A modern day mob has found its way to Greensboro, NC. It’s a crop mob and while they’re tearing up weeds and throwing dirt, its not to destroy the land they raid, but to help the farm owner Anne-Marie Scott.
“This is a good kind of mob. We are putting a new spin on mobs,” Donna Smith said. Smith says she is, “a gardener with no garden. A farmer with no farm.”
Smith lives in an apartment in Greensboro, so she doesn’t have the land to start her own micro-farm. Mobbing gives her a place to work, and she and the other crop mobbers give the local farmer their time and talent.
“They gave me labor that I wouldn’t be able to do. You know, they multiplied me by a scale of nine today,” Scott said about the mob.
Today, the crop mob Greensboro weeded, created a new bed, planted squash and zucchini and broke down an old grill to make room for a new chicken coup.
The crop mob targets its victims online, then harvests a team on Facebook to plan the attack.
“It’s great. This whole idea that we just created cyber-gardening,” Scott said.
Scott admits she is new to farming, but she has already planted a lot since she first created her farm from scratch back in September.
Now, she has 24 beds full of fruits and vegetables, but all that is harvested won’t be staying with the Scott’s. They plan to donate at least ten percent of all that they grow.
“We’re making a difference,” Scott said, adding that, “we’re trying to change people’s minds about not just doing a little gardening, growing a few tomatoes, but really being able to feed your neighbors and your friends and give back to the community.”
Scott is hoping this move will help revitalize farming in North Carolina.
In 2007, the USDA reported a two percent decline in farmland statewide. The only type of farm to actually grow… small farms, like Scott’s.
Smith said, “it seems like organic just isn’t good enough anymore.”
It’s not good enough for Scott. She didn’t want to just buy food from the store, she wanted to grow it.
“It’s not just going to the frozen food section and grabbing a bag of something, Scott said. “Somebody had to physically go out there and pick peas and look at a pea and decide is this pea ready to be picked.”
Now, Scott and her husband Stephen Scott are in charge of every step in the food production process. The seeds in their backyard will be food on their plates in just a few weeks.
“I know where my food comes from, Scott said. “My food has a face.”
The Scott’s were thankful to the help from the mob and fed them fresh and local food as a sign of their gratitude.
As they send the crop mob on their way home after five hours of work, Anne-Marie Scott said she will start talking to other small urban farmers in Greensboro so the mob can continue to work.
“The mob is here to stay,” she said.
With the first crop mob wrapped up, Smith and the other mobsters will head back online to dig for their next lucky victim.