Giant cabbage has Hartselle girl hoping for contest honors
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A tiny cabbage plant that has grown so big it covers more than 15 square feet of her grandpa's backyard garden has a 9-year-old Hartselle girl thinking she may be the winner in a Bonnie Farms cabbage growing contest.
Brittany Johnson, daughter of Greg and Jennifer Johnson, received the Bonnie plant along with a contest entry form and a sheet of growing instructions at Barkley Bridge Elementary School last winter. Other third graders there as well as thousands from across the state were given the same opportunity to test their green thumbs in a gardening project. A college scholarship was offered as a prize to the winner.
Photos and measurements of the giant-size cabbage were taken last week after it had reached maturity and was ready for harvest.
"I don't know about the other plants but this one turned out to be a whopper," said Brittany's grandfather, William Wilson, who grows a big garden every year behind his house at 1101 Pattillo Street. "It measures 39 inches from the tip ends of its biggest leaves and its head is 52 inches in circumference. We won't know how much it weighs until we cut it but I'd guess it'll go between 20 and 25 pounds."
"She (Brittany) set out the plant in mid-February," Wilson recalled. "She picked this spot on the back side of the garden because it drains well and is real rich. I allowed plenty of space for its growth when the rest of the garden was planted.
"We have a garden spot at our house and she could've used it, said Brittany's father, "but I guess you can see why she chose her grandpa's.
"She has done a good job of taking care of it," her grandpa pointed out.
"And she has a written record to prove it," her mother added.
Brittany produced a record sheet filled with penciled in dates. It showed when her cabbage plant was cultivated, weeded, fertilized, watered and checked for harmful bugs and beetles.
What will happen to the cabbage after it is harvested?
"We'll cook cabbage and fry bacon," said Brittany's mother. "That's her favorite meal."