Ron Finley: Gangsta Gardner [Click graphics to watch TED Talk and films]
Ron Finley's inspiring TED Talk (linked to below) has been seen by more than 2.5 million people. Ron is an artist who is now using soil as his canvas in South Central, LA. He calls himself the "Gangsta Gardner" because he is trying to encourage gang members and others in the inner cities to see gardening as the best way to change the system and improve their lives. Ron influenced legislation to allow planting on Los Angeles freeways. He now travels the world spreading his message.
Ron's work is featured Urban Fruit. Ron's 2015 film Can You Dig This profiles some unlikely gardeners. Near the end of the film, a little girl who has been growing vegetables opens a food stand where she sells her foods to the neighborhood! She is making money to help support her family and is also changing their diet. After her father had a heart attack, he became more interested in eating the greens his daughter was growing! Talking about transformation!
Ron was a speaker on the Food Revolution Summit 2016 which donated $500 to his work and encouraged the over 200,000 Summit participants to do likewise. Ron's site is at: http://ronfinley.com. He says he is not just growing food -- he is also growing people! Imagine what a difference his vision can make across America in terms of health and hope!
Ron's TED Talk says: 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-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys." 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 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.