Articles, Blog

Meet Ron Finley The Gangster Gardener in South Central LA

November 4, 2019

Meet Ron Finley, the Gangster Gardener. He’s on a mission to change his community from a food desert to a food forest. Ron lives in South Central L.A. A community full of liquor stores, fast
food and vacant lots. It’s a food desert-where there is very
little access to healthy food. “Home of the drive through and the drive
by. Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.” It all started with him turning the
neglected median in front of his house into a garden. The city of L.A. owns these, and he was
cited for gardening without a permit. Ron fought back and started a petition
demanding the right to grow food. in his neighbourhood. And he won! The city backed off! Now Ron is spreading gardens across his
community and the world. “It’s my gospel, what I’m telling people.
Grow your own food. Growing your own food is like printing
your own money.” He wants kids to grow up with the option
of healthy food, instead of fried, fattening staples. He is transforming his street, his
neighborhood, and communities everywhere. “To change the community you have to
change the composition of the soil. We are the soil.” Much of his work is at schools where he
teaches kids that gardening is gangster and that cool kids know their nutrition. Ron has found: “If kids grow kale, kids eat kale!” Share this video if you want to see food
deserts turn into food forests. Subtitles by the community


  • Reply Rasheik Bailey May 15, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Am I early yes am I first maybe 🤷🏾‍♂️ yes anyways thanks again Rob and ron

  • Reply Robert N May 15, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Good stuff Rob! Thanks again for sharing.

  • Reply Adara May 15, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    I may have come across this video within the past two years of this guy making a difference in his community

  • Reply CynthiaCares May 15, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    We need Rob and others to travel around teaching people all over this country. Thank you 🙏🏽

  • Reply Super Mojo May 15, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Im glad he found à direction for his life. A reason to be.

  • Reply Even May 15, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Plzzz french

  • Reply boi boi May 15, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Bruu tauu d amrik ada pohon pisang jugaa yaaa ….

  • Reply 1 11 May 15, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Good for this guy. Love what he
    is doing and also you. Interesting
    videos. Thanks.

  • Reply Akwaaba B May 15, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    I need to marry him!

  • Reply DOUG HUNTER May 15, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    man !, is that ever refreshing…God bless the good …doug

  • Reply A.Ömür Battalgazi May 15, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    ❤️ I’ll spread this in Istanbul, Türkiye and Neuss, Germany. Thank you from the heart.

  • Reply Della Knowles May 15, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Mind blown.

  • Reply Takanome Mihawk May 15, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Soooo nice 😀

  • Reply Nova Cynthia Starseed Arts May 15, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    LoVe this Guy ❤️🌎🦋💎🦋🙏🏿🌷Growing Food Is a ✨13D-Art for Sure!!!

  • Reply ross nariitaar May 15, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    hai rob nice garden 🌱🌱🌱

  • Reply Jane Doe May 15, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Love this!! Thank you for posting, Rob.

    I will be sharing 🌞

  • Reply Ben May 16, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Amazing guy, his TED talk inspired me. I love how he says that gardening is true rebellion. It directly changes how you interact with the world and yourself. You're demonstration of feeding yourself from the land is making ripples of change. Maybe little at first, but they could start a process that keeps growing. I caught the bug from reading Toby Hemmenway's intro home-scale permaculture, Gaia's Garden, in 2012. A bunch of switches clicked home and I got super excited. I get lazy and don't reach goals, but that's ok, I just keep gardening. Seeing your demonstration reminds me of the gigantic machine that's feeding us, of how much work it really takes to eat from the land, but that it's worth it.

  • Reply Aspasia Frederic May 17, 2019 at 2:45 am

    This is not a new issue. There are other folks of color, ex cons, former gang members gardening in Michigan and other states. I have seen this before already in the newspapers.

  • Reply Aspasia Frederic May 17, 2019 at 2:46 am

    Also communities of color have always been food deserts in this country.

  • Reply Gail Stone May 17, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Kids with good nutrition have clearer minds, better focus, higher energy, better sleep, more enthusiasm in taking their dreams to a higher level, … The list goes on and on.
    This man is BEING the change he wants to see in the world and, as usual, it grows into change exponentially.
    Tears, … This is REAL POWER!!!!
    LOVE THIS! 💖👍😎

  • Reply Mary May 17, 2019 at 5:45 pm


  • Reply Heather White May 17, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Saw him on TED. What a cool guy. Rob Greenfield – he certainly did😃

  • Reply Raw LawGirl May 17, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Bravo Ron!

  • Reply Cherrie Mckinstry May 18, 2019 at 1:05 am

    I really want to try bannanas in Pa..

  • Reply Sharon May 24, 2019 at 9:07 am

    "Growing your own food is like printing your own money"wow

  • Reply Mariama Bojang May 24, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    This is great bringing kids back to nature..Wish all off them lot's of joy🌱

  • Reply Marcus Grigsby May 27, 2019 at 1:26 am


  • Reply Max Fire Fantasy Report May 27, 2019 at 3:20 am

    Hell yeah

  • Reply Solinda Ferrer June 7, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Nice advocacy!

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