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Gardening As Graffiti

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“Green loitering” and civil disobedience are making waves of change in urban communities. Guerrilla gardeners, as the rogue citizens are calling themselves, are feeding families, forging policy changes, and facing not a few citations for their work on city-owned vacant lots and the parkways along sidewalks.

By “defacing” these areas with nourishing food forests of tomatoes, chilis, salad greens, sunflowers and more, the gardeners are teaching impoverished communities how to feed themselves and catching the attention of governing bodies. They work to highlight the inefficient use of land, block by block and acre by acre. As Ron Finley points out, L.A. alone has enough city-owned empty acreage to hold more than 724 million tomato plants. Thousands more cities in the US alone are exercising the same practices that keep usable land sitting empty or locked into growing resource draining turf.

Groups of guerrilla gardeners like South Central L.A.’s Green Grounds are working to change this through rogue beautification and restoration. Learn more about Ron Finley and his group’s philosophy from his Ted talk.

Photo Credit: Ron Finley in his parkway garden. Game Changers.

Margie is the founder of IG and is passionate about the therapeutic benefits of working with nature in the garden. She enjoys mangosteen, the rainy season, hammocks, and wild visitors in the garden.

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