Thursday, March 11, 2010

Farmer Information

Katie Church serves as the Farmer Crop Mob Coordinator. Please email her at with any questions or to set up a crop mob at your farm.

Hello Farmers!
My name is Katie Church, and I coordinate the Full Plate Collective, a CSA collective in the Ithaca area.
I am not writing with that hat on, however, but with the hat of "interested in starting a crop mobbing crew in the area".
I first heard about Crop Mobbing in an article in the New York Times magazine a few weeks back. Turns out, other people have heard of fit too, and I met recently with a small group of people who would like to get the idea rolling in our area.

In a nutshell: a crop mob is a group of community volunteers who are interested in farming, or just want to get their hands dirty now and then, and who value small farms in their community. They willingly attend - or mob - a farm for a few hours once a month to do low-skill labor that could benefit by many hands. Each work time is about 4 hours. No money is exchanged. At the end of the work session a meal is shared, and the mobbers move on to a new farm the following month.

Possible tasks for mobbers could be: weeding, rock picking, tree or transplant planting, putting up fencing, raining a hoop house, ....or whatever you need.

I have volunteered to reach out to farmers and set up a schedule for crop mobs. We will have one per month, at a different farm each time, from April on.

If you are interested, please contact me at, and I'll send you a few specifics, and work out a time that will work for you to host a mob.

The intention is that this will be easy on the farmers time, that the farm will benefit by the work done, and community members will have the opportunity to contribute to the farms that grow food in their area. The logistics should be simple.

Please see to learn about a working model, and to see where we get our inspiration.
If you like the idea but have some questions or concerns, please let me know.

Thank you, and I hope to be hearing from you soon!

Katie Church
Full Plate Farm Collective
CSA Coordinator

Farmer Guidelines for Hosting a Mob
In order to host a mob you need to:
  • Arrange a date with Katie
  • Pick an appropriate task
  • Provide a meal for the mobbers
  • Have liability insurance that is sufficient for the event
  • Task: Pick a low-skill task that can come to a stopping point in about 4 hours and can accommodate at least 10 and up to 40 people. It should require minimal tools. It is the farm's responsibility to provide tools, though if you ask, a request to bring basic hand tools (ie hoe, hammer) can be posted with directions and info about your mob.
Meal: The mob will sit down for a meal together. They will bring their own place settings and it is up to the farm to provide the meal. It can be very simple: spaghetti, a pot of chili. It should have a vegetarian option. A meat option is well, optional. The idea is that community is built around working together and sharing a meal together.Liability Insurance: Please have appropriate insurance for the event. If you have U pick insurance, or have a CSA pick up at your farm, chances are that will suffice. Katie can assist you with information about insurance- it is easier and cheaper than you might think. We hope you'll agree that it is better to be safe than sorry!
Optional fun: If you are so inclined, a farm tour could be offered as part of the day, and would be appreciated by the mobbers.

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