Ron Finley: Gangsta Gardener

Kushite Kingdom

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Meet Ron Finley, a man who will not sit still and watch a problem take root. Having grown up in the South Central Los Angeles food prison, Ron is familiar with the area’s lack of fresh produce. He knew what it’s like to drive 45 minutes just to get a fresh tomato.

In 2010, he set out to fix the problem. Outside his front door, that is. Ron planted vegetables in the curbside dirt strip next to his home. And quietly, carefully, tenderly started a revolution. I wanted a carrot without toxic ingredients I didn’t know how to spell, says Ron.

His was an exceptionally creative, cost-effective and simple solution; however, it was also an act of spirited rebellion that led to a run-in with the authorities.

The City of Los Angeles owns the “parkways” the neglected dirt areas next to roads where Ron was planting. He was cited for…

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