TrailheadWhen University of Virginia students Emily Corazon and Graham Evans hit the highway this summer, they didn’t set off on the average college road trip. The pair left Charlottesville, Va., in late July in a 14-person passenger bus that was converted to run on waste vegetable oil. Even better, the duo built a vegetable garden on top of the bus. Inside, they retrofitted the bus with a small kitchen to cook meals for themselves and other people they meet along the way.

The trip—dubbed “Nourish (meant)”—is part youth adventure and part social art experiment.

“We’re trying to discover what is nourishing in the world today and what people sustain themselves with,” says Corazon, checking in from the road. “The art project is the journey, meeting people, and creating relationships, as well as the sharing and cultivation of food.”

After asking random people in small towns across the country what nourishment means to them, the pair have been recording answers for a broadly themed recipe book. Answers have ranged from the literal—types of food—to the more abstract, including laughter, family, and community.

“It’s a hard question for a lot of people,” Corazon continues. “But it’s also inspiring what sometimes comes out when they stop and think about it.”

They are also making meals for whoever is willing to take a leap of faith and grab a free bite to eat from a stranger. In the eight-foot by two-foot garden on the top of the bus, Corazon and Evans are successfully growing cherry tomatoes, squash, and other vegetables and herbs to share along the way.

Watch video from their road trip at