In this week’s MasterClass review we have a surprise for you! This time, instead of bringing you something that will teach you how to cook food, we bring you something that will teach you how to grow your own food. Ron Finley MasterClass is the first class of this kind that will get your hands dirty.
When Ron Finley first grew a garden on a curbside dirt strip, he got cited—and then a warrant was issued for his arrest. He fought back, got the laws changed, and started a movement. Now the community activist and self-proclaimed “Gangster Gardener” is teaching you how to grow your own food, keep your plants alive, and find beauty and freedom in gardening no matter the size of your space. Start planting a revolution.
Ron Finley, the “Gangster Gardener,” as he’s known, hails from South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood so often portrayed in film and on television as a harsh landscape of poverty, gangs, and endless drive-through fast-food joints. Thanks to Ron, South Central is now also becoming known for its communally managed organic fruit and vegetable gardens.
In 2010, Ron got fed up with having to drive 45 minutes to find a tomato that hadn’t been doused in agrochemicals. So he cleared the trash from a narrow strip of soil that ran between the sidewalk and the street in front of his house and planted tomatoes, melons, broccoli, kale, and other fruit and vegetable varieties. Soon he had such a bumper crop on his hands that he was feeding not just himself but his neighbors.
It turned out that in Los Angeles, growing organic goodness on these city-owned parkway strips was a punishable offense. Homeowners are allowed to plant grass on these plots, but not eggplants or heirloom tomatoes. Ron had already been cited once by the Bureau of Street Services for his banana trees, which he agreed to cut down in order to avoid a fine. Since he was a repeat offender, this time there would be a warrant for his arrest. He chose to fight City Hall, and with a deluge of media attention, plus a little help from a sympathetic council member, he persuaded the powers that be to exempt vegetable gardens from parkway landscaping restrictions.
01 – Meet Your Instructor
Community activist and self-proclaimed “Gangster Gardener” Ron Finley introduces himself, explains why we should all have reverence for nature, and reveals how growing your own food gives you freedom.
02 – Planting a Revolution
Ron talks about his personal story, the challenges of living in a food desert, the critical role of healthy food, and how you can use gardening to create community and rediscover what’s really important.
03 – Getting Dirty
Ron offers tips for turning compacted, nutrient-poor soil into fertile ground for healthy plants, and he teaches you how to maintain a compost pile. He also gets into soil testing and how to use bioremediation to decrease soil toxicity.
04 – Creating Planters
Ron demonstrates how to upcycle common household items into beautiful containers and planters and then walks you through the essential tools that every gardener needs.
05 – Grow Your Own Food: Greens & Legumes
Learn how to grow two of Ron’s favorite vegetables: kale and sugar snap peas. Ron tells you how to plant them as well as how and when to harvest them.
06 – Grow Your Own Food: Sweet Potatoes
Ron demonstrates how to plant sweet potatoes, discusses their resilience, and explains how to tell if they’re ready to harvest.
07 – Grow Your Own Food: Herbs
It’s inexpensive and easy to create your own herb garden. Ron shares which herbs are good for beginners, how to maintain a garden in a small space, and how to care for your herbs.
08 – Increasing Your Bounty
Ron created an oasis in an urban jungle—one that would have cost a fortune if he had bought every plant. Ron shows you how propagation can be used to multiply plants, including cacti, succulents, sugarcane, and citrus trees.
09 – How to Not Kill Your Plants
Can’t keep your plants alive? Learn how anyone can develop a green thumb as Ron covers proper plant maintenance and how to diagnose common issues, including root-bound plants and over- and under-watering.
10 – Finding Your Creativity
Ron concludes by sharing his belief that everyone has a creative force within—and that gardens are the perfect place to unleash that creativity.
Although this is the smallest MasterClass we reviewed there is a very important lesson to learn with it. It is important for us to be connected with nature! What could be better than get your hands dirty and eating the vegetables you grow?
We all know that gardening could be something scary, especially if you are one of those persons that cant keep a plant alive. However, after you take this class you’ll realize that gardening isn’t that difficult after all. You’ll learn about soils, about the different equipment needed for gardening and even how to maintain a compost pile.
In this class, Ron will teach you the fundamentals of gardening so you know how to grow your own food. Although this class has only 10 videos, you’ll learn how to grow greens, legumes, herbs and how to keep all these plants alive. This is not an in-depth class in gardening but it will definitely put on the right track to becoming an “urban gardener”.
Even if you don’t have a lot of space for growing food you can get good tips from this class. You’ll realize that you don’t need a lot of space to grow some food. In fact, in this class, you’ll learn that you only need a small amount of soil to produce amazing products.
Ron Finley Teaches Gardening is a class for those who want to start giving the first steps into gardening. Although it is not an extensive gardening class you’ll definitely learn some cool tricks. This class works as an introduction to gardening, where you’ll learn its fundamentals.
Like in all our reviews, this post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on our links. If you are planning to buy this MasterClass or some other, please use our links in order to help us in keeping this blog up to date, giving you the best reviews.
Ron Finley Teaches Gardening is a great class for those who want to start taking the first steps in gardening. With summer just around the corner, this is the perfect time to get our hands dirty!