Health and wellness is a growing concern for people around the world. Consumers seek fresh, natural and less processed foods. We are actually willing to pay a premium for those health attributes. Unfortunately, some people can’t pay premium.

Poverty is literally making people sick because they can’t afford food. Yet fruit and vegetable “just” grow from the soil. Everybody could have access to healthy food: we just need a seed and plant it. Imagine if we were planting fruit and vegetable in public areas? Everybody would have access to free healthy food.

That was Ron Finley‘s smart idea. He lives in a”food desert” also known as South Los Angeles. In front of his home, between the curb and the sidewalk was a 10-foot-wide, 150-foot-long strip of useless, scrubby grass. He decided to transform it in a meaningful and useful place: a food forest. His garden became a little food paradise where flowers, fruit and vegetables grow together.

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So what happened?

I have witnessed my garden become a tool for the education, a tool for the transformation of my neighborhood. To change the community, you have to change the composition of the soil. We are the soil. You’d be surprised how kids are affected by this. Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus you get strawberries.”

Beyond free food the garden brought beauty and positive transformation for his community.

In the “You can dig this” documentary you can see more examples of how gardening has the power to change lives.

Ron Finley’s full story is here on ted talk

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