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The student at Deerfield Elementary in Cedar Hills was recently named the Utah winner of the National Bonnie Plants Colossal Cabbage Contest. His giant cruciferous vegetable weighed 75 pounds and earned him a $1,000 education savings bond.

In a news release, Fox said he comes from a family that likes to grow "weird" vegetables, including long snake gourds and square pumpkins. So when his third-grade teacher told his class about the contest and handed over the seeds, "I knew I could do it."

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"I was worried at first because it was growing slow," he said in the news release. "I kept watering it and picking out the weeds that grew by it. It got bug holes and so I had to get some stuff to put on it to keep the bugs off. I had to hire my friend to babysit my cabbage when we went on vacation. Pretty soon it got huge leaves. Then it started getting a cabbage inside and it was getting huge and all my friends and neighbors kept coming over to see it."

More than 1.5 million third-graders in 48 states — 13,027 from Utah — participated in this free program, sponsored by Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America.

Since 2002, the company has sent free "oversized" cabbage plants — the O.S. Cross variety — to third-grade classrooms. At the end of the growing season, teachers from each class select the student who has grown the "best" cabbage, based on size and appearance. The student’s name is then entered in a statewide drawing.

Teachers who want to sign up for the 2014 program should visit bonnieplants.com.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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