The third-grader was the 2019 Ohio winner in a national competition.

Move over “James and the Giant Peach,” there’s a new kid on the block: 10-year-old Lola Robenstine and her 18.6-pound, prize-winning cabbage.

Lola, a student at Arrowhead Elementary School in Lewis Center, was the 2019 Ohio winner in the annual Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program, a national competition that encourages students to explore agriculture and perhaps win a $1,000 savings bond. All of the third-grade classes at Arrowhead participated. They were among 26,034 Ohio students to do so.

Participants receive a seedling to plant and tend. “It was pretty fun,” says Lola, who often helps her parents garden. “I started [growing] it in late May, and I harvested it the Fourth of July.”

Over those two months, Lola tended to her cabbage almost every day and kept watch for insects. “There are little bugs called cabbage worms, and they can destroy your cabbage,” she explains.  “To keep them away, we put [down] cornmeal and water.”

How did she feel when her cabbage won? “Well, very good,” she says modestly.

A shorter version of this story appears in “Parent Pulse” in our Spring 2020 issue.

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