I present to you the work of one man in South Central Los Angeles that has changed the world and who through his work is creating peace in his own backyard. His name is Ron Finley and his self-chosen title is A Guerilla Gardener. What he has done with his passion is to infuse his neighborhood and the people living there with the indomitable spirit of independence and freedom and living together in peace. His spirit has caught hold and now has a life of its own, stewarded by him and reaching out more and more, growing and thriving.
His TEDx Talk is 10:45 minutes · Filmed Feb 2013
Please watch this video to view an extraordinary man and his work:
From the TEDx page on Ron Finley:
Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thru’s are killing more people than the drive-by’s.”
Ron grows a nourishing food culture in South Central LA’s food desert by planting the seeds and tools for healthy eating.
Why you should listen to him:
Artist and designer Ron Finley couldn’t help but notice what was going on in his backyard. “South Central Los Angeles,” he quips, “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by.” And it’s the drive-thru fast-food stands that contribute more to the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes.
Finley’s vision for a healthy, accessible “food forest” started with the curbside veggie garden he planted in the strip of dirt in front of his own house. When the city tried to shut it down, Finley’s fight gave voice to a larger movement that provides nourishment, empowerment, education — and healthy, hopeful futures — one urban garden at a time.
“An inspiration to all, Ron Finley is a true urban farming hero.”
Andrew Gunther, Huffington Post, 10.3.11
Quotes by Ron Finley
“South Central Los Angeles [is the] home of the drive-thru and the drive-by. Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”Watch this talk »
“Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus, you get strawberries.”Watch this talk »
“We gotta flip the script on what a gangsta is — if you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta.”Watch this talk »
“If kids grow kale, kids eat kale. If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes. But when none of this is presented to them, if they’re not shown how food affects the mind and the body, they blindly eat whatever you put in front of them.”Watch this talk »
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