Build Community with a Crop Mob

Posted by on Oct 27, 2013 in Grow, Recent Posts | 2 comments

Build Community with a Crop Mob

A crop mob is a work party focused on working the land. It’s a powerful way to develop meaningful relationships while tending to work that feels overwhelming when faced alone.

The idea of coming together to work is not new.  Collective action was commonplace in rural America in the 18th and 19th centuries, think Amish barn raising. Still, the idea of gathering a group of interested individuals to help a farmer was dubbed a Crop Mob in 2008 when a group of young farmers in North Carolina’s Triangle region met to discuss challenges they face as farmers. One farmer suggested that they get together to work while they talked, and the first official Crop Mob began.

Taking the crop mob idea to the homestead is a way to build not only gardens but friendships. It turns out those young farmers in North Carolina were on to something. Working side by side while talking about things that matter builds deeper relationships than just sitting around a table talking.

To start a crop mob in your community, It’s as simple as this:

  1. Invite several people to come together at regular intervals.
    • When deciding on how many households to include, consider:
      • How many workdays would you like to have each season?
      • How many people can you accommodate?
      • How many people can you effectively manage?
    • Make sure each household commits to the entire season.
      • This shared work arrangement thrives on mutual commitment.
    • It works well to have the host prepare a meal to share after the crop mob.
  2. Before the season starts, hold a calendar meeting, and schedule at least one crop mob at each household.
  3. Be well prepared for each crop mob.
    • The host emails the group a few days ahead of time with a project list.
      • Consider large projects that would take one person days to accomplish, such as digging and shaping new garden beds, weeding the entire garden, putting up a garden fence, mulching, planting trees, etc. 
      • Be ambitious in your list-making. It’s better to run out of time than to run out of work before the time is up.
    • The host prepares the workspace so that the group can get right to work upon arrival.
    • Upon arrival, hold a quick meeting wherein the host gives an overview of the day’s goals and delegates tasks.
  4. Work hard and have fun!

Work is so much more fun when shared, and the momentum is inspiring, causing everyone to work harder than when alone. Try it for yourself. You’ll be investing yourself in your community, and the results will astound you.

After helping over 250 people get started on the path to mortgage-freedom, we've learned a lot more about what it takes, the pitfalls, the tricks and triumphs of living a zero-debt life of intention. We're taking what we've learned and creating a whole new series of courses to help even more of you reach your dreams. Sign up for our newsletter to get first dibs on the limited seats in our new course.


  1. I’m in the process of buying land just out of a tiny country town in Victoria, Australia. The town was once in its heyday – a solid population and plenty of businesses in the main street, it was somewhat self-sufficient. Now, the old shops are boarded up and the population is in constant decline. What appealed to me about this town is not only cheap land (priced as such to encourage people to move there) but the fact that it is a blank canvas.

    Most country communities have hangers-on. Older types that are averse to change. They would see someone like me coming into their community as a threat to the way things have always been done. However, the town will further decline under that mindset.

    I have a dream, crazy as it may be. To help rebuild this town. Not only do I want to move in, build my tiny house, and establish my land. I want to help bring this town back from the mid-19th Century and see it sustain itself and provide a yield for the people within it. How I am going to go about this, I don’t know yet. But reading posts like this one certainly lends me tips on community engagement that could come in handy.

    • Hi Pavel,
      This is how it starts! People helping people. People loving land. People doing what they can together and watching it grow. If your new neighbors know that you come with the desire to help and work together, it seems that you’d be welcome. I hope so! We can bring back much of what we’ve lost by reaching out to our neighbors. Go for it! I’m happy to read this. We can start a real revolution–a quiet one, a real one. Yay!