Friday, March 12, 2010

Crop Mobbing's NC Origins

Crop Mobbing is not a new concept. We have our roots in Amish barn-raising, Finnish talkoot, Turkish imece, Cherokee gadugi, and countless other traditions around the globe that have existed as long as there have been agricultural societies. At the core of all of these traditions is cooperative volunteerism and a do-it-yourself attitude (with a little help from your friends and neighbors).

We borrow the name "Crop Mob" from a group of innovative farmers from the Triangle area of North Carolina. In 2008, after years of sitting in meetings to talk over issues facing farmers in their region, they decided to try something a little different, something that wouldn't require them to take time away from their work. These farmers began gathering at each others' farms so they could talk while working side by side. Over time, their get-togethers swelled to include "young, landless, and wannabe farmers," and, eventually, anyone interested in farming-for-a-day. Today, a crop mob in the Triangle area can draw fifty or more people.

The Crop Mob of North Carolina has drawn up some guidelines for future planners of crop mobs. True to this spirit, the rules remain the same in the Ithaca Crop Mob. These guidelines are as follows:

- No money is ever exchanged.
- Work is done on small-scale, sustainable farms and gardens.
- A meal is shared, provided by the host.
- Future crop mob events are announced at the time of a crop mob event.
- Media interviews are conducted at a crop mob event (We welcome photographers, journalists, and others who wish to cover Crop Mobbing events in their blogs, newspapers, documentaries, etc.)

The Ithaca Crop Mob hopes to follow in the footsteps of these pioneering NC thinkers by supporting our farmers, educating ourselves, and building community at the ground level.

For more information, visit the NC Crop Mob's Website at or download their "Getting Started Guide" here.

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