Several years ago I signed up for and began a community garden plot. Being one of feeble math skills, I assumed a 50 X 25 foot plot was small, simple, manageable. It took me 1 hour that first year to realize I was way over my head and that 50 X 25, if farmed properly, could probably feed a family of eight for a decade on vegetables (plausibility issues discussed later). In that first hour, I managed to turn an 8 X 2 foot strip of earth with a garden rake. Later that night I soaked in my tub and took two Advils. The next day I nudged my husband into my hobby. That was only good until golf, hiking, and running several long distance races in the opposite direction of my small farm peaked his interest.
It was a year or two later that I dragged a friend into this obsessive foray, and a year after that there were three of us on board. That’s when I realized under all the weeds there were some vegetables leftover from the previous year. It was still a lot of plot to till, but there was a sense of community. Even if we were there alone, the knowledge that others were all chipping in gave me a lift.
Since moving to Maine, I have mobbed and I have enjoyed it. My most recent mob was a gathering of like-minded folks who wanted to learn how to sheet a lawn. So we called it a sheet-mob. Different from what a sheet-mob was in college, not quite as much fun, and probably a bit healthier. We took a portion of a lawn and layered mulch, compost, coffee grounds, seaweed, and wet newspaper. Then we stuck new plantings like blueberries, strawberries, and other perennials right into the paper. Voila. After two hours and with twelve people helping, a project was finished. Very satisfying. Then beer and pizza and socializing. Very, very, satisfying.
My writer’s groups are my mob. We work as one to solve problems of tense, perspective, and lately, plausibility. Anyone who knows me won’t be surprised I have issues with credibility. Anyway, writing is not a solitary act. It is a mantra of mine. My problems are my weeds, needing several hands to pull and toss aside. We are tillers of words, hoping for blueberries where a scrubby lawn once stood. And perhaps pizza and beer after all is said and done.
What could a mob do for you?