NDSU PhD Student Creates Portable Vegetable Garden Project

It's meant to help low-income and New American families have access to healthier foods

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Bukola Bakare has a passion for helping those around her get access to healthier foods.

“I know it’s not healthy to eat unhealthy because if you don’t spend the money eating good food, you will spend it at the hospital anyway when you’re sick,” Bakare said.

That’s why Bakare has created a cheaper way to eat healthier food with her portable vegetable garden project.

“I just don’t want my PhD to be on paper. I want to make an impact in the community as well,” Bakare said.

Bakare funded her project with a grant she was awarded from MSUM.

Her portable gardens are meant to help low–income families and New Americans throughout Fargo–Moorhead live a healthier lifestyle by growing their own vegetables, fruits and herbs in these portable planter boxes, which can even be used in apartment buildings.

“They are going to nurture it to grow and then when the harvest season comes, they’re going to harvest it and eat it and train their kids how to plant food and eat healthy,” Bakare said.

Some kids say they know their green thumb won’t come without some serious effort though.

“It’s going to be a lot of work. You have to put the soil in, you have to dig holes and put the holes in there, put the plants inside the holes and then cover them back up and give them water every other day,” said Micah Jackson.

Aside from teaching kids hard work and how food grows, some project volunteers say this is a great way for New Americans to assimilate into the community.

“I think it’s really important for these New Americans to be able to get involved into a community project together and really feel more at home in the community that they’re settling in,” said Krista Foerster, a project volunteer. “It is hard with all of the fast food and processed foods available here are kind of different from maybe say a home country.”

But now volunteers say these families are about to find out how easy it can be to grow food out of the comfort of their new homes.

“I think it’s really important to show people how easy it can be to eat healthy in your own house. They can just pluck a tomato right out of their own garden and eat it,” said Chantal Toso, a project volunteer.

Home Depot donated the lumber for all 32 planters, which took volunteers a week to build.

Categories: Community, Health, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead