How would you like to have delicious fruits and vegetables for free in your neighborhood? It may sound too good to be true but it's actually happening in many places all over Los Angeles thanks to one man who started a free community garden movement.
Ron Finley calls himself the "Gangsta Gardner". He says his weapon of choice is the shovel. Nearly 10 years ago, he started street gardening out of necessity. Finley who lives in South Central LA says, "I happen to live in an area that's totally devoid of any kind of healthy food. And I've always been a person that if something's not there, you put it there yourself."
Finley has been busy planting all over LA. He uses empty lots and curbside medians-- any space he can find to plant fruits and vegetables. "I want people to know they don't have to live this manufactured reality that's already set for you. You can step out of line and create your own life just like this."
Neighbor Vivian Schuler says, "So many people are suffering in this neighborhood. I think it's wonderful." Andy Haaus says he plans to do the same in his community. "There's so much vacant land in Los Angeles that if we start growing our own food, think how much money we'd save."
Finley has inspired many others to start their own community gardens. He hopes to take his message worldwide.
Do you know people like Ron Finley who are making a difference in the community? Send your suggestions to Gina Silva. She is looking to do stories on outstanding Angelenos. Her email is: Gina.firstname.lastname@example.org