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South L.A. “Gangsta Gardener” Ron Finley Fights to Save His Garden From Eviction

Ron Finley in his gangsta garden.By Ryan Orange for LA Weekly.

The Ron Finley Project, the non-profit that drew international recognition for its community garden in South Los Angeles, is facing eviction from the land where founder Ron Finley first planted seeds in 2010.

By Jennifer Swann
La Weekly
January 6, 2017


After years of financial problems, the property on Exposition Boulevard was purchased at a foreclosure auction by the real estate investment company Strategic Acquisitions for $379,003 last November, according to L.A. County records. But Finley, the longtime activist and self-described “gangsta gardener” who had been leasing the property, is not leaving his garden — and the community it serves — without a fight.

“They’re used to people caving in and we’re not planning on caving in,” he told the Weekly. “What I try to do is the right thing, and I’m confident in that. You can take all you want, but you can’t take my soul.”

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January 14, 2017   Comments Off on South L.A. “Gangsta Gardener” Ron Finley Fights to Save His Garden From Eviction

Urban Agriculture in Helsinki, Finland

Behind hedges and in boxes, Helsinki’s urban citizens are active urban growers.

The oldest type of UA in Helsinki is a Siirtolapuutarhat, which translates to “colony gardens,” but in casual speech they are called cottage allotments. The first garden was founded in 1918 and at present there are nine gardens with a total of 1,926 plots.

Sophia E. Hagolani-Albov
Doctoral Student in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
(Must see. Mike)


Finland has become a predominantly urban society. When Finland gained its independence in 1917, only 10 percent of the population lived in urban areas. By 1960 that figure had risen to 55 percent, and presently 70 percent of Finns live in urban areas, according to the Finnish Environmental Institute. Yet most Finns, even those living in cities, have close ties to their cultural heritage and agricultural roots in the countryside. This photo journey explores the spaces, places, and practices of urban agriculture (UA) in Finland’s capital, Helsinki. The city sits at latitude 60.6? N and has approximately 600,000 residents. This might not seem like a place well suited for urban agriculture, but an enthusiastic population of growers and the long summer days make this a hotbed of UA development.

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January 14, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture in Helsinki, Finland