12-year-old wins with big cabbage

Posted: Monday, August 05, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Visitors to the Tanana Valley State Fair this weekend were wowed by the size of the cabbage 12-year-old Erica Olson had in her wheelbarrow.

The cabbage was hoisted on the scale and weighed 33 and 1/2 pounds -- just 2 1/2 pounds shy of the biggest cabbage in the junior category.

For that, Olson got $5 and a second-place category in the Giant Cabbage Weigh-in for the vegetable she grew from seed.

None of the cabbages presented Saturday at the first day of the weigh-in broke the 40-pound barrier. Tuesday is the final day of the competition.

Longtime cabbage competitor Earl Crass, whose 36 and 1/2 pound cabbage topped all others Saturday, and Corine Newmuth, 13, who took first place in the junior category, said they may have even bigger cabbages at home.

Judge Glen Risse said cabbages can gain up to a pound a day, so they like to keep them in the ground as close to competition time as possible.

One person asked Crass what he feeds his cabbages to make them so big.

''Dogs and little kids,'' he said.

The fair record is a 63 1/2-pound cabbage. Crass once came to within an ounce of it.

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