Latrell McGinnis takes home the green with Delaware-grown cabbage

Dover student receives news at school presentation
March 16, 2020

W.B. Simpson Elementary School student Latrell McGinnis spent last spring tending to his cabbage in hopes of growing the best-looking cabbage in Delaware.

After all the judging was completed, McGinnis’s hard work paid off when he was announced as the state winner during a recent presentation at his school.

More than 1,300 third-grade classes in 300 elementary schools in Delaware participated in the 2019 Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program. Each teacher selects the best-looking cabbage and submits a photograph of the student and their cabbage to Bonnie Plants for judging. Judges look for the best cabbage based on size and appearance, not just on how big it gets. They take a close look at the leaves for damage, and look for head splits and flowering stalks. Once the national judges select the top finalists, the Delaware Department of Agriculture randomly selects the state winner.

Regional Bonnie Plants Station Office Manager Trish Drury presented McGinnis with a $1,000 check at his school. He also received a certificate, shirt, the book “Katie’s Cabbage” and a Delaware Grown hat. Principal Jennifer Martin received a plaque to hang in the school.

McGinnis said, “I will be putting my check into savings so one day I can buy a car when I am old enough to drive.”

Started in 1996, Bonnie Plants started the Third Grade Cabbage Program so children can learn where their food comes from and engage them in gardening as a hobby. 

When asked if he had any issues growing his cabbage, Latrell said he had one snail and one caterpillar trying to eat his cabbage, but he removed them before they could do much damage. He also encouraged third-graders looking for tips to make sure to water their cabbage, but only until the soil is just feeling wet. A cabbage only needs one inch of water or rainfall a week.

Third-grade teachers interested in having their class participate can go to

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