South Florida’s first crop mob was at Verde Gardens and the task was to plant hundreds of fruit trees for the 3-acre food forest. We had over 50 RSVP’s, but due to the rain we had 30 committed people show up. We started by educating the beginners on how to properly plant fruit trees, taught about and built rain water barrels, and then we proceeded to plant about 300 hundred fruit trees. The crop mob was wrapped up with an amazing pulled BBQ jackfruit from Bambi and Sonia; or so I heard (not tasted), as I am a raw foodie.
It all began at the Community Food Summit where Rob Jones, one of the original creators of Crop Mob, came down and educated us about what crop mobbing is all about. Here is a quote from their website:
“In October 2008 a group of 11 young agrarians from Orange and Chatham counties in the Triangle region of North Carolina got together to talk about issues facing young farmers. We talked about healthcare, wages, access to land etc. This wasn’t a new conversation for anyone around the table in fact we had all attended many similar meetings and nothing ever seemed to happen. Adah, a particularly restless young farmer was visibly uncomfortable and squirming in her seat, finally she spoke up. “I’m tired of sitting in meetings just talking about things. It feels like a waste of my time. Why can’t we go out and work while we meet rather than just sitting around a table?”
Adah felt like she built stronger relationships with people by working side by side rather than just sitting around a table talking. She had a lot of work to do and if she was going to take time away from the farm she didn’t want to feel like she was wasting it. The idea emerged out of the group that we could come together to work on each others farms. We would build community, help each other out, and share a meal. By the end of October we had organized our first mob with 19 people digging, sorting and boxing 1600 pounds of sweet potatoes in about 2.5 hours. Things accelerated from there. We got into the rhythm of mobbing once a month, getting word out through email over our listserv.”
After hearing about the wonderful results that have come from crop mobbing we new that we had to start a South Florida Crop Mob. We were all shocked that it wasn’t happening down here yet, and we knew we couldn’t just walk away without doing anything. We have a Miami permablitz (which is similar to the crop mob, though it focuses more on permaculture principles), but we need more co-operation from all of the farmers and gardeners!
Bambi, an apprentice, started a signup sheet and passed it around to all of the attendees that wanted to get involved. The sign up sheet was then taken to the other events during the summit which provoked more folks to sign up and be a part of the growing community. By the end of the summit we had over 30 people on the beginning list, and it quickly grew from there.
Check out the photos!
In Homestead, FL we have approximately 8 inches of soil sitting on top of extremely thick oolitic limestone. Machines can come in handy when used properly, and this machine can be run completely off of biodiesel!
With a large group of people organization is key. I am writing the list of trees in the order of planting so we can work as effectively as possible.
While Elena and I work on the organizing, the rest of the folks are learning how to create rain barrels from used food grade 55 gallon drums.
Minimizing the overall workload for everyone is really important. After all, this is permaculture!
Crop mob is all about community and it is most surely an all ages event.
We tend to forget that life is all about having fun and relaxing, and that work is a part of life. If you are not having fun, move along. (Pulling a tree out from the pot like this could do serious damage to the roots and overall life of the tree. These two friends were playing for the camera. No trees were harmed during the capturing of this footage.)
When planting a tree, make sure the root crown is just above the level surface to prevent flooding during rainstorms. This could result in weakening the whole tree due to rot.
After planting a tree, plant another tree.
After a day’s hard work, a well prepared meal is always due. We work as a team, eat as a team, and there is absolutely no crop mobber left behind.
What’s for lunch? Pulled barbeque jackfruit sandwiches, brown rice, beans, sprout salad, papaya avocado salad, and allspice tea. Best part is.. everything (except the beans & bread) were local!
Want to be a part of South Florida’s next crop mob? Join the facebook page.