Ron Finley is a brilliant, inspiring, hands-on visionary who is unleashing the transformative power of “guerilla gardening” on the residents of South Central LA. In doing so, he is transforming communities, connecting kids with their food, and simultaneously practicing what he calls, “the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do.”
Watch his celebrated TED talk here:
Finley understands the connection between food and community
“South Central LA, home of the drive-thru, and the drive-by,” Finley says. “Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killin’ more people than the drive-bys. People are dying from curable diseases in South Central LA.”
Finley gets it. He’s wiser than the FDA, the USDA and all the government policies combined. While President Obama’s plan is to put as many people on food stamps as possible so they can spend government money on disease-promoting processed foods, Ron Finley’s plan is to get people off food stamps and put ’em on food forests… to teach people to grow their own live foods that prevent disease, inspire communities and give rise to self-reliance.
This idea of teaching people to grow their own food drives control freak government bureaucrats crazy. The city of Los Angeles, in fact, tried to force him to destroy his curbside food forest. As he explained:
I planted a food forest in front of my house. …The city came down on me, and gave me a citation saying that I had to remove my garden. And this citation turned into a warrant. A warrant for planting food…
With the help of an LA Times reporter and hundreds of petitioners, Finley was finally victorious over an idiotic city policy that wanted to destroy his food forest and turn it back into a curbside of useless weeds.
Now, Ron Finley is on a mission to inspire others to turn vacant lots into food forests, transforming communities and teaching kids the value of growing your own food.
Finley espouses the libertarian idea of self-reliance and defiance against injustice
“It’s my gospel. I’m tellin’ people grow your own food. Growing your own food is like printing money,” he says. And in that quote, Finley reveals that he is ultimately a libertarian revolutionary. The idea of teaching people to create their own wealth by growing food is uniquely libertarian, and it stands in defiance of the government dependence dogma spewed by our modern-day Presidents, including Bush and Obama.
“I have witnessed my garden become a tool for the transformation of my neighborhood. To change the community, you have to change the composition of the soil,” Finley says. And his words also ring true for the nation as a whole: to change America, you have to change the composition of the food.
Finley has actually hit upon the answer to Obamacare in all this as well. Instead of trying to find more money to cover the costs of more disease and nutritional deficits among the people, the Finley approach of teaching people to grow their own food automatically prevents disease, reduces health care costs, lowers national expenditures and it might even put cancer clinics and dialysis centers out of business.
And that’s precisely why the status quo doesn’t want Finley to succeed. His approach to building communities makes disease all but obsolete, rendering entire industries that depend on human suffering largely irrelevant.
Growing your own food is the ultimate act of defiance
What’s especially insightful in Finley’s TED talk is this statement: “Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do. Especially in the inner city.”
He’s right. And in that statement, he expresses the kind of eternal wisdom that has kept human civilization sustained for thousands of years. In an age where food is produced in centralized, sterilized, homogenized factories that process the nutrients away and deliver empty calories to a diseased population, Ron Finley understands that the solution to the processed food problem is to inspire community members to grow their own non-processed food right on their own streets, yards and vacant lots. You can’t get more local, after all, than growing food right on the curbway in front of your front door.
“If kids grow kale, kids eat kale,” he declares. “If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes.”
It’s simple yet elegant: get kids involved in growing their own food and you simultaneously improve their health, their self-reliance and their dignity all while giving them the freedom to extricate themselves from the processed food factories that would enslave us all if we allow them. To have the skills and confidence to grow your own food is to live as a free man, even as a system of food dependence and spiraling disease tries to suck you in and victimize you for its own corporate profit.
“What I’m talking about is putting people to work and getting kids off the street and letting them know the joy, the pride and the honor in growing your own food,” Finley says.
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Community gardening is a fundamental civil right
Natural News celebrates Ron Finley and his courage, his leadership, and his wisdom in bringing inner city kids and adults to a simple yet powerful solution that’s right under their noses: grow your own food and transform your life, your family and your community.
It’s a message that needs to be heard across the country and around the world. Right now, President Obama should issue a “Freedom to Garden” executive order that grants amnesty to anyone and everyone who wishes to grow food on city streets, vacant lots, front yards and anywhere else that can produce food. Or better yet, to be constitutional, Congress should pass such a law and Obama should sign it.
No city should be able to threaten people who are attempting to grow food as long as it is done in a reasonable, responsible manner. Natural News has covered several stories of women being threatened with jail time for growing gardens in their own yards. Natural News helped Julie Bass defeat her local city council which threatened her with jail time. And we publicized the story of Denise Morrison of Tulsa, Oklahoma who saw her entire medicinal landscape destroyed by ignorant, overzealous city officials.
When cities destroy food forests or herbal gardens, they are committing crimes against the People… because the People depend on food and plant medicine for their sustenance. I believe that the right to garden is a civil right and a human right, and that any city bureaucrat, official or corporation that interferes with that right is guilty of committing a civil rights violation.
Let your shovel be your weapon of choice
“I want us all to become ecolutionaries, renegades, gangster gardeners,” Finley explains. “We gotta flip the script on what a gangster is. If you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t a gangster. Be a gangster with your shovel, and let that be your weapon of choice.”
And in this statement, Finley nails it. See, society lays out a script for inner city youth. That script is created by the globalist banks, the food corporations, the pharmaceutical companies and the media moguls. In that script, inner city youth are supposed to stay poor, malnourished and dependent on the system. They are never supposed to learn self-reliance, nor how to grow their own nutrition, nor how to prevent disease using medicinal plants that Mother Nature creates for free (if you just plant ’em).
After all, today’s inner city youth are tomorrow’s cancer clinic patients, dialysis customers and pharmaceutical pill-poppers. The system depends on the “cycle of disease” to ensure long-term profits. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s Medicare proxies who funnel money into the pockets of the for-profit disease system known as modern medicine.
Gardening is freedom from enslavement and that’s exactly why gardening is being suppressed everywhere, especially in the inner cities. The powers that be don’t want inner city folks to discover anything resembling real freedom. People are far easier to control if they are kept suppressed, diseased and in a constant state of fear rather than inspiration.
That’s why Ron Finley is a revolutionary. He’s a modern-day Harriet Tubman, running his own “underground railroad” of guerilla gardening that shows people the pathway to freedom. And this is why Natural News awards him our first “Natural American Heroes” award. This is our highest award, and it will be granted sparingly. Only individuals who inspire the greatest ideals of American liberty, freedom and self-reliance will be given this award.
Help support Ron Finley’s work
If you want to help Ron Finley pursue his revolutionary work, consider supporting Ron Finley with either a donation, or better yet show up at a dig-in and bring a shovel.
Here’s his website:
We are also attempting to get in touch with Ron Finley in the hopes that he might do a phone interview with us to share even more details about his guerilla gardening endeavors.
I’ll conclude this article with another of his brilliant quotes:
I’m an artist. Gardening is my graffiti. I grow my art. I use the garden soil like it’s a piece of cloth, and the plants and the trees, that’s my embellishment for that cloth. You’d be surprised what the soil can do if you let it be your canvas.