Monday, April 5, 2010

Did Somebody Say "Crop Mob"? The Latest Farming Fad Comes to Missouri

Posted By on Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 11:21 AM

click to enlarge Saturday. 10 a.m. Mob forms here. - SUNFLOWERSAVANNAH.BLOGSPOT.COM
  • sunflowersavannah.blogspot.com
  • Saturday. 10 a.m. Mob forms here.
crop (noun): something edible that grows in or of the ground.

mob (noun): a riotous crowd; a flock or herd.

crop mob: "young, landless, and wannabe farmers" who descend upon a small-scale farm on an appointed day and accomplish in five hours what it might take the farmer five days to do him- or herself.

The phenomenon began in North Carolina about a year ago and received some high-profile New York Times treatment in late February. Now Missouri's gettin' in on the action. The first mob goes down this Saturday. Read on.

Sam Wiseman, owner of the two-acre Sunflower Savannah Farm out in Beaufort, is hosting the first mobbing on April 10.

Wiseman grows cut flowers, tomatillos, heirloom tomatoes and an assortment of other vegetables for the Maplewood and Tower Grove farmers' markets in St. Louis. She normally works alone.

Saturday's mobbers will get to help clean out her barn, plant some cold-weather crops and weed the strawberry patch.

"It could be really cool for me!" she tells Gut Check. "Or, it could be a total fiasco! We'll wait and see. You just hope for the best. All these people have good intentions but they are unskilled. It's mostly people who want to support the local food movement and want to learn about sustainable farming, get in touch with the earth and are right now in a position where they can't do so."

Sign-up is appreciated, since Julie Ridlon of Chanterelle Catering will be preparing lunch for all who attend. For more info on sign-up, check out the new Jefferson County Crop Mob Facebook page or Wiseman's blog.

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