FROM Ron Finley
Gangsta gardener South LA's "gangsta gardener" Ron Finley wants to bring locally-grown food to areas that desperately need it, and to change ideas about what it takes to make a healthy community. But his lush garden near the Farmdale Expo Line station is under threat because the property has been sold to investment company Strategic Acquisitions, which wants to redevelop the entire site. It was sold to them by the bank that repossessed the property. Ron Finley in his garden in South LA Photo by Avishay Artsy DnA hears about Finley's efforts to raise the money to buy the property back, and gets a tour of his garden in South LA, from its sidewalk bursting with banana plants, sunflowers and a canopy of woven branches in which to shoot the breeze, to the hidden Eden in an empty swimming pool in his backyard, filled with plants in pots, old sinks, a wagon and other receptacles that capture Finley's imagination. "My whole thing for the way I garden here and in urban areas is not for production, not for maximum yield, it's for beauty," he tells DnA. "Every sense in your body can be affected in the garden and that's what I want to do."
Summer On The LA River The Los Angeles River is officially open for the summer. Now you can boat, fish, birdwatch and camp there through Labor Day, and some say this is only the beginning. City officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are working on a plan to restore the L.A. River and essentially turn it into a huge park. But a new report estimates it would cost the city more than a billion dollars. Is it realistic to hope that someday we’ll have a lush, green, 51-mile river teeming with life running through L.A?
Can Guerilla Gardeners Transform Food Deserts? Two years ago, LA Times columnist Steve Lopez reported on Ron Finley, a resident of South Los Angeles. In what’s often called a healthy-food “desert,” Finley had planted a vegetable garden for himself and his hungry neighbors. But the food was growing on the city-owned strip of land between the street and the sidewalk, and Finley was ordered to cease and desist. City Council President Herb Wesson promised to change the anti-food law. Now—two years later—Lopez finds that nothing has changed.
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?