"Growing your own food is like printing your own money" - TED Talk

Wendy S. Delmater
By Wendy S. Delmater on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - 11:47am

For urban gareners, and all gardeners, here is a link to a TED talk by Ron Finley. South Central LA has 26 miles of vacant lots, and he is starting to fill them with placves to get fresh food. He's a "gansta gardener" whose "weapon of choice is shovel'; an artist whose canvas is good soil and paints are plants.

"Ron Finley describes himself as a “renegade gardener,” and he’s here to tell us all about his home, in South Central, or South Los Angeles, as city planners attempted to rebrand the area. Whatever you call it, the truth is that the area comprises liquor stores, fast food and vacant lots, and it epitomizes the stark reality that 26.5 million Americans live in a food desert. Truth is, “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys,” says Finley. “People are dying from curable diseases in South Central Los Angeles. The obesity rate in my neighborhood is five times what it is in Beverly Hills, eight miles away.”

"Tired of seeing wheelchairs “bought and sold like used cars,” tired of seeing ”drop-in dialysis centers popping up like Starbucks,” and tired of “driving a 45-minute round trip to get an apple that was not impregnated with pesticide,” he could only come to one conclusion: “This has to stop.”

". . . He wants to plant a whole block of gardens, he tells us. “I want to take shipping containers and turn them into healthy cafés,” he says. And for anyone concerned about the business model. “I’m not talking about no free shit. Free is not sustainable. The funny thing about sustainability: you have to sustain it.” The audience loves this. “What I’m talking about is putting people to work, getting kids off the street, about the pride and the honor of growing your own food. We’ve got to make this sexy,” he proclaims.

Prepare to be amazed and encouraged.

Note: If you're reading this and are not yet a member of Peak Prosperity's Agriculture & Permaculture Group, please consider joining it now. It's where our active community of gardening enthusiasts share information, insights and knowledgable daily discussion to help you succeed in growing your own food. Simply go here and click the "Join Today" button.

7 Comments

redwoods's picture
redwoods
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2013
Posts: 20
Great stuff

Great stuff

Nervous Nelly's picture
Nervous Nelly
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2011
Posts: 209
Gangster Gardeners here in Quebec, Canada too

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/07/18/drummondville-ve...

The "Eco Habitation" is petitioning to change the bylaws. It has become an International Issue. Even the American Activist Roger Dorion that had convinced the White House to plant a garden has backed this couple's petition. People from all over the world are supporting this couple. To make matters worst I found out that this city was a transition town !!!! Can you imagine this contradiction. I sent the city a nasty e-mail. Look at the list below.    www.quebecentransition.org/reseau/initiatives-locales

They finally won!!

www.ecohabitation.com/actualite/nouvelles/jardin-potager-illegal-drummondville-mobilisation-internationale.

Sonya

 

Stop the War on Front Yard Vegetable Gardens - Arrêtez la Guerre contre les Potagers sur les Cours Avant

Victory-ribbon
We won! By "we" I mean the over 30,000 people who took action in support of the food garden cause. The Drummondville front yard garden case attracted over 30,000 petition signatures, significant international media attention and what seemed to be an endless parade of supportive emails. The Drummondville Municipal Council announced that henceforth front yard kitchen gardens will be allowed and have even invited gardeners, Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp, to help shape the city's new guidelines for urban food gardens. Thank you for your support!

To: Municipal Council Members of Drummondville, Quebec

We WON! Thanks to all who signed this petition. Read up on what happened here:http://eepurl.com/oyggb

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with front yard gardeners Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp and call upon you to reverse your decision ordering them to remove their gardens by...

This petition closed on August 16, 2012.

Stay informed about this cause. Join Now.

For more info about Kitchen Gardeners International, the petition sponsor, please seehttp://kgi.org/ or join our mailing list here http://eepurl.com/lh4ub

For more info about Josée's and Michel's garden, please see:http://www.lepotagerurbain.com/

Background:

Earlier this year, Josée Landry and Michel Beauchamp of Drummondville, Quebec planted the front yard of the future: a gorgeous and meticulously-maintained edible landscape full of healthy fruits and vegetables. Now they're being ordered by town officials to remove most of their gardens (town code states that a vegetable garden can't occupy more than 30% of the area of a front yard) by September 1st to make their yard conform with newly harmonized town code. Front yard kitchen gardens are not the problem; they're part of the solution to healthier and more sustainable communities. Thanks for helping us to defend them.

If you want to write to council members directly, you can do using the French language petition text above and these addresses:

Francine Ruest Jutras: [email protected]
Mario Jacques: [email protected]
Roberto Léveillée: [email protected]
Jocelyn Gagné: [email protected]
Isabelle Marquis: [email protected]
John Husk: [email protected]
Marie-Eve Le Gendre: [email protected]
Alain Martel: [email protected]
Yves Grondin: [email protected]
Annick Bellavance: [email protected]
Vincent Chouinard: [email protected]
Philippe Mercure: [email protected]
Pierre Levasseur: [email protected]

---

Plus tôt cette année, Josée Landry et Michel Beauchamp, de Drummondville au Québec, ont aménagé la cour avant du futur: un aménagement comestible magnifique et méticuleusement entretenu, plein de fruits et légumes sains. Aujourd'hui, des fonctionnaires de la ville leur ordonnent d'enlever une bonne partie de leur potager, d'ici le 1er Septembre afin que leur terrain soit conforme aux règlements municipaux. De plus, la ville, avec son nouveau règlement harmonisé, veut dorénavant tout simplement interdire les potagers sur les cours avant et les cours avant secondaires.

