which they used for pigs in a blanket and hamburgers.
As part of his winnings, Kellan Plourde received a $1,000 scholarship which Steven Plourde said will be used as a savings bond toward his son’s education.