KELTON — Eliza Petty, 9, just completed third grade at Monarch Elementary School, and after studying a unit about plants in Carolyn Brown’s class, Petty brought home a cabbage plant.
Typically, Eliza and her parents — Kip and Tracy Petty — have a garden each year, but when Eliza brought home her cabbage plant, Kip was deployed to Kosovo with the National Guard.
The Pettys’ neighbor — Bo Ham — decided to help Eliza plant the cabbage in his garden, which is behind their house on Pea Ridge Highway in Kelton.
“We let the plant sit around for a day or two, and we thought it was a goner,” Tracy said. “Eliza and Bo rescued it. She seems to have her Daddy’s knack for gardening. She keeps little plants around the house.”
To the surprise of the Pettys and the Hams, the plant grew to an enormous size and resulted in two heads of cabbage. Eliza’s plant was the only one in the garden to produce such a result.
“It made a monkey out of the cabbage plants I set out of my own,” Ham laughed, adding that the cabbage weighed in at seven pounds.
Ham said he was glad for Eliza to help him and joked that he should get her to help him each year with those results.