Ron Finley is a social activist who calls himself a "gangsta gardener." I have heard much about him but did not have the pleasure to meet and hear him talk in person until today at Crescent Farm Grand Opening at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The Crescent Farm, located in the heart of the Arboretum just west of Baldwin Lake, is a reclaimed landscape where we explore new and ancient horticulture techniques for water conservation and food production. It is a beautiful open-space place to learn about water conservation and sustainable gardening. The Crescent Farm at the Arboretum has 9 core water harvesting techniques that can be replicated in any yard. The Crescent Farm at the Arboretum horticulture team put their minds and imaginations together to create an amazing drought-tolerant plant palette. Not only beautiful, these plants provide habitat for an amazing insect and wildlife population. The flora and fauna here were sourced from local nurseries and are readily available for your own yards.
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." Here are some of my favorite quotes from his talk:
"If you can't read that shit, don't eat that shit" - when talking about the artificial ingredients often found in packaged and fast foods.
"Who would have thought that being healthy is a form resistance" - sums up the work that he has been doing.
"Money grows on tree" - addressing our short-sightedness when it comes to viewing the political in our plant, food, and environment,
Here are some other pictures from the event: