In this episode of the For the Wild podcast titled ‘Cultivating the Garden of Your Mind’, Ron Finley discusses how gardening in urban spaces can subvert land and food injustices caused by oppressive land use laws. He explains how these laws prohibit food growing in towns and cities across the US and how this dictates human-nature relations.
Ron Finley questions dominant value systems in society by discussing his experiences of being criminalised for planting vegetables on a street pavement in Los Angeles. His experiences of enclosure are a stark testament to the need to rework urban land use laws which hinder food commoning. This, he argues, can help address food deserts whereby uneven access to nutritious food is commonly shaped by racial injustice.
By highlighting the entanglement between urban food growing and oppressive state structures, this podcast makes us think about enclosure and how it relates to struggles for urban land liberation and anti-racist mutual aid.
Finley believes in the possibilities of collective growing with neighbours, growing community and subverting the design of cities to cultivate human and more-than-human connection.
Ron Finley is a horticultural revolutionary; an artist and designer and food grower based in Los Angeles, US. He currently runs the Ron Finley Project.
The For the Wild podcast is a more-than-human anthology of podcasts on land-based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift away from human supremacy, endless growth and consumerism.