CropMoster Co-founder: I am Tired of Individualistic Blogging

Posted by OmarTarakiNiodeFoundation
05 October 2017 | blogpost

Image: Jeannette Ellen Warnert/Food Blog UCANR 

I am tired of individualistic blogging!!! Nick Papadopoulos almost shouted on the podium. I was stunned! How could he say that? After all he was giving a keynote speech at the 2017 International Food Blogger Conference  (IFBC). The IFBC is a go to event for those who would like to network, to improve their food blogs and to have fun.

Nick co-founded CropMobster in 2013 to provide communities with a crowdsourcing platform to transform food waste and community surplus into “win-win” value, initiated by his rage when as a novice farmer he saw seven boxes of vegetables return unsold from a farmers market.

 Image: CropMobster

Listening to Nick talked about CropMobster and the works involved, was an AHA moment for me. I began to take stock of my blogging activities.

Farm-to-Fork Economy

CropMobster is on a mission to fight hunger, tackle food waste and build “farm-to-fork” economy. It is a local food system network helping to grow “Farm to More Forks” economy and community. Using social media, instant email alerts and the power of community to share, it helps spread the word quickly on a range of local food system topics as well as find opportunities for supporting hunger relievers, buying from local food producers and reducing food waste, all in new and fun ways.

 Image: CropMobster

CropMobster, Nick said, is a Craigslist for the local food scene—a connecting hub where community members can make posts to sell, donate, or trade food and put in requests for gleaning projects and volunteers. When a post goes up, thousands of community members can take action and pitch in.

Impact Stories

An example is a success story published last year in Sacramento Bee, a local newspaper. Produce distributor Josh Jordan looked at 10,000 pounds of potatoes at his Stockton warehouse that had ripened past the point of survival for retail. He put up a post at CropMobster and the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services sent a truck to pick up the potatoes and distributed them to local residents.

A recent ALERT on CropMobster website is Registered Nigerian Dwarfs – Herd Reduction Sale, with introductory lines: We are downsizing our herd of ADGA registered Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. We just can’t keep them all! We have Senior and Junior does available and 3 wethers available. All of our goats come from excellent dairy lines and will provide you with plenty of wonderful milk. It continued with detailed information about the offer.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to intoduce Omar Niode Foundation’s activities in Indonesia through a short conversation with Nick and his wife Jess Flood Papadopoulos who welcomed more communications to explore opportunities for collaboration.

Colorful Selfie Stick

During his talk at IFBC Nick kept holding his selfie stick, with some objects tied into it, a testament of a number of communities he had interacted with. He mentioned the importance of helping each other on a collective platform, and of not only highlighting yourself but to work on impact platform, impact leaders, and impact story telling. Being a skilled writer, Nick’s writing and work has been featured in the Huffington Post, TIME and Fast Company.

CropMobster platform has a range of concentrations, including university projects, urban agriculture, food waste efforts, farmers and producers, local food businesses, conservation projects, nutrition programs, community gardens, waste management programs, and public health.

CropMobster TV

Having a channel on YouTube, CropMobster has a hit series where Nick as host and his team hunts for positive, "can do" stories of people working in food and agriculture. Using the famous selfie stick attached to a gutter washer, CropMobster TV shows authentic stories of real people doing real work to feed their communities and families.



Among the latest stories at the Youtube channel are an interview with Sangre Del Dragón, an upstart hot sauce company started by students of Edible Sac High in Sacramento, California, Another program was Five Generations of Alexandre where Nick interviewed Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms in Fort Dick, California. Nick also went "Hive Diving" when interviewing Marianna & Daniel at Bee Run Hollow, a biodiverse farm in Sebastopol, California.

The Magic

A good keynote speech should inspire and unify an audience with a common purpose. Nick Papadopoulos as a keynote speaker at IFCB 2017 did just that perfectly, through these words: “I have driven over 4,500 miles and who knows how far left to go. I am traveling around, sleeping on couches, and interviewing people from worm composters and food banks to fishermen and a seven year old kid growing his own garden. This is one of those trips and projects where you can’t rush the magic!”

The IFBC keynote presentation had inspired me to rethink our blog’s purpose, understanding that we can not rush the magic.


Text: Amanda Niode