|Ron Finley. Photo: James Duncan Davidson|
~ Artist and designer Ron Finley could not help but notice what was going on in his backyard, South Central Los Angeles. Describing the area as “the home of the drive-thru and the drive-by,” Finley decided that it was way past time to try and do something about just one aspect of the many issues facing the area―and that was (and is) the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes.
He started working with the organization L.A. GreenGrounds to install a vegetable garden on the 150 ft x 10 ft patch of ground in front of his house, that strip between the sidewalk and the street that the city owns but the resident has to keep up. What happened when he did this, becomes the heart of this inspiring talk, which has in turn inspired many other people in L.A. and elsewhere to take control of their health and urban environments.
"We’ve got to make this [gardening] sexy,” he proclaims. “Let’s all become renegades, gangsta gardeners. We have to flip the script on what a gangsta is. If you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta. Let that be your weapon of choice!”
Amen to that!