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From 'Milkshake' to veggies, Kelis and Ron Finley share their farm journeys

Grammy-nominated recording artist Kelis has long had a creative connection to food. It's right there in her music, with tracks like "Milkshake," "Midnight Snacks," and "Jerk Ribs" — she even has an entire album titled Food. But Kelis' passion for gastronomy extends beyond her music: She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, released her own cookbook, and most recently, bought a farm in Temecula, Calif., where she lives with her family.

Just a few hours away in South Central Los Angeles, Ron Finley, the "Gangsta Gardener," is spreading his own message of urban gardening. You might recognize him from his Masterclass — it's one of the platform's most popular courses — or his TED talk on guerrilla gardening, which has amassed over a million views.

In 2010, Finley planted fruits and vegetables on the parkway in front of his house, which violated a Los Angeles city code that he eventually got changed. Since then, he's worked to build gardens throughout his city, with the goal of turning food deserts into food sanctuaries.

We arranged for the two of them to chat — Kelis from her farm, Ron in his garden — about the joys of growing your own food, the relationship between Black people and the land, and how to handle a mean rooster.

This video is available with closed captions.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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