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.

It’s as simple as this:

  1. Invite several friends who share similar lifestyles and ideals to come together at regular intervals.
    • I recommend a small group.
      • Our group includes five families.
        • This is a good size for a crop mob.
        • More would be difficult to cook for, especially in our tiny houses.
        • We can accomplish a lot and keep everyone busy.
        • More people means more food and more planning and management.
        • Make sure all families are committed.
          • It is important to have a group with a solid commitment, or the momentum could be lost.
  2. Decide on the frequency and duration of your crop mobs.
    • We meet one Saturday a month and work from 2-5 pm.
  3. Will you share a meal after the work party?
    • In our group, the host family prepares a meal to share after the 3-hour work party.
  4. Before the season starts, have a calendar meeting and schedule at least one crop mob at each household.
  5. The host family organizes all projects and work for their day.
    • Send an email to the group a few days ahead of time with a chore list and any needs such as extra wheelbarrows, tools, etc.
  6. At the start of each crop mob, have a quick meeting wherein the host gives an overview of the day’s goals and delegates tasks.
  7. Work hard and have fun!

Some of the projects we collectively accomplished in our Crop Mob are:

  • Built a woodshed
  • Built a deer fence for a new garden
  • Mulched
  • Landscaped
  • Dug garden beds
  • Painted front doors
  • Demolished a spring house and salvaged the cinderblocks
  • Painted a pump house
  • Harvested, washed, and dried root crops

Work is so much more fun with friends; the momentum is inspiring, causing everyone to work harder than when alone. The sum is greater than its parts.

Try it for yourself. You’ll be investing yourself in your community, and the results will astound you.

Crop Mob Accomplishments

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  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!