4th grader wins top Oregon prize in cabbage competition

Human Interest

This starter cabbage was an opportunity to participate in the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Kids across America spent a lot of time in their gardens this past year competing for some green — but one Oregon 4th grader in the Bethany area won more than she expected.

Shaivi Bathija is a typical 9-year-old who likes riding her scooter. As it turns out, she also has a bit of a green thumb. She was the top winner in the state of Oregon for a cabbage competition.

“Our teacher told us there was a cabbage competition we’ve done for 6 years and she gave us a plant and we had to plant it anywhere,” said Shaivi.

This starter cabbage was an opportunity to participate in the National Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program — and a chance to win a $1,000 savings bond.

“She brought home two plants and set it on the counter,” said Shaivi’s mom, Keerthi Bathija. “She said there’s this cabbage competition coming up and I want to plant this and I didn’t even look at the form I’m like ‘okay let’s do it.'”

With Shaivi’s routine watering, that cabbage grew and grew. In the end, it was 24.4 pounds without too many holes from insects.

Photo of Shaivi’s cabbage. Courtesy: Keerthi Bathija

“In December she said the cabbage competition results will be coming up soon and i’m like okay whatever, it’s a cabbage,” laughed Keerthi.

But, this cabbage was no joke. Soon after, Bonnie Plants called Shaivi’s mom to tell her Shaivi’s cabbage won for the state of Oregon.

“My mom called me from work and then told me,” said Shaivi. “Then I screamed.”

Unfortunately, they ended up having to throw out the cabbage due to too many cabbage worms.

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