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CarrotMobs to Crop Mobs: Making a Difference with Mass
Sean Conroe, 2 Mar 10

How can we support local business owners who want to make bright green changes? One of our favorite techniques: The CarrotMob.

Using social networks, CarrotMobs coordinate with the store and each other to show up and make massive purchases to reward the business's proactive green steps. In Seattle, for example, a CarrotMob arranged a deal with the Pike Pub & Brewery. On Earth Day, the CarrotMob showed up for food and drinks. In return, Pike Pub put 25 percent of all sales back into providing a mini-energy retrofit and other improvements for the location.

A great idea -- a mob of people coming together for the collective good. So why isn’t that concept applied elsewhere?

Well, time has now come to introduce Crop Mob - a group of young, nomadic farmers who partner with local, sustainable farms for a days worth of volunteer efforts.

According to Cropmob.org:

“Crop mob is primarily a group of young, landless, and wannabe farmers who come together to build and empower communities by working side by side. Crop mob is also a group of experienced farmers and gardeners willing to share their knowledge with their peers and the next generation of agrarians. The membership is dynamic, changing and growing with each new mob event.”

In four days since the New York Times coverage of a Crop Mob event at Okfuskee Farm in Silk Hope, North Carolina, social media outlets have been blowing up with coverage. A recent twitter post, for example, highlights the success of the mob, and the eagerness by folks to get back in touch with the land: Holy Cow! 90+ rsvps for edible earthscapes mob tomorrow.

And thanks to the original mobsters, other cities such as Seattle, Wash., Atlanta, Ga., and Madison, Wisc., now have a central online presence to connect wannabe mobsters with volunteer opportunities on local farms.

What is great about this effort lies in the connections being made between those involved. Farms receive extra hands to help out in the fields, and volunteers take away knowledge on sustainable farming practices. With the average age of today’s farmer on the rise, crop mobs exemplify simple, unique ways to help on ways to diversify the field of agriculture by intimately involving the next generation of farmers.

Photo credit: Flickr/heacphotos, Creative Commons license.

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Comments

Lets reforest a watershed with mob tech.


Posted by: John D Brown on 4 Mar 10

Creative solutions to big problems - it's a powerful idea that's inspired today's post on www.businessecology.ca. Do you know of any mob projects in Canada, specifically Montreal?
­@John: love the watershed idea too


Posted by: Nicolas Parson on 5 Mar 10

Nicolas - we've had a few great Carrotmob events in Victoria, BC, Canada. You can check it out @ smallfeetinc.wordpress.com and the "Carrotmob - Victoria" Facebook page. Last I checked there were a few similar initiatives on the books for Toronto and Ottawa... If you'd like to launch something in Montreal we'd be happy to provide you with our support and materials.
Cheers!


Posted by: Kyle on 22 Mar 10

This is the first time I have come across Crop Mob and I think it’s an intriguing innovative idea. The community growth model that connects community members who share a similar interest is a great way to build community relationships. I think that the community relationship this program creates is what our society needs, a chance to get out and help our neighbors. This program is also a great learning tool for the growing number of people interested in local and organic food and facilitates education between two groups with similar interests. I also think it’s great that they incorporate recycling products (plastic containers) that would end up in the landfill.


Posted by: Lisa Stensby on 21 Jul 10

There was a typo in my previous post regarding the last sentence of the post. This was accidentally referring to a different organization. Both great organizations by the way but this does not pertain to crop mob.


Posted by: Lisa Stensby on 21 Jul 10

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