Food activist Ron Finley campaigns to “change the composition of the soil” in his hometown of South Central LA. In place of the “food desert” made up of liquor stores and fast food (not to mention drive-by shootings) he and his volunteer organization LA Green Grounds plants “food forests” in abandoned lots, traffic medians and sidewalk parkways.
Finley’s point of view is a call to arms to change our conversation about food.
The city of LA leads the United States in vacant lots. They own 26 square miles in vacant lots. That’s the equivalent of 20 New York Central Parks. That’s enough space to plant 724,838,400 tomato plants.
As a combination vegetable graffiti artist and gardening gangster, Finley and his organizations have revitalized these pockets of land into tools to transform, educate and feed his community. With “dig ins” and plans for pop-up fresh food cafés and street farmer’s markets he’s looking to activate his hood, turning shovels into the weapon of choice.