I’m so excited that planting a garden IN the parking strip is no longer a violation of LA law. This is such a big win for the rest of the guerrilla gardening community!
Ron Finley is an urban farming activist/renegade gardener and has been a loud supporter of the grow your own movement. Earlier this year LA code gave Ron Finley a citation for growing a garden in his park strip. A roughly 10′ x 150′ area in front of his home that he is responsible to maintain but keep “clear of obstructions.” Well if you’ve ever seen how big a tomato gets by the end of summer you’ll understand why clear of obstructions is an impossibility.
His TED talk earlier this year was so inspiring. If you haven’t seen it please watch it, dedicate the 12 minutes and watch this man see a problem in his neighborhood and rise up to meet the need.
The LA code department came down on him pretty hard saying that if he didn’t remove the garden the citation would evolve into a warrant. A warrant, for growing food in a strip of land that the city of LA owns but doesn’t maintain. As far as I’m concerned the pictures of his parking strip are the most beautiful thing, although I’m bias because I’m a sucker for a good garden.
He fought the ruling, but it’s not just his parking strip he’s fighting for. Ron is involved with a group called lagreengrounds.org that advocates bringing good quality food to low income residents of LA. The group also helps residents set up and maintain a garden thus helping to spread the access to quality vegetables and fruit.
The message of grow your own speaks to my heart. My large front yard garden was free access to anyone that wanted. But I don’t live in a food dessert so not many people took advantage of the free food in the front yard garden. My current garden is more than sufficient to supply me and my neighbors/family with food. Any extra goes to the food bank. Do you grow anything with the purpose to just give away?
*The top picture is my garden in late fall 2011, it has since been put back to grass very reluctantly. I figured our house might sell easier if it didn’t look like a jungle.