Guerrilla Gardener In South Central LA Doesn’t Get Government Love, Is Transforming What It Means To Be Gangster

Food is a problem. Food is the solution. Many urban areas suffering from depression of the economy suffer from the lack of whole food, good foods. A liquor store and a vacant lot are alright. However, try to plant green gardens, so you don’t have to drive 45 minutes to buy something besides fast food or a dialysis treatment, and just hope the city doesn’t interfere.

South Central Los Angeles is one of these food deserts — a place where all one can find is food stuffs that worsen one’s health. Where foods lack nutrition, and may not be food in the sense of supplying the body with nutrients.

Eat Drink Better explains: “Food deserts are areas without access to healthy food, usually in poor, urban areas. Instead of grocery stores where you can pick up healthy fruits and veggies, the food options are fast food chain after fast food chain, maybe with some convenience stores thrown in.”

According to Ron Finley, a guerrilla gardener in South Central LA, gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do in the city. Mind you, in spite of the way the city is alright with vacant lots, blowing trash, and liquor stores, the city gave him a bit of trouble for simply growing food. For growing fresh, healthy, juicy organic foods. For growing foods that children’s bones will grow with. Yes, that caused some trouble.

Ron Finley gets out his seeds, soil, and shovel and plants vegetables in abandoned lots, traffic medians, and along the curbs, taking the vacancy of South Central and coaxing urban agriculture out of an abyss. He hopes people will enjoy it — sharing with any hungry passersby. In this once bleak community, Finley offers sustenance as alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

You know you have the real thing with this guy. The real garden of hope. Don’t lower his vibration by deciding to sit down and talk about a plan of your own — jump up to his vibration with a clump of dirt between your hands and dig in.

Guerrilla Gardener Ron Finley Coaxing Urban Agriculture Out Of An Abyss in South Central LA, Combating this area’s food desert.

LA Green Grounds began small but kept growing, working, and teaching, “changing turf into edible gardens in South Los Angeles.” Once you get your feet dug in the dirt of nutritious food beginnings, you will start to understand food justice, connection, and life at new levels of hope for those in need. No one should be hungry.

Food scarcity is not funny at all. Being a farmer and an educator, I feel children should learn to grow young plants before they read. They should know that food is something they can grow to help sustain life. Combating food scarcity is the key goal the American Community Project. “The entire goal for the American Community Project is to understand how people are overcoming the problem of food scarcity and to raise funds for organizations that are combating this challenge in each state. ACP is championing fundraising for LA Green Grounds and 47 other non-profits.”

It is people and organizations like Ron Finley, American Community Project, and LA Green Gardens that will keep us alive. Nurturing and producing food without depleting land takes commitment. When one really gardens or farms, it becomes a way of life, a style of life that one breathes from before dawn till after dusk. Organic gardeners are not extremists, but the real conservatives in an agrarian sense. The rest of us have lost touch with conservation and reciprocity in consideration of dirt, water, plant life, and food.

Related Stories:

Feeding The Future: Part One – Problems With Our Current Food Production System

Community Gardens Provide More Than Food In DC

3 thoughts on “Guerrilla Gardener In South Central LA Doesn’t Get Government Love, Is Transforming What It Means To Be Gangster”

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    I saw this TED Talk just about a year and a half ago. Your title made it sound like it would be some sort of an update as to what is going on. All you did was write an article about an old TED talk.

  2. I saw his TED talk awhile back and enjoyed it. I’m curious to see what the program looks like beyond the marketing. The reality is that gardening takes work to maintain a garden and even somewhat of a green thumb. I get that a lot of the program is about education and not just in planting gardens, but still. I do like the idea.

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