Saturday, March 01, 2008

Some bragging about Helen and Nicolas



Last night, at the GA organics conference, the annual Land Stewardship Award was presented to my mother in law, Helen, and to Nicolas, for their many years of tireless work for organics in Georgia. Nicolas and I had known that Helen was getting the award but didn't know about Nicolas! I got that news once we got there, yesterday morning. I'm glad that the kids and I took off and spent the day in Chattanooga, TN with Mindy and her kids (which was so wonderful) or Nicolas would have read the news on our faces. The kids and I were so excited.

Michael Tuohy, a very successful Atlanta chef who is very committed to local organics gave a wonderful introduction about Nