GreenLeaf Farms Mob Recap

Jun 11, 2010 by     Comments Off on GreenLeaf Farms Mob Recap    Posted under: Crop Mob Atlanta, Crop Mob Georgia, Events, News

I’d never been to Barnesville, an hour or so south of the city, and it’s been years since I had cause to drive to Macon. My GPS, continuing its theme, wasn’t aware of the address I was entering, so I selected one that looked like it might be close and headed out. Midway in I used the miracle of smartphone technology to get more precise directions from @CropMobATL on Twitter, and given the occasion, it struck me as a fairly remarkable intersection of times and cultures.

There was a small group hard at work breaking down cardboard when I arrived. That was destined to be all-purpose weedblock in Greg’s tomato patch. He walked us around the property, showing us the little beds of herbs and flowers around the house that needed weeding, then took us through the deer-netted fence and into the field. The coolest plants Greg grows: Artichokes, which I’ve tried my hand at as well. I got really excited because I thought maybe Greg had found a variety that’ll fruit in our belligerently sticky climate, but no, there are apparently no artichokes to be had from our hot nights and humid days. There were also a couple of asparagus beds that were fully ferned out with lots of little red berries. I’d only seen that stage of the asparagus life cycle in pictures.

After the tour, the forty or so mobbers split up and went to work weeding beds of greens, laying cardboard and mulch around the tomatoes, planting and transplanting irises, and some other chores happening in the distance that I couldn’t see behind the crashed spaceship at the tree line. I’m told it was a decaying barn, but I know what I saw.

As always, the joy of the mob is the collection of good, eccentric, entirely individual people who turn out. I was in a group with a university finance director and two attorneys, among many others. It only occurred to me later that in the two or three hours we all spent chatting and working, there were no lawyer jokes. Not one. How often does that happen?

Over the course of the morning, the early cloud layer that had muted the sun burned away, and by lunchtime it was fairly broiling. A big clot of dirty, sweaty, happy people took chairs or sprawled on the ground beneath the generous shade of a black walnut tree at the edge of Greg’s land. Miller Union’s official grungy hipster team unloaded an assortment of tasty (and cold) food, and we all ate and rehydrated. The lunch area overlooked the bulk of the farm: the fields we’d weeded, the tomato rows delineated now with cardboard sheets, the big humus pile that we’d enlarged considerably with bucket after bucket of pulled weeds. The place looked pretty transformed, and in such a short span of time.

Living in the city, living alone, I scale my projects to what I can accomplish and adjust my interests to what I have the time and resources for. Looking out at GreenLeaf Farms last Sunday afternoon, it was impossible not to notice what a small group of well meaning people can accomplish when they’re given the chance to do anything at all.

Photo credit: Chris Chaperon

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