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Gettin’ By With A Little Help

Things are always better with friends. If you’ve got to drive across the country, it’s much better to do it with your best friend in tow (right, Bonner?). If you’re going to perform, or speak, or otherwise be completely and wholly conspicuous in public, it’s easier knowing a buddy is in the crowd, cheering silently from the sidelines.


To that end, “crop mobs” have begun springing up. Developed in the Triangle area of North Carolina’s piedmont region, crop mobs are public calls for friends, family, and any and all interested persons to take up shovels and trowels and collectively conquer some large farm task. Participants sign up online, then receive periodic notices of pending crop mobs. The combined efforts make short work of projects that would have taken just one or two individuals days or weeks to complete.

People who might have little to no interaction with the workings of an actual farm but have an interest in making their ecological “talk” marry with some tactile “walk” are building community, crop knowledge, and the crops themselves simultaneously.

I think crop mobs are a phenomenal idea. The current model of “self-sufficiency” being espoused sometimes loses sight, in my view, of the absolute interconnectivity and symbiotic relationships that must occur in order for all living organisms to survive and thrive. Asking for help isn’t a sign of incompetency or defeat; it’s the smartest action, the wisest choice, and the most intrinsic component of our humanity that an individual could solicit.

*Find this image and a Raleigh News & Observer article discussing crop mobs here.

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