Gangsta Gardener - Ron Finley
Every month Stone Soup Gardens takes our employees somewhere for an educational experience. Sometimes this is a wander through Kubota Gardens, or a hike along a trail, or visiting one of our vendors to hear more about the work they do. Whatever the case, we've had some great times learning and skill building together.
This month, we got to see one of our heroes in the industry, Ron Finley, who was featured as a speaker at The Well at Queen Anne Methodist Church. Here is a short blurb about Ron:
Armed with a shovel, some soil and seeds, Ron Finley has come to be known as the "Gangster Gardener", and his unexpected tactics have made him one of L.A.s most widely known activists. Frustrated by his community's lack of access to fresh, organic food, Finley inadvertently started a revolution when he turned the parkway in front of his South Central L.A. home into an edible garden. When the city cited him for his plantings, Finley started a bureaucratic battle, gathering signatures and working with local officials until the archaic city ordinances were abolished. His TED Talk has been viewed by more than six million people to date. With so much momentum behind him, he began to focus his energy on The Ron Finley Project, which has ignited a horticultural revolution worldwide. His latest undertaking is a permanent space that serves as a garden, café, educational center, park and community gathering place.
Ron Finley doesn't mince words, he isn't shy about speaking about injustices nationally as well as locally, and he does it all while being personable, relatable, and open to listening to the community he is surrounded with. Want to learn more about Ron?
Watch a trailer for - Can you Dig This - a movie which explores the urban gardening revolution currently taking place in South Central Los Angeles which is one of the largest food deserts in the country. It follows the inspirational personal journey of five 'gangster gardeners', including Ron, all planting the seeds for a better life.
Or, better yet, if you are visiting L.A. sometime soon, go see Ron in person! He hosts an Airbnb experience so that you can see first hand the transformations happening in South Central L.A.
As Ron likes to say, "Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do....(plus you get strawberries.)"
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