Ron Finley is Using Urban Gardens to Teach Self-Reliance in South Los Angeles

You’ve heard of guerrilla fighters and guerrilla marketers… but what’s a guerrilla gardener?


Finley understands the connection between food and community
“South Central LA, home of the drive-thru, and the drive-by,” Finley says. “Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killin’ more people than the drive-bys. People are dying from curable diseases in South Central LA.”

Finley gets it. He’s wiser than the FDA, the USDA and all the government policies combined. While President Obama’s plan is to put as many people on food stamps as possible so they can spend government money on disease-promoting processed foods, Ron Finley’s plan is to get people off food stamps and put ‘em on food forests… to teach people to grow their own live foods that prevent disease, inspire communities and give rise to self-reliance.

This idea of teaching people to grow their own food drives control freak government bureaucrats crazy. The city of Los Angeles, in fact, tried to force him to destroy his curbside food forest. As he explained:

I planted a food forest in front of my house. …The city came down on me, and gave me a citation saying that I had to remove my garden. And this citation turned into a warrant. A warrant for planting food…

With the help of an LA Times reporter and hundreds of petitioners, Finley was finally victorious over an idiotic city policy that wanted to destroy his food forest and turn it back into a curbside of useless weeds.

Now, Ron Finley is on a mission to inspire others to turn vacant lots into food forests, transforming communities and teaching kids the value of growing your own food.

Ron believes that growing your own food is like printing your own money. And that’s hard to argue — if it would cost you a certain amount of money to buy food, and it costs you a lot less to grow it yourself (not to mention that you know exactly what you’re eating), it is like creating money out of nothing.

And he also sees it as a work of art…

I’m an artist. Gardening is my graffiti. I grow my art. I use the garden soil like it’s a piece of cloth, and the plants and the trees, that’s my embellishment for that cloth. You’d be surprised what the soil can do if you let it be your canvas.


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