Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hook 'Em While They're Young

Macaroni & Cheese, Ramen noodles and Hot Pockets are staples of a typical college student's diet, but Matthew Lehman, a college student at Hesston College in Kansas, is growing fresh vegetables in his dorm room.

Lehman's blogging about his successes and failures as a gardener, too. You can check out his most recent blog post here.

I imagine the space Lehman dedicates to his garden is substantial. Remember your dorm room? It probably felt more like a bathroom in size than a master bedroom.

Still, maybe there's a large audience our industry is missing: college students. Imagine the potential for our industry if every college student thought Lehman's way. Most students aren't self starters like Lehman, but colleges and universities with horticulture departments could easily deliver a healthy lifestyle message by promoting dorm room gardens. Local growers could even help out, providing a starter kit for freshmen or other students with an interest.

If anything, dorm room gardens are one way to connect with Generation Y and the generations to come. Hook consumers while they're confined to dorm rooms for three or four years. If we can show students the benefits of growing their own healthy vegetables, there's potential to hook them on flowers and other products when it comes time for those students to buy homes.

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