Farm mobbing is one of our most recent efforts. In coordination with a couple other student groups on campus, REthink WI is working to initiate a work share program that will bring student volunteers to Madison area farms on a weekly basis. Students will work with the farmers on various tasks while learning about the processes involved in getting a food item from seed to market. In return for their help volunteers will be compensated by the farmers with either a meal or a basket of fresh produce.
Below are the basic guidelines for interested farms and volunteers.
- The farm has to provide the basis for a meal – bread, stew, sustainable salad, etc. We think that the farm needs to be involved in feeding the students — or provide volunteers with a bag or box of produce from their farm. The choice between cooking a meal or providing produce is up to the farmer; however, the decision needs to be set in stone before the visit is set up so that volunteers know what they are in for. If the choice is to cook a meal it should be an option for a few volunteers to take part in helping cook the meal.
- At least 45 minutes of educational discussion with the farmer about his/her production methods.
- Farmer has to be at the farm and involved during the farm mob.
- Toilet and basic handwashing need to be available.
- Basic liability insurance that covers the mob while at the farm (most farms already have this).
- Provide a description of the tasks to be performed by volunteers.
- Commit to 2-4 hours of manual labor and be ready to perform any type of task required on a farm, no matter how dirty one might get.
- Respond to a doodle poll at least 48 hours in advance to the visit.
- Be part of a listserv solely devoted to coordinating dates and transportation.
- Once committed through the doodle be ready to volunteer rain or shine.
- Enthusiasm for learning more about our “foodshed” and in helping local area small farms with their day to day tasks.
This is very much a full circle sustainability campaign for those who strive to know more about their “foodshed”, helping UW-Students connect to area farms bringing the farm to fork concept to life. For those who love working outdoors it also happens to be a lot of fun!!
Please contact REthink WI at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or go to the Farm Mobbing website.