Girl Planting seeds

'This is no damn hobby': the 'gangsta gardener' transforming Los Angeles

The garden seduces me,” says Ron Finley, who is known around the world as the “gangsta gardener”. “I’ll get out there at 9am and next thing I know it’s 7pm … gardening takes your mind off things. Everybody should have a garden to cultivate.” English horticulturalists fiddling with well-maintained roses might know the feeling. But for Finley, gardening isn’t about producing the perfect floral pom-pom, it’s about growing people. Planting is his unusual form of protest, and having a garden stuffed full of beautiful plants and vegetables is a byproduct of that. To many, this will seem a surprising way to rebel, but Finley lives in what he calls a “food prison”. South Central Los Angeles is a predominantly black and Latino neighbourhood known for liquor stores, vacant lots, drive-throughs and drive-bys. Due to its favourable climate this should be the market garden of America but home-grown produce is an alien concept to many.  Read more....



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