OAK PARK – Mayor Kevin Johnson introduces the local community to Ron Finley on Monday, August 17 as he presents the next installment of his 2015 Indivizible Speakers Series.
Finley is known as South Central’s Guerrilla Gardener. The public is invited to attend and listen as Finley details how he’s transitioning South Los Angeles from a healthy food desert to healthy food forest.
Finley is igniting what he calls a (horti)cultural revolution. He envisions a world where gardening is “gangsta,” where cool kids know their nutrition and where communities embrace the act of growing, knowing and sharing the best of the earth’s fresh-grown food.
Having grown up in the South Los Angeles food desert, Finley was 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. He 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,” Finley says.
Part of his efforts to transform America includes turning unused space such as parkways and vacant lots into fruitful endeavors and community hubs, where people learn about nutrition and join together to plant, work and unwind. He plans for these areas to provide a myriad of jobs for local residents, and for them to be self-sufficient ecosystems of gardening, education, cooking, business learning and management.
The speaker series begins at 6 p.m. at the Guild Theater, located at 2828 35th Street. For more information, visit www.indivizible.com.