Good Ideas: Crop Mobs

The New York Times has a story up on their website about a new phenomenon sprouting up in North Carolina: Crop Mobs. Like flash mobs, but with an actual purpose, these coordinated gatherings of manpower help small sustainable farms rip through labor intensive projects in a jiff. They also give the landless an opportunity to do some farm work.

"The Mob was formed during a meeting about issues facing young farmers, during which an intern declared that better relationships are built working side by side than by sitting around a table. So one day, 19 people went to Piedmont Biofarm and harvested, sorted and boxed 1,600 pounds of sweet potatoes in two and a half hours. A year later, the Crop Mob e-mail list has nearly 400 subscribers, and the farm fests now draw 40 to 50 volunteers."

This seems like an idea that could easily translate to an area like Philadelphia where there are tons of small, sustainable family farms within 20 miles of the city—and plenty of enthusiastic landless laborers.