I recently listened to a TED talk that was both inspiring and motivating. This is a reality that I want to share with you and hopefully you will be inspired to make some life saving changes.
Ron Finley is a guerrilla gardener in South Central Los Angeles. He is an artist and designer who couldn’t help but notice what was going on in his backyard. “South Central Los Angeles,” he quips, “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by.” And it’s the drive-thru fast-food stands that contribute more to the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes.
“Dialysis units are popping up like Starbucks. Wheelchairs are bought and sold like used cars.”
Finley’s vision for a healthy, accessible “food forest” started with the curbside veggie garden he planted in the strip of dirt in front of his own house. When the city tried to shut it down, Finley’s fight gave voice to a larger movement that provides nourishment, empowerment, education – and healthy, hopeful futures — one urban garden at a time.
A group of volunteers known as the LA Green Grounds, gardeners from all walks of life are planting gardens on abandoned lots, traffic medians and along curb sides. Shovels become the tools to give young people meaningful work and get them off the streets.
It is a movement to take back our health. Think about that for a moment……..to take back our health!! How did we lose so much control over feeding our bodies nutritious food?
If kids grow kale, they will eat kale. If kids grow tomatoes, they will eat tomatoes; Instead of blindly eating what is put in front of them.
Planting a vegetable garden beside a road is not longer a fineable action in Los Angeles. In a major victory for TED speaker Ron Finley, otherwise known as the renegade gardener of South Central, the Los Angeles City Council voted 15-0 to allow the planting of vegetable gardens in unused strips of city property.
What a victory!!! Strange that the city would want to fine a person for growing vegetables; for wanting to promote healthy eating; for caring!!!!
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
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