Ron Finley: The “Gangsta Gardner”…..he plants food and gardens in vacant lots in South Central L.A.

"Growing your own food is like printing your own money"  –Ron Finley

"FOOD IS THE PROBLEM, FOOD IS THE SOLUTION!!!", Says Ron Finley, a.k.a. the "Gansta Gardner" of South Central Los Angeles.

The story in one sentence…Ron started planting gardens and growing food in vacant lots all over South Central Los Angeles, which I'm sure most of us know…"South Central ain't Beverly Hills"

Now he has "human waves" of volunteers, Black, White, Hispanics, young people, old people….. and they are starting a FOOD REVOLUTION!!!

I don't want to write much, because I'm sooooooooo inspired!!! I have a ten minute video of Ron speaking and although I know most us only "skim" blog articles like this and skip the embedded video, WATCH THE VIDEO, IT WILL INSPIRE YOU AND MOTIVATE YOU.

This post will thus only be select quotes from the video embedded below and some of the Gangsta Gardener's "Garden Graffiti"…………

Ron Finley Quotes from the video embedded below

"I got tired of driving 45 minutes to get an apple that was impregnated with pesticides".

"LA leads the USA in vacant lots. That's 20 Central Parks (New York). That's enough space to plant 725,000,000 tomato plants"

"I grew up there , I raised my sons there. I refused to be part of this manufactured reality…I manufactured my own reality"

"I'm an artist…gardening is my graffiti, I grow my art"

"I use the soil like it's a piece of cloth……you be surprised what the soil can do if you let it be your canvas"

"To change a community, you have to change the composition of the soil…we are the soil"

"You'll be surprised how kids can be affected by this"

"It made me ashamed to see people this close to me that were hungry, and it reinforced why I do this"

(When asked "aren't you afraid people are gonna steal your food?") "Hell no I ain't afraid, that's why it's on the street!!!!!"

"I want people to take it [the food], but at the same time, I want them to take back their health"

"If kids grow kale, they eat kale!!!! If kids grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes!!!!" But if none of this is presented to them, they blindly eat whatever the hell you put in front of them"

"With gardening, I see an opportunity to train these kids, to have a sustainable life…"

"The funny thing about sustainability, you have to sustain it………"

"We gotta flip the script on what a 'gangster' is…..if you ain't a gardener….you ain't gangsta' "

"If you want to meet with me, don't call me if you wanna meet with me, and talk about doing some s%$#it, if you wanna meet with me, come to the gardens with a shovel,….AND PLANT SOME S@$%IT!!!"

I thought today would be just another generic day…..but my spirit got ignited!!!!

……after watching this video, I think the heavenly powers are finally revealing to me what they want me to do with my passion and obsession for health, wellness, and a holistic lifestyle


Ron Finley's site can be found here at


~stay healthy~



~You might also like~


Seattle is creating a massive "Food Forest" with free edible veggies and fruits
(click here or photo below)


"Eating our Landscape", A British Town [hopefully] starts another "American Revolution" by going sustainable
(click here or photo below)


check out all my articles in "Sustainable Gardening, Eating, Living…..and all that jazz"

2 Responses


WHOA. I had heard this gentleman before on NPR.   He is definitely gangsta. Thanks so much for posting this. I am inspired. I'm  going to plant some shit.


Thanks for commenting, I am so rarely inspired, but he inspired me immensely as well. ~stay healthy~

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required

"Body", (Part 39)
a.k.a. "It's Your Life"
(....the "Body Paint" Slideshow)


"Gado Gado"
( Indonesian Salad with Raw and Cooked Vegetables)


Steph Curry
The Secret to his Success?
Brain Training!!!


Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free, Raw Peach Cheesecake


Cyber Traveling with "Travelista Teri"


Carrot Cake Pancakes


Men's Health:
Nutrients for Male Vitality
and Well Being (Part 3)


Grilled Chicken, Burst Tomato, and Artichole Skewers


Men's Natural Body Care
(...becoming an all-natural, GQ "Smooth Operator")


My Top 30 Superfood
"Power Rankings"
(....numbers 1 thru 10)


Black Women more likely to be marketed beauty products containing Toxic Chemicals (...a recent study says)


The "Gangster Gardener"
He plants food gardens on vacant lots all over South Centeral L.A.


Caribbean Style Mango Cabbage Slaw


Men's Health: African-American Men at Higher Risk of False Positives in Prostate Testing


Coconut Cake
(...with healthy baking tips)


"The Wanderlust Food Diaries"
"The Edge of a Dream"
The Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali
Menu: Balinese Cuisine


Beef Kofta (minced or ground meat) with Grain Free Tabouli


Girl Talk:
Beauty Secrets from Africa


The AMAZING Superfood
"Black Seeds" (...and Black Seed Oil) of the most powerful Superfoods


Ballerina Misty Copeland's
Five Ways She Eats, Trains and Lives Healthy


Summer Glow
"Buddha Bowl"


Dinner and a Movie:
"Mississippi Masala"
Menu: "Mixed Masala" Dinners


Fifty, Fit and Fabulous!!!
Stephanie Person, Age 50 !!!
Nutrition Coach


Raw, Gluten Free, Blueberry Spirulina Cheescake


Balinese Grilled Chicken


Putting Monsanto in Your Vagina?
...Many Tampons Contaminated with Toxic Glyphosate Herbicide


Spanish Paella
(....made healthy)


Mens Health: New Studies Reveal the Importance of Zinc in Maintaining Prostate Health


Balinese Chicken Satay with "Dirty" Peanut Sauce


Food Based Hair Treaments
Part II
(....a "Boho" inspired article")


See all articles in "The Healthy Chef's Cookbook"
(The Art of Food)


See all articles in "Eat Smart"
(The Science of Food)


(BELOW) Links to my favorite sites who are ''Raging Against the Machine''
(and also some fun cooking blogs)


One Bold Soul: Artist and Writer

(same name, different blog, no need to fight about it)

Real Food Freaks

Kim's "Nutritionally Well"

Special 'shout out' to this food blogger. Totally different style than me, but my favorite food blog in creativity. She inspired me to start my 'Dinner and a Movie' and "Wanderlust Food Diaries' articles.