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A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA by Ron Finley

“Ron Finley is an artist, designer & gardener, based in Los Angeles. Finley serves the community by teaching people the power of growing your own food.” He is famed for his Ted Talk, “A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA”. He travels the world to educate people about the importance of growing their own food and reminding them that they have the power to design their own lives. He has his own project named after himself.

Ron Finley, better known as the “gangster gardener”, is from the Ted talk, “A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA”. He was sick and tired of not having healthy non-pesticide foods to eat. He took the initiative by using the vacant lots and traffic medians, along the curbs to grow the community’s organic food. He united a community by providing better health through his design of the “city” gardens, empty medians on the streets just outside of his house. It also was able to reconcile the homeless back into the community and heavily address the social injustices in that area. The reason why his system worked is that the food he provided was not free, but fair exchange of labor by helping support the garden. This symbiotic system requires a design of a creative management structure. I love how he says, “If kids grow kale, kids will eat kale.” (Finley). It’s catchy and true because normally kids and kale don’t go together in a positive manner. What’s interesting is that he has a background in fashion design for professional athletes. Starting off as a designer and then becoming an advocate for sustainability and community.

Finley, Ron. “A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA.” TED. Feb. 2013. Lecture.

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