Going Green In Your Dorm Room

Tis’ the season of green! It’s springtime once again, and that means all those hibernating thumbs around campus are starting to wake up. However, this year instead of waiting to get back to your parents backyard garden, here are some tips on getting green in your dorm room using simple seeds called microgreens.

Microgreens are essentially a single plant or green (broccoli, kale, lettuce) that can be grown in limited places, in half the time. The best part about microgreens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service, is that they have up to 5 times more nutrients than their full-grown counterparts. Most of the time, hardy veggies or plants are all harvested within mere weeks of being planted, some even in just days. This means that average college students can have the satisfaction of growing their own organic greens on their own windowsill.

Matthew Mengon, a junior at the University of Akron, has been growing microgreens for a couple months now, and has harvest many of his own organic veggies out of his small garden. He advises everyone to use them, especially if they are new to gardening.

“A head of lettuce usually takes about 30 days or more to fully mature indoors. But a growing microgreen lettuce only takes about a week, or maybe two. I’ve had broccoli, kale, cilantro,” says Mengon. “It’s really easy if your stick with it.”

We asked students around campus if they would be interested in growing their own organic greens, and almost everyone said yes. Actually, 7 out of 10 said yes, as long as it was affordable and not time consuming.

“If you buy from a seed company like Burpee, they have good quality. But they only sell in small quantities, so it’s more expensive. You just have to find a good supplier,” says Mengon. “I buy seeds off Park Seed. They sell variety packs with over 16,000 seeds for $6, and the shipping is reasonable,” Mengon tells us.

A couple curious students were wondering if they could mess anything up in the process, the answer is, of course, yes.

“That’s just the process of gardening though,” Mengon says. “Some don’t make it. But when you do get to harvest your own plant or vegetable,” he says, “it’s ultimately satisfying.”

 

Microgreens, however, are pretty simple. You just need a container with about an inch or two of soil. Flatten the soil without compressing it completely, and then scatter the seeds on top. Water them with a spray bottle every day, and wait for results.

When your veggies or herbs fresh and ready, cut them down with a pair of scissors and throw your fresh parsley or broccoli in a pan for cooking, or even some lettuce on a sandwich for that homegrown taste. You could even save them your friends and family back home and show off what you’ve learned in college. Go ahead, let that green thumb dig in the dirt a little.