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Help Sustainable Farmers: Join A Crop Mob

Help Sustainable Farmers: Join A Crop Mob

The New York Times recently did a story on a new group of young, landless North Carolina farmers, known as the Crop Mob, who volunteer to help on local, sustainable farms. Since the story was published, crop mobbing has become a social media sensation among foodies and sustainable farm advocates (like me).

As the group describes on its web site, “Crop mob is a group of young, landless, and wannabe farmers who come together to build and empower communities by working side by side. Crop mob is also a group of experienced farmers and gardeners willing to share their knowledge with their peers and the next generation of agrarians. The membership is dynamic, changing and growing with each new mob event.”

The group began in the North Carolina Triangle of Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, because there are many small, sustainable farms started by young farmers who often can’t get all of the work done alone.

Sustainable farming is labor-intensive work; the planting, harvesting, processing and even barn raising that this type of farming requires used to be done as a community effort and is often too overwhelming for one individual to handle.

That’s where the Crop Mobs come in. “The crop mob was conceived as a way of building the community necessary to practice this kind of agriculture and to put the power to muster this group in the hands of our future food producers.”

The monthly volunteer days or “Mobs” are announced informally by word-of-mouth and on the Internet. Anyone who is willing to work can just show up.

As outlined by the group, there are a few principles on how the Crop Mob works:

  • No money is exchanged.
  • Work is done on small-scale, sustainable farms and gardens.
  • A meal is shared, often provided by the host.
  • This is not a charity. We crob mob for crop mobbers.

Crop mobbing is growing and there now a number of mobbers popping up all over the United States and on the Internet including Seattle, Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Madison, Wisconsin; and California.

Those who live in the city or suburbs don’t need to feel left out. Even city farms, backyard, or community gardens can use mobs too, as the New York City Crop Mob illustrates. It is hosting its first mob on April 11.

If you are interested in joining a Crop Mob in your own area, check the interactive map to see if there’s one near you. You can also go here to get tips and info. and starting your own mob.

You can find them on Facebook and on Twitter.

Read more: Community, Community Service, Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Life, Nature, Outdoor Activities, ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

51 comments

+ add your own
11:21PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

thank you

12:37PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

This is my tribe. Much love, peace and happiness.

2:48PM PST on Nov 15, 2011

thanks

2:01AM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Thanks for the article.

4:08PM PST on Jan 9, 2011

This is called Wwoofing, check it out.

1:19AM PDT on Jul 9, 2010

thanks

3:48AM PDT on Jun 9, 2010

Great idea. Thanks for sharing..

3:58AM PDT on May 24, 2010

nice aticle man good too
thanks

3:57AM PDT on May 24, 2010

good posting man
nice too

1:15AM PDT on May 24, 2010

Awesome! Thank you for the information ^_^

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