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Monday, March 29, 2010

Crop Mob

Last Saturday we had a crop mob of sorts. 8 people from Earlham College who are joining the Farm Share Initiative for April and May (and maybe beyond) showed up at 2pm ready to work. And what work we did!

A crop mob is a group of people who get together to go and help out for a day or half day on a small farm. they work for no money but often the farmer will give the group food fresh from the field or cook dinner. This new movement is based on the old idea of the barn raising, get a lot of people together with tools and do a big project. Our crop mob arrived at 2pm and we planned to weed asparagus, mulch asparagus, raspberries and blackberries plus move the hay wagon. We got everything but the blackberries done and Eugene did those a bit after they all left.

We started out with weeding as many beds of asparagus as we could. Eugene and i figured that the northern most beds would be too wet to weed and we were right. But we still got 8 or 9 beds weeded out of 12.

Nate and betty helped with weeding. But soon enough Betty had to be tied up as her idea of weeding was either digging holes in the asparagus beds or lying in the middle of the bed. Nate, on the other hand was a good boy, stayed out of the beds and got the bulk of the attention.

weed, weed, weed

Eugene shows a crop mobster the intricacies of weed pulling

Many hands make for light work. We all had a good time enjoying the war and sunny day, talking about stuff ranging from politics to farming.

Once we got as much weeding done as we could it was time to put down the straw mulch

Betty helps mulch

About half way done here. It took less than a half hour to leisurely mulch 12 asparagus beds. Weeding and mulching these things would have taken the two of us about a day. But when you have 11 people the work goes much more quickly.

After we got the asparagus all done we moved the hay wagon that holds things like row cover hoops, irrigation pieces that are not in use (which right now is 90% of the system), hoop house parts, etc.. The wagon has not been moved in a couple of years and has become quite delicate. Now it lives about 50 feet to the east.

Taking the last of the straw which was loose in a big ole sheet of plastic over to the raspberries in order to mulch them.

Here Eugene and Tory are bringing back the plastic sheet used for loose straw and behind them are many mulched beds of raspberries.

Beautifully mulched beds of asparagus. In 4 hours with help we got 20 beds mulched and ready for the season. We ended the day with local cider made with hierloom apples that we bought at the farmers market last weekend. And they want to come back and bring even more people. How cool is that?

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