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Do It

Garden natural, healthy foods in our front yards and around our neighborhoods.

Will Ottenwalder

October 1, 2013

Ron Finley, a guerrilla gardener in South Central LA, was tired of the fast food business taking over his neighborhood. So, to promote healthy living and utilization of wasted space, he decided to plant gardens.

"Artist and designer Ron Finley couldn’t help but notice what was going on in his backyard. “South Central Los Angeles,” he quips, “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by.” And it's the drive-thru fast-food stands that contribute more to the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes.
Finley’s vision for a healthy, accessible “food forest” started with the curbside veggie garden he planted in the strip of dirt in front of his own house. When the city tried to shut it down, Finley’s fight gave voice to a larger movement that provides nourishment, empowerment, education -- and healthy, hopeful futures -- one urban garden at a time" (TED).

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  • Oracle3

    Mix one small bottle of hot sauce (like Tabasco) or one can of cayenne pepper with one gallon of water that has had one teaspoon of mild dish-washing detergent added to it. The soap will help the pepper water adhere to the plants and other places you spray. The pepper spray will need to be reapplied after a rain or watering. Make sure you thoroughly wash any fruit or vegetable you harvest that has been sprayed before you eat it.

    • Oracle3

      This to deter moles and raccoons. I live in a rural area by the Amish and we have plenty of wildlife that like to "eat out for dinner" around Grow some mint or peppermint plants. Dry and scatter the leaves for a fragrance that miles and mice hate.

  • TreePeople

    Our friends at Good Karma Gardens ( are working Los Angeles's west side to get food out front, too. It seems like more and more, people are acclimating to the notion of edibles growing right where you can see them. We love it! In the words of Growing Power’s CEO Will Allen, "Everybody, regardless of their economic means, should have the same access to the same healthy, safe affordable food that's grown naturally."

  • Mia Pokriefka

    where is my shovel? I'm so stoked about this. He mentions 'curbside veggie garden'... thoughts on doing this for this month's Fix Your Street Challenge??