Dear Curiosity Journal,

In preparation for tabling at the Viroqua Food Co-op Earth Day Celebration, Rufus and I dug up some baby maple trees to give away. The forest floor of the sugar bush is carpeted with young trees which can’t all grow to maturity in such dense conditions. Just before dark, we dug up about a dozen sweet little saplings and loaded them into the van. However, all but one tree made a round trip. As it turns out, a tree is a cumbersome gift for most. There is nowhere to plant it, uncertainty about how to care for it, and a lingering obligation to a living organism. No individual refusal rattled me. Rather the collective take away that folks had no space for a tree left me feeling a bit heavy hearted. Of course, I understand. It is both a privilege and responsibility to plant a tree, and one that I won’t take for granted. We’ll replant these babies near the homestead. Rufus says, “That way, when we’re old, we can make syrup closer to the kitchen”. I envision myself and these maples marking time together for the next 30 years. The thought of canning syrup in 2053 is a stretch of the imagination, and I think, perhaps, it is bad form, or at least a bit disconcerting, to give someone a gift that will likely outlive them. Happy Earth Day. Here’s a tree to remind you of your mortality. All dark humor and malapropos giveaways aside, we had a lovely time celebrating Earth Day with our community, listening to folks share about their gardens, food projects, and ambitious plans for spring. We live in a truly extraordinary region and are so grateful to be rooted in such a robust food community, connecting people and place.


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