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Earth Week action: join a crop mob

Got plans for Earth Day? No doubt there’s a celebration or two nearby… if you’re not sure about what’s going on your area, check out the Earth Day Network’s events search. You’ll likely find events featuring educational demonstrations, product and service displays, or even activism opportunities.

But what about a chance to get your hands dirty… you know, with earth.

If that sounds more appealing than some of the above-mentioned events, you may want to check into crop mobs. A relatively new concept out of North Carolina Research Triangle Park area (and spreading around the country), a 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.” Volunteers join together to spend time working at a sustainable farm… as well as to socialize and network.

While crop mobs benefit young urbanites who may not otherwise be able to dig in the dirt, they’re also a real boon to farmers. Rob Jones, a member of the core group organizing these events around the Chapel Hill area, told the New York Times that sustainable farming is

…way, way, way more labor-intensive than industrial agriculture… It’s not sustainable physically, and it’s not sustainable for people personally: they’re working all the time and don’t have an opportunity to have a social life. So I think Crop Mob brings that celebration to the work, so that you get that sense of community that people are looking for, and you get a lot of work done. And we have a lot of fun.

Ready to go do some farming? There’s a crop-mobbing Google Map available that shows you where existing groups are located, and a Google Group. If you’d like to start your own, there’s also a “Getting Started” guide.

Plan to dig in the dirt for Earth Day in some context? Let us know about it…

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Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46972731@N08/ / CC BY 2.0