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Grow Your Own Food: Greens & Legumes

Ron Finley

Lesson time 15:10 min

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.

Ron Finley
Teaches Gardening
Community activist and self-taught gardener Ron Finley shows you how to garden in any space, nurture your plants, and grow your own food.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] RON FINLEY: Right now, we're about to talk about vegetables. We're going to get down, and I'm gonna show you how to plant some shit. So you guys ready? Let's do this. First of all, we're going to have-- we've got some kale seedlings, show you how to put those in the ground. We're going to put those in one of the boxes that we worked on that I showed you that you can repurpose-- a dresser drawer. We also have some snap peas, and we've got some sweet potatoes, so we're going to show you how to plant those too. Three of my favorite vegetables. Y'all want to plant some motherfucking kale? Right now, I'm gonna show you guys how to plant some shit. We about to get in this right now. I'm gonna show you how to have food on your plate in a matter of a month or so, depending on what you plant. So we're going to get into kale. And it's a some leafy green. The thing about most leafy greens, they have folic acid, they have vitamins A, C, and K, and a lot of fiber and iron. So this is the bed that we started earlier with our soil-- our store bought soil-- and our compost. So I'm going to let you guys see how we plant seedlings. So you can see these are already started. This is kale. So what you want to do is you don't want to break the plants. So you want to create a safe haven with your fingers, and you want to squeeze the pot. And fortunately, these are not root bound. This is a good example of what you would want to buy at a nursery, because you can see how healthy the plant is. It's all bright and the colors. There's no yellow branches on it, and it's just it's a healthy plant. You can see. You will want to buy this also because it's already grown. So rather than planting seeds in the ground that sometimes might come up, sometime they might not. You already know that this is going to come up. You already have it. And if you look closely, you can see how long some of these roots are, and I like the consistency of the soil. I like the fact that it's not pulling away from the roots. That you can see that it is clumping, but it's still breaking apart. So what you want to do-- I just do it with my hand, but for people that are scared of soil and worms, what you can do, you don't have to dig a hole. You basically just move the soil out of the way and put your plant there and cover it. But what you don't want to do, you don't want to go too far below the root ball or where the plant is coming out of the ground. You don't really want to plant higher than that, because that point here is the hardiest part of the plant, and it will resist a lot of times breaking and rot. So again, your spade, pull the soil out of the way and put the plant in there. Soil that's attached to the root ball as you can. A lot of times, people go to the nurseries and they buy these plants, and they fuck up because they take all the soil off of the root, and they put the plant in shock. You want to keep it attached. Thes...

Plant a revolution

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.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Ron Finley and this class are the reason I invested in Master Class. So worth it! I am so inspired!

I am so inspired! I'm off to walk my yard and plan my garden! Thank you. :)

Excellent class! Definitely gave me the foundation for a garden.

I learned a lot! The information on the different types of soil and how using compost to make soil more loamy was a great foundation. I love the container ideas and I absolutely had no idea I could propagate a tree or sugar cane like that! What? Super excited to get busy making things grow! Thank you!


A fellow student

If you don't like leafy greens --then add them to smoothies -- or as I like call them frulatti. I really hate the word "smoothie."

A fellow student

You don't like leafy greens? Saute with fragrant oils raisins, shallots, grated salt and pepper.

A fellow student

I like to plant leafy greens from seeds. I could never get the variety I want around here. (Hazleton, Pennsylvania, below Scranton.) I find that mustard greens with their sharp bite Dijon are super. On the other hand, I have had problems with arugala, and sorrel. Bugs devour them.

A fellow student

I would like an episode about how to transplant plants such as peas, or kale, or any plant like that because I have had trouble with transplanting in the past. It seems simple until you do it.

Abē L.

This, thus far, has been my favorite master class, by leagues! Given what's happening right now in our country, how racial justice and anti-Blackness is endemic, watching this Black man bring life from the soil is giving me life. Also, Ron Finley is a boss! Cabbage moths are not cute! Keep the food revolution going y'all. We need to keep planting and building community and speaking truth about both the past and the present and what we want to plant for the future- it's for our seedlings, y'all!

A fellow student

Idea for future lesson: harvesting seeds so you dont have to keep buying them from the store. How to store; conditions, duration..... when to start seedlings in your house and in what kind of lighting etc. Thanks Ron ! Good stuff

A fellow student

I'm loving this course. I'm just hoping he will get into sun exposure. We live in central Florida and even seedlings seem to just burn right up. I never know how much sun exposure is too much or too little. (Loving all of this! So helpful!)

Chiara B.

okay one sec - I'm confused. in the previous class, didn't he mention that you shouldn't grow plants you eat in upcycled items (shoes, suitases, drawers...)?

Jorge G.

Eat your leafy greens with a vinaigrette and you're all set! Nice and easy salad you can eat, and it can be pretty tasty! As good as your vinaigrette is.


Yes, what you said about leafy greens! What I've found with vegetables is that you can make them the way you like and the more you have them, your expectations align with accepting and enjoying the flavor.