Meet Robert Horton, a St. Louis, MO native spreading the message of growing your own food.
Tired of driving miles and miles to by purchase fresh groceries, Horton decided to just grow it himself. Going by the moniker Rob Veggies, the Tennessee State University alum has dubbed his community garden the Trap Garden.
Get to know him and the message behind the Trap Garden.
What is your name and title?
Rob Veggies founder of the Trap Garden
Where is the Trap Garden located?
The Trap Garden is located on the campus of Tennessee State University
What inspired you to start the Trap Garden?
My own personal life experiences have motivated me to want to build something that could provide assistance to others who do not have direct access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks. Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, in a neighborhood without many fresh healthy food items then moving to Nashville and having to drive miles away from my home to a grocery store with fresh products was frustrating.
I woke up one morning and decided that I did not want to complain anymore but do something to alleviate the problem. I decided to join a community garden and become an urban gardener to grow my own vegetables and herbs.
Over the years I have learned to believe that it takes a village to be successful. Do you have a team working with you or are you out doing it all by yourself?
I am a firm believer that team work makes the dream work. I do not have all of the answers as a young urban grower. Many of the more seasoned growers in the community garden have helped me to better develop my own personal skills and green thumb. From an organizational standpoint, many of my close personal friends such as Blake Nathan and Kayla Elliot have helped me to establish incorporating documents for the organization. The alumni of Tennessee State University have also greatly helped me with networking opportunities, supporting words, and guidance as the Trap Garden continues to grow.
How has the Trap Garden influenced the community? Are there any partnerships/collaborations you have done to empower others to grow their own food?
Hopefully it is inspiring. When people come to visit they are excited and want to learn more after leaving. A lot of individuals have expressed interest in wanting to get involved in gardening next season. I have received some interest from community organizations that want to hear more about the program. Currently working on a few partnerships for 2016 but I want to make sure they are directly aligned with the mission of the Trap Garden.
What plants do you think are the best to grow this time of season?
There is a long list of items that you can grow in the Fall but my personal favorite is collard and mustard greens. My pops just deemed me worthy of his recipe for preparing greens so I will be enjoying them all season long. I personally have also planted broccoli, kale, and spinach as well.
Who are your biggest influences?
First I would have to say Ron Finley. I watched a TedTalks presentation by urban gardener Ron Finley a long time ago and it really motivated me. I felt like I could relate directly to his experiences and wanting to take create something positive in his community. Next, I would have to say my core group of friends from college. We are all dreamers trying to make our passions into our careers. We fight every day to get to the next level and motivate each other along the way. I cannot fail because they will not allow it. I thank God for my support system and excellent group of friends who I consider to be my motivators and biggest influences in life.
Read the full interview on ExamplePlease.com