Crop Mob

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URL = http://cropmob.org/

Description

1.

"Crop mob is a group of young, landless, and wannabe farmers who come together to build and empower communities by working side by side.

In the past farming was much more labor intensive. Activities like planting, harvesting, processing, and barnraising often required the collective effort of entire communities. This interdependence fostered strong communities. As farming became more mechanized and reliant on petroleum based inputs, it became a more independent and solitary career. Today in the industrial farming system a few people may manage hundreds or even thousands of acres.

While nationwide the number of farms and farmers has dwindled, right now in the Triangle area of North Carolina there is a surge of new sustainable small farms. These farms are growing diversified crops on small acreage, using only low levels of mechanization, and without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers. This is a much more labor intensive way of farming that brings back the need for community participation.

Many crop mobbers are apprentices or interns on these sustainable farms. The need for community participation matches a desire for community among young people interested in getting into farming. 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.

Any crop mobber can call a crop mob to do the kind of work it takes a community to do. We work together, share a meal, play, talk, and make music. No money is exchanged. This is the stuff that communities are made of." (http://cropmob.org/about)


2.

"A Crop Mob is a group of people – whether experienced or inexperienced in the field of farming – who travel to a local, sustainable farm on a given day, and lend a hand wherever they are needed. The first Crop Mob, which took place in North Carolina in 2008, involved 19 people, and managed to harvest 1,600 sweet potatoes in less than 3 hours. A Crop Mob can comprise any number of people, large or small, and any task is fair game – whether harvesting crops, planting, building fences, or moving a greenhouse, the beauty of a Crop Mob is that it lets one enthusiastic and fresh group of volunteers do in one day what might otherwise entail weeks of labor for a farm’s full-time workers. Sometimes, a meal is shared between volunteers.

Of course, a Crop Mob also provides a chance for experienced farmers and growers to share their knowledge with volunteers, some of whom may never have helped out on a farm before. Skills that came naturally to our grandparents, and have since fallen into disuse for most of us, can be rediscovered. In a Crop Mob, those skills can be passed on in one of the most powerful ways imaginable – by working side by side, growing food with other people in one’s community." (http://timebankmedia.org/2012/02/05/on-crop-mobs-and-starting-one-of-our-own/)


Example

Media Crop Mob: marrying crop mobbing with Timbanking

"The real kicker in our case here in Media is the marriage of Crop Mobbing with the Timebank. It is such an intuitive connection to make between the two movements, and it plays so well to strengths of each, that I was surprised to find that there have not really been any previous efforts like the one we are planning. The idea is that participants in our Crop Mob who are also members of the Timebank can earn Time Dollars by taking part. Crop Mobbing will be a unique way to put the neighbor-to-neighbor principles of the Timebank into practice; it lets us lend a hand to those most essential of neighbors – the ones who keep us fed.

The vision for our Media Crop Mob for this year is to go out to one farm per week on a rotating basis. Publicizing the Crop Mob and spreading the word to anyone (whether or not they are a Timebank member) who might be interested in volunteering, even if only for a day, is the most important thing for us to do at this point to help the project gather steam. So let your friends and neighbors know, fish for interest, and get the word out. Because the bigger the Mob, the better.

Some information on other successful Crop Mobs around the country, for those who are curious, can be found at http://cropmob.org/. This is the closest thing to an ‘official’ Crop Mobbing website out there. It is a sort of information hub on Crop Mobbing activities, with a map of locations around North America, and news and updates on other Crop Mobs and their doings." (http://timebankmedia.org/2012/02/05/on-crop-mobs-and-starting-one-of-our-own/)


More Information

For more information or to call a Crop Mob, please send an email to info at cropmob dot org.