Like a good ol’ fashioned barn raising, a Crop Mob is a community of workers coming together for the benefit of one. Primarily young, landless, wannabe farmers come together at a farm that needs help with the big stuff: harvest, planting, tilling, processing, crating, etc…and does the work as a group. It started in 2008 in North Carolina when 19 volunteers showed up to pick sweet potatoes–not for pay and certainly not for glory, but for the great spirit of being of service and sharing get-your-hands-dirty-and-go-to-bed-exhausted work. There tends to be music, and a shared communal meal when crop mobs come together for a farmer’s work (there are crop mob groups now throughout the United States). It is a great antidote to overly-mechanized agriculture, and a winning facet of back-to-the-land movements.

The website has a handy map so you can find a crop mob near you, details about time and meetup spots, and go get some soil under your fingernails helping someone else do their chores—just because you can. No big experience required, just a desire to volunteer and connect the way we used to. More information on getting involved is here, including a guide to starting your own mob.

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation ( and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project ( Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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