Posts Tagged ‘farm volunteer’

Crop Mob: A Community That Cares

SONY DSCLike 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 dirt under your fingernails helping someone else do their chores—just because you can. No big experience required, just a desire to connect the way we used to. More information on getting involved is here, including a guide to start your own mob near you.

The Gentle Barn

In 1999, Ellie Laks founded The Gentle Barn, a non-profit charitable organization that rescues and rehabilitates abused and neglected farm animals and then gives them a new life purpose as therapy animals. Six acres in Santa Clarita, California is the new and ultimate home for horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, llamas, dogs, and cats. They believe that everyone deserves a chance at life, regardless if they are blind, crippled, deformed, sick, wounded, or just old. At The Gentle Barn, the animals leave when they are done, not when someone is done with them.

Kids from the inner city and those “at-risk,” kids with special needs both physical and mental, and general school groups come to the farm and interact, play, groom, love animals that are on their own paths recovering from abuse and neglect—and everybody is a winner.

Volunteers work at the Barn grooming and caring for animals, working as go-betweens with kids, and generally doing the tasks that allow this important work to continue. You probably recognize the incredibly life-affirming energy of domestic animals in your life–and if you don’t yet know the nuzzle of a warm muzzle–seek it out. Be a part of healing on so very many levels…