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Giant cabbage, weighing 35.5 pounds, wins Wellington girl a scholarship

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, at 1:11 p.m.

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A Wellington girl who grew a cabbage bigger than her outstretched arms has been named the Kansas winner of a national cabbage-growing contest.

“I never knew they could grow that big,” said Baylee Newberry, a fourth-grader at Eisenhower Elementary School in Wellington. Her cabbage — picked just before the bugs were about to eat it up, when she was still a third-grader — weighed 35 1/2 pounds, she said.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture randomly selected Baylee’s entry from other third-grade-classroom winners in the state to be the Kansas winner in the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program. She receives a $1,000 scholarship; “I think I’m going to go to OSU,” the grade-schooler said.

This was her first time growing a cabbage, and Baylee’s grandma Barbara helped her a little.

“We gave it Miracle-Gro one week, then skipped a week, then gave it Miracle-Gro one week, then skipped a week.”

Some of Baylee’s classmates also tried growing cabbage, “but they got ate by bugs. I actually got two, and one of them got ate by bugs.” She said hers was dug before it could succumb to the insects, and her grandma and grandpa cooked it up for church dinners.

In Kansas, 5,390 students participated in the cabbage program last growing season.

Registration for 2014 is online at www.bonnieplants.com. Teachers sign up for the program, and their students receive free cabbage plants.

If you’re starting cabbage from seed, K-State recommends starting the seeds around Feb. 8; plants can go in the ground around April 5. Baylee started with little plants.

Reach Annie Calovich at 316-268-6596 or acalovich@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @anniecalovich.

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