Pour plus d'infos sur Kitchen Gardeners International (Potagers sans Frontières), le promoteur de cette pétition, voir http://kgi.org ou se joindre à notre liste de diffusion icihttp://eepurl.com/lh4ub

Pour plus d'informations sur le potager de Josée et Michel, voir:http://www.lepotagerurbain.com/

Si vous voulez écrire aux membres du conseil directement, vous pouvez le faire ici:

Francine Ruest Jutras: [email protected]
Mario Jacques: [email protected]
Roberto Léveillée: [email protected]
Jocelyn Gagné: [email protected]
Isabelle Marquis: [email protected]
John Husk: [email protected]
Marie-Eve Le Gendre: [email protected]
Alain Martel: [email protected]
Yves Grondin: [email protected]
Annick Bellavance: [email protected]
Vincent Chouinard: [email protected]
Philippe Mercure: [email protected]
Pierre Levasseur: [email protected]

Issues: health

  1. Update #7

    Posted on Aug 15, 2012

    We won! Read up on what happened here: http://eepurl.com/oyggb


  2. Update #6

    Posted on Aug 3, 2012

    Dear Garden Advocate,

    We just went over 17,000 signatures on our front yard garden petition on our way to 20,000 by next week. While we're waiting for the local authorities to react, we have another garden mission for you if you choose to accept it: vote our entry in the Do Good Outdoors contest into 1st place here: http://outdoors.maker.good.is/projects/sow-it-forward

    There are less than 3 hours left to vote and we're currently in 3rd place out of 115 entries with just a handful of votes...


  3. Update #5

    Posted on Jul 26, 2012

    Thanks, again, to all who signed our petition. We're now in a holding pattern until August 13th when a review committee meets to discuss the specifics of Josée's and Michel's case. I'll keep you updated on that. In the meanwhile, you can help the garden cause in another way. KGI, the petition sponsor, is currently in 3rd place out of 115 nonprofits in a contest. If we can move into 1st, we'll win a $5000 grant which we'll use to help schools and communities grow new gardens.

    If you have a...


  4. Update #4

    Posted on Jul 23, 2012

    Dear Kitchen Garden Supporters,

    Here's a breaking update on Canada's most famous front yard garden. Multiple media sources (see links below) are reporting that Josée and Michel have been given a stay until September 1st which will allow them to harvest most of their produce and allow town officials to review the case in greater detail. So we've won the immediate battle and have until September 1st to organize and win the war!

    Thanks to all who signed our petition and/or sent emails to...


  5. Update #3

    Posted on Jul 23, 2012

    Our campaign is currently featured on the homepage of the Huffington Post. Here's the link: 
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/illegal-kitchen-garden_n_1687558.html

    Keep the good things coming: we're going to win this!


  6. Update #2

    Posted on Jul 20, 2012

    You good people are getting it done. Thanks so much. At this pace, we'll be over 5000 before we know it. Onwards!


  7. Update #1

    Posted on Jul 19, 2012

    Wow: over 850 signatures in less than a day! Great work, everyone. We should be able to reach the 1000 mark today. For those concerned about installing the Causes app, I can tell you that it's no more intrusive than facebook itself, for what it's worth. If you don't want to install it, you can still help the cause by sharing the link and sending the council members an email.

 
anexaminedlife's picture
anexaminedlife
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 19 2012
Posts: 48
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Really great stuff! 

Like Dylan Ratigan's project, this is putting your money and effort where your mouth is. If we all just start digging (whatever we dig) instead of wringing our hands, moaning, and fretting - we could steer this nation back to  a good and true course. 

Most of us can't make a large impact on the world but we can make a large impact on our corner of the world. 

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
anexaminedlife wrote: Really
anexaminedlife wrote:

Really great stuff! 

Like Dylan Ratigan's project, this is putting your money and effort where your mouth is. If we all just start digging (whatever we dig) instead of wringing our hands, moaning, and fretting - we could steer this nation back to  a good and true course. 

Most of us can't make a large impact on the world but we can make a large impact on our corner of the world. 

How does one eat an entire loaf of bread at once? One slice at a time.

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2237
What an inspirational talk and actions!

All the corruption and rot and lack of consciousness we witness and experience every day, in our governments/economy/society, is demoralizing and depressing.  It is so refreshing and hope-inspiring to see that there are also good people leading via good actions.  Thank-you for another ray of hope, Ron!

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
seed bombs

I'm all excited about a Mother's Day gift my son sent me - seed bombs!

You use them in guerilla gardening. The next time I am downtown and see a vacant lot, I'd gonna let loose a seed grenade. Here's an article on seed bombs. Viva la revolución agrícola!

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 561
wear a fun hat while lobbing!

That is a great visual Wendy, and brought a smile to my face.

What a great idea though!! It is almost like random acts of kindness and pay it forward wrapped into one action. And a good way to use flowers that have gone to seed, or over-supply of veggie seeds before they are past the best used by date.

Come to think of it, for those of us who do not yet own our own homestead, a few strategically placed seed bombs on regulgar walking routes could provide a bit of extra food that one could monitor and harvest while out on walks. How intriguing! I shall be seeing with different eyes on my daily walks now! wink

Seed bombing sounds like a really fun & easy way to sow beauty all around us. Thanks for sharing!

Jan

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