L.A. Green Grounds
Ron Finley is a L.A.-based artist who co-founded an organization called “L.A. Green Grounds”. The group is a non-profit that organized volunteers to plant gardens in the vacant lots of Los Angeles—Home to the Vacant Lots. A simple idea: a community garden to feed South Central Los Angeles, a place where “more people died from the drive through than the drive-bys”, said Finley. Residents of South Central suffer from poor health due to lack of basic proper produce. “I have to drive 45-minutes round trip to get an apple that hasn’t been impregnated with pesticides,” Finley said in his TED talk. He wanted to change his neighborhood by changing the food supplied to his community by planting gardens. His gardens give people access to produce to provide opportunities for people to eat actual food. However, can Finley and his volunteers change the face of gardening and nutrition in South Central? They already have.
Finley took the notion of classic gardening and has flipped it around. “We gotta flip the script on what a gangsta is—if you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta,” is Finley’s approach to making gardening cool and not something just for your grandma. As an artist, Finley uses the soil as his canvas to manufacture a piece of art; however Finley’s art is nurtures both your mental and physical health. His cool and relaxed personality and reputation in the neighborhood allows him to make an impact on people of all ethnicities and ages. He makes gardening gangsta because he is a gangsta who gardens.
Finley’s mission is to simply put fruits and veggies on everyone’s plate so that his neighborhood is healthy and prosperous. He is an example of how one man can make all the difference with the right amount of passion and determination.
I highly recommend that you watch Finley’s TED talk. I’ve attached the link below.