How Guerrilla Gardening Can Save America's Food Deserts

Ron Finley's L.A. Green Grounds brings fresh fruit and vegetables to urban neighborhoods dominated by fast food, liquor stores and empty lots

"I am bringing healthy food to the community and showing people how to grow it and cook it," says Ron Finley. (Rickett & Sones)

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They don't, especially the way I plant. I don't plant in rows. My gardens are more for aesthetics as far as look and appeal. I want beauty. I want color pops. I want different kinds of flowers, different smells and textures. A lot of people don't see it as a vegetable garden, but I think vegetable gardens are for the most part not attractive. Nothing in nature is straight.

You are also working on a new project?

It's a container café concept, with a café [called The Ron Finley Project] attached to a garden. I am putting the first one up on property that I have in South L.A., and then will scale them out for global domination. I am bringing healthy food to the community and showing people how to grow it and cook it. It will be a cafe where people can come to have lessons, to eat, to rent garden plots.

And people seem to be into your message too.

It's needed, and it's happening around the world, from North Africa to Newfoundland to Australia to England to South Florida. It's happening everywhere, in every place, and in between. People want their food system back. People want to touch the soil. They want to get back to nature. This society, with computers and cell phones and LinkedIn and Facebook, it's gotten us so far away from the food system that the system was hijacked. But food shouldn't kill you, it should heal.

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