"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now." - Chinese Proverb
The Good Life Farm in Interlaken, NY
April: after the Latin aperire, "to open"; or, after the Greek aphrilis, "Aphrodite's month." When daffodils started blooming downtown, it seemed that spring and Ithaca had finally reached some sort of agreement. It's easy to curse Ithaca's moderate continental climate--our substantial variation in temperature over the course of the year--in the dark depths of winter and the oppressively hot peaks of summer. But in the spring, most of us are thankful for our four distinct seasons.
The coming of April means the Ithaca Crop Mob is turning two. We're officially perennial! The coltsfoot, winter aconite, and snowdrops along the side of the roads are celebrating with us. The longevity of the crop mob is the kind of truth that astounds me while also being pretty unsurprising and mundane. Well, what did you think would happen? I ask myself, and I shrug. A year ago around this time, ICM's first mob assembled to plant a couple hundred trees at The Good Life Farm in Interlaken, a stirringly earnest investment in the future. Plant trees for those who come after you; plant trees when you're here to stay.
Some outcomes can be pointed out at the end of a hard day's work. 200 pounds of squash harvested, an acre of beets weeded, 2000 cloves of garlic planted. Then there are the outcomes that take a little longer to appear, are harder to measure, and are more easily felt than communicated. Every time I go to a crop mob, these outcomes sort of flicker around me: a volunteer who found a kindred spirit in a nearby farm; somebody teaching others something they themselves learned last year; friends who might never have met if not for the crop mob. These are the indicators of social change. It's something we rarely talk about as organizers of the crop mob- there are always logistics to talk about first, the wheres and whens. Only occasionally do we get a glimpse the what of it all. This year, for continuity, for a more holistic understanding, the Crop Mob came back to The Good Life Farm on April 9th for the second planting of apple trees.