April 15, 2013

Guerilla Gardener . . .

Last summer, I worked with a group of enthusiastic, creative, smart economically disadvantaged kids in Columbus, Ohio.  (I, by the way, was an enthusiastic, creative, smart economically disadvantaged kid from Philadelphia.)

What got to me about the neighborhood in which these kids lived was this:  They did not have a supermarket.

Yet, in nearby neighborhoods, the residents got to choose between Kroeger, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, etc.

It.  Pissed.  Me.  Off.

Apparently, this food availability disparity pissed off Ron Finley of South Central, LA enough that he did something about it.  He became a guerilla gardener.

"If kids grow kale," Finley says, "they eat kale."

"Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant activity you can do, especially in the inner-city.  Plus you get strawberries."

I've seen creative solutions before, like a renovated bus that brought fresh fruit and vegetables to impoverished neighborhoods each week at a reduced cost.  (Kind of like a bookmobile, with low-cost, fresh produce.)

But I LOVE Ron Finley's solution . . . because it returns power to the people.  It offers dignity, education, good health and good karma.  (Plus you get strawberries.)


Sylvia A said...

Cheers for Ron Finlay and his guerilla garden! This country and this planet need one person with a great idea to stand up and one person and one person and on and on until there are enough to transform the world.

Wild About Words said...

Sylvia, A . . . well-said. I couldn't agree more!