Ron Finley, Sowing Seeds of Change

“Food is the problem and food is the solution.”

How does your garden grow? Well, if you are Ron Finley, your garden is thriving, not only with beautiful produce and sunflowers, but also with the support of a passionate community. His work is grounded in a very simple thought: “Food is the problem and food is the solution.” He believes many of the chronic illnesses we currently face can be remedied by changing what we eat. He is known as the “Guerilla Gardener” and his mission is to give people who live in food deserts access to healthier lifestyle choices. To date, over 2 million people have viewed his TED talk (rated PG for language) and hopefully, have been inspired to get their hands dirty and start their own gardens.

In the streets of South Central Los Angeles, Ron came up with a powerful idea—take barren parkways and the 26 square miles of vacant lots in L.A. and transform them into vibrant gardens that he called “Food Forests.” The goal was to empower folks to grow their own food and improve their health and their neighborhoods in the process.

His dream seems to be taking root.

Urban farmers plant real change.

As part of California’s Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act passed in 2013, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted last November to consider reduced tax assessments for property owners who lease their vacant lots out to urban farming. It’s a win-win for all involved: landowners are financially rewarded, and urban farmers and restaurateurs have access to plots of land to grow gardens or create educational centers to plant real change in their communities.

Inspired by Ron’s work? Maybe it is time to start planning your own garden!

Edible Garden Resources

Growing your food is knowing your food. Looking for non-GMO seeds? Check out High Mowing Seeds — they have a full line of Non-GMO Project Verified seeds!

For help in figuring out when to plant your edible garden, check out this helpful chart. Don’t have space at home? Find a local community garden near you, by visiting the American Community Garden Association.

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