August 4, 2015
I have shared this story with some, but not all of you, concerning how Ambassador Organics came to be. At the end of my tour of duty in New Zealand, I decided to try to restore a farm in Alabama that has been in my family since the 1870’s. It was my original intent to revive it as an organic pecan farm. A New Zealand newspaper story called it “The Ambassadors Nutty Idea”.
I liked that nutty idea, because it represented a way for me to contribute to the fight for healthier food in America, without being a public figure. When I came back to the United States, I relocated to the South (Atlanta) and proceeded to evaluate and make plans to renovate the farm and build a house there. I had the idea (in hindsight, rather romantic idea) that I would retire to the farm, grow healthy food, put up preserves, and live the simple life.
9/11 put an end to that dream. I found myself traveling to Chicago on an almost weekly basis to be near my family and friends, no doubt out of the same instinct I think we all felt in the aftermath of that terrible time. After a few months of going through security checks at Hartsfield and O’Hare, I was ready to come home for good.
Once relocated in Chicago, the idea of the organic farm began to morph into the idea of an organic food company. That was the beginning of Good Food Organics.
Even before New Zealand, with its universal health care coverage, and emphasis on wellness, I had embraced biodynamic organic agriculture as a way to heal our bodies and our farmland. Once there, I was able to see how biodynamic organics gave people a new way to look at food as an integral part of wellness, and soil conservation, and spirituality. Biodynamic organic systems treat the farm as a living organism. The soil is chemical free, and treated only with compost and other natural herbs to correct any deficiencies. No artificial chemicals or off-farm inputs are permitted. Planting and harvesting take place in keeping with natural rhythms, and the health of the soil is regarded as critical to nutrition. One person has called it “real nutrition that doesn’t cost the earth”. I saw it as agriculture very much like my great grandparents farmed.
Our company seeks to make biodynamic organic food products more widely available. It has been around since the 1920’s, when Rudolph Steiner gave lectures at the request of Polish farmers on what we now call sustainable agriculture. He never used the term “biodynamic”, that was coined later, but his ideas have been around for a long time, and there are dedicated followers here in the US and around the world. It is, however, unknown to many, even many organics enthusiasts, and so we have undertaken to change that.