by Slow Food USA intern Meghan Offtermatt. Photos by Ric Ettinger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What can a “Crop Mob” do for you? Actually, a lot! What is a crop mob? A crop mob is a group of individuals who gather to work on small, sustainable farms to help with everyday tasks assigned by the farmers! With the help of a group of supportive organizations, Laurie Schneyer of Slow Food Denver was able to create a series of Crop Mobs in the Denver area to assist sustainable farmers.
The project got started when Laurie came across Crop Mobbing in Urban Farm Magazine; Laurie perused the Crop Mob website, learning about the model. She took it, made a few adjustments, and used the system to help small farmers in the Denver area. She began networking; creating a coalition of concerned citizens with the goal of creating Crop Mobs of their own. Although the Crob Mob website suggests that any group only undertake one mob a month, Laurie decided to up the ante and in the first couple of months she had already organized 4 events, 2 of which occurred on the same day.
These events included successful Crop Mobs at Ekar Farm, the mobile farmers market known as The Gypsy Farm Bus, and the Urban Farm at Stapleton. Trees were planted at the Urban Farm courtesy of donations from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and the volunteers included students from the local schools. Other successful Crop Mobs were held at one of Grow Local Colorado’s park gardens, and the vegetable gardens at the Governor’s Mansion. Each event had a turnout of 10+ volunteers, and the larger events had 20-40 people to help mulch, plant, turn soil, and weed. The volunteers are almost never repeats, as the group gives people the opportunity to help out without a long-term commitment.
Laurie and Slow Food continue to gather forces in Denver, with the hopes that each month there will be more Crop Mobs and greater turnout. With the sponsorship and help of local organizations such as Slow Food Denver, Grow Local Colorado, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, and Greater Denver Urban Homesteaders, the Crop Mobs continue to grow and sustainable farms continue to flourish.
Have questions about starting your own Crop Mob or getting involved with Denver Crop Mob? Email email@example.com and find out more!