Do you live in a food desert? In other words, do you reside in a rural town or neighborhood with no available access to fresh, healthy, affordable food? If so, there is government funding available as a solution to those living in a food desert. You can visit this site to first, plug in your address to find out if your location qualifies as a food desert, and second, if it does, apply for funding to bring healthy, fresh food to your area. From what I understand, this funding can either help bring a retail store to your area to provide fresh food or provide funding to start growing your own food as a community.

It is estimated that at least 23.5 million Americans reside in food deserts. These areas result in lower income communities where ill health and obesity are more prevalent. As the saying goes, we are what we eat. Thus, we cannot stress enough the importance of eating fresh, nutritious food. Healthy food is especially critical for children in order to establish healthy eating habits, and to provide vital nutrients during their growth process. When children develop poor eating habits, which many do without access to healthy food, it can take many years of health related issues before they can make improvements to their well being with a healthier diet. It seems so ironic that schools and hospitals offer such nutrient deficient food to those who need it most: growing children and aging elders. I often wonder how the recovery rate of hospitalized elders, as well as the performance of school children, might improve with a nutritious diet of fresh food.

While it is a blessing the government is attempting to assist those living in food deserts, the wiser, more self-sufficient choice is simply to embrace renegade gardening. How hard is it really for a community to pool their resources and begin growing a community garden? The many benefits for a community which chooses to be in control of their own health are limitless and beyond measure. We are here on this planet as stewards of the land, and to receive the many bountiful blessings the Earth has to give us. Growing our own food is one of them. I have mentioned in other posts that all the beautiful, organic food in our natural markets cannot compare nutritionally to our own fresh picked food. There is simply no comparison. The nutritious sugars, called mannose, which are responsible for carrying and delivering fresh food’s essential nutrients to our cells, are devoid in fresh picked food within 48 hours. After this elapsed time, we are literally eating dead food.

It is a know fact that healthy, fresh food supports our bodies to remain in a natural state of health while warding off the common ailments, addictions, imbalances and diseases resulting from malnutrition. At the end of the day, no amount of dead food can satisfy our need to be fed straight from the Earth garden. So get out your shovels, and pioneer renegade community gardens which the government just might help you fund for food desert solutions.  Biodynamic gardening produces without a doubt the most efficient and abundant gardens possible. And don’t forget to plant native flowers in the garden to help the bees who are rapidly disappearing as a result of toxic agriculture.


Gangsta Gardener Fights South L.A.’s Food Desert

Bianca Hernandez | sierraclub | Mar 19 2014

23.5 million Americans live in food deserts, regions that lack access to fresh food. Ron Finley saw a need for produce in the food desert he called home and took action, sparking interest around the world, but more importantly, bringing his community together. The South Los Angeles resident taught us a few things about renegade gardening, and the importance of fresh food in his community’s schools.

Bianca Hernandez: What led you to start guerilla gardening?

Ron Finley: I’m not a “guerilla gardener.” I’m a renegade gardener. A gangsta gardener. Guerilla gardeners plant and then they bounce. My thing is to have ownership. I bring healthy food into a community that has none. Show people how easy it is. Help people to be able to design their own lives.

BH: Why is that important to South Los Angeles?

RF: This is a small section of the populace that has more disease and sickness than the larger population, and it’s by design. My thing is to self-empower the neighborhood, take matters into your own hands. Grow your own damn food.

BH: How can this be applied to marginalized communities beyond those in Los Angeles?

RF: Already has been — healthy food is a basic need. Why should your food make you sick? For me, planting a seed in South Central

[Los Angeles] has turned into a planet-wide movement. Kids in India are calling themselves gansta gardeners. I get calls from The Netherlands to London and everywhere in between. A lot of people are realizing food is our medicine. It doesn’t kill you right off, but it does eventually.

BH: Any current projects?

RF: Rooftop gardens are being put up in downtown Los Angeles to help feed the homeless. I’m doing consulting work with Los Angeles Unified School District. Kids are eating garbage and you expect their minds and bodies to develop? Grade school kids are having heart attacks, and it’s not from a lack of food, it’s from a lack of real food.

BH: What can someone do today in their community?

RF: Get a shovel, a pitchfork, and get your community together and grow your own food. You save money on food and health bills. Gardens don’t cost – they pay, and in more than one way. Build communities, build healthy bodies.

Watch Ron Finley’s TED-talk or find more articles about the revolution in gardening.