Farm Mobs – otherwise known as Crop Mobs – are volunteer service days dedicated to helping local farmers and urban gardeners get work done with many extra hands, even inexperienced ones. Shared labor between neighbors has always been a strong part of rural community life. Over the past few decades, the widespread adoption of mechanized agriculture and the depopulation of many rural communities means there are now fewer and fewer neighbors to lend a hand when needed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent census (2007) reports that the average age of farmers in the United States is now over 55, and there is an enormous generation gap.
According to a 2010 article in the Los Angeles Times, the modern version of neighbors helping neighbors began in 2008 when North Carolina resident Rob Jones decided to rebuild this tradition and recruit a group of people to help a local farmer harvest his sweet potato crop. Social and traditional media helped spread the concept, and the economic downturn
has spurred a renewed interest in gardening, farming, skill building, and community sufficiency.
Board member Chantelle Bourdeaux launched Slow Food Utah’s own farm mobs. Volunteer work days are open to all and organized though Facebook. Check out our photo gallery for pictures from recent events.