Growing Your Own Food is Like Printing Your Own Money: Ron Finley’s TED Talk

Please take a moment and watch gangster/guerrilla gardener Ron Finley’s inspiring Ted talk. I first heard about Ron after he got busted for planting a vegetable garden in what used to be a weed strewn parkway. He’s gone on to plant many more gardens around Los Angeles.

The end of this talk really hit home for me, “Don’t call me if you want to sit around and have meetings. If you want to meet with me come to the garden with your shovel so we can plant some s**t.”


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  1. Thanks for posting this! Very powerful. I’ll be sharing with my little corner of the Seattle gardening community.

  2. This is an excellent example of how things need to change. Some laws make no sense what so ever and it is so great that he stuck with it and got things changed. We need to be meeting the real needs of our community and food and shelter are the most important. Sometimes life does not need to be complicated. It can be so simple and logical but there are always those who profit from all the red tape they drag us through.

  3. I really appreciate this post. I met Ron at a permaculture course and can say he is surely an inspiration. Why not grow food in every nook and cranny we can find. Way to stick it to the failed system.

  4. Was working near Ron’s garden this morning, so I stopped by to check it out. It’s looking great. Tons of diversity—edible and not—and what looked to be at least a couple of new fruit trees. Also new carrots in cool little dresser drawer planters, and sunflowers everywhere. Nice stepping stone paths. It’s beautiful.

  5. Mr. Homegrown,

    I SO enjoy your blog! I shared this post with my FB friends, and my UU minister here in Rockport, Massachusetts, currently getting pummeled again by a storm.
    We are no South Central, but obviously the message is universal. Thank you!

  6. Simply brilliant from a dynamic speaker.
    Thanks so much for posting. I can’t wait to work in my community garden plot tomorrow. There is nothing else I would rather do. And btw, thanks for writing Urban Homestead.

  7. Thanks for posting Ron’s talk, Erik. It’s really inspiring stuff. (I love the the redesign of your blog, by the way.)

  8. I, too, just saw Ron Finley’s talk a few days ago. There were so many great one-liners it was difficult to choose my favorite, but my big takeaway was the sheer volume of empty lots and not just in LA. Guerrilla gardeners are making real changes by challenging local governments and engaging the communities that could make the most of the land.

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