Dorm Room Vegetation

Paul Murray, Reporter

Take a look inside most college dorm rooms—most students are studying, hanging out with friends, taking a nap, etc.

Sophomore Jared Ryder is not like most students, as Ryder has been growing broccoli sprouts in his room for the past two months.

“I started growing the sprouts after listening to a podcast. The sprouts have been known to reduce inflammation due to the sulforaphane, and as an athlete that is important to me,” said Ryder.

Ryder competes in the Decathlon, 10 events typically spread over the course of two days during track and field competition. During training, he injured his left ankle and has been sidelined for over 3 months.

“Its rough not being able to compete, or train even. If eating the sprouts can help me get back to normal while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle, then I’m all for it,” said Ryder.

The process of growing broccoli in your room may be easier than you think. The system that Ryder uses is commonly referred to as Jar-Sprouting among the growing community. All that is needed for this task is a suitable mason-jar, your preferred growing seeds, a mesh covering, and water.

“The first time I did it I was nervous that it wasn’t working, but at the end of the first day, your seeing them start to poke out of the seed. And by day three you have about a quarter to a half jar filled and then it just explodes from there,” said Ryder.

As Jared Ryder explained, the process of growing the broccoli in your room all relies on the setup. He uses two mason jars that he fills with seeds and water.

The jars are suspended upside down to allow the water to drain gradually and then they are placed in a dark closet for optimal growing conditions. Within a week, the jar is filled to the brim and the sprouts are ready to be eaten.

The only thing that comes into consideration is the flavor. Ryder’s roommate Kyle Hutchinson is quite hesitant when it comes to eating these home-grown foods.

“I’ll never touch that stuff. I support him with the broccoli and all, but it’s just not for me,” said Hutchinson.

Along with the growth of the broccoli sprouts, Ryder has also been fermenting vegetables in his fridge for the past two weeks. He hopes to gain 15 pounds of muscles from working out, eating, and drinking the fluids from the fermentation.

“The fermenting of the cauliflower produces a ton of healthy lacto-bacteria, gut bacteria. It’s perfect for the active lifestyle of an athlete.” Said Ryder.

The fermented vegetables do not differ that much from the broccoli sprouts. Ryder places cauliflower, beats, and red cabbage in a mason jar, adds a salt-brine solution and waits for the healthy bacteria to for over the course of a week and a half.

“You can actually drink the fluids from the fermenting and eat the cauliflower. It’s great for college athletes who want to get the most of their nutrition for cheap. In all, I’ve only spent about 50 bucks on all of the material I’ve used, and they have lasted me well over 2 months.”

It’s healthy, it’s cheap, and it’s an interesting hobby to have inside of your dorm room. One that Jared Ryder enjoys quite well.

“If he’s not at class or eating or at practice, he’s watching garden videos. Jared is a garden, a walking talking garden. Our room is a nursery.” said Hutchinson.