“The garden seduces me,” says Ron Finley, who is known around the world as the “gangsta gardener”. “I’ll get out there at 9am and next thing I know it’s 7pm … gardening takes your mind off things. Everybody should have a garden to cultivate.” English horticulturalists fiddling with well-maintained roses might know the feeling. But for Finley, gardening isn’t about producing the perfect floral pom-pom, it’s about growing people. Planting is his unusual form of protest, and having a garden stuffed full of beautiful plants and vegetables is a byproduct of that. To many, this will seem a surprising way to rebel, but Finley lives in what he calls a “food prison” . South Central Los Angeles is a predominantly black and Latino neighbourhood known for liquor stores, vacant lots, drive-throughs and drive-bys. Due to its favourable climate this should be the market garden of America but home-grown produce is an alien concept to many. Q&A What is wild cities week? Show Hide This week, the Guardian’s Age of Extinction site is looking at biodiversity in cities and urban areas around the world, shining a spotlight on the under-appreciated world of nature hidden among the highrises and busy roads. […]

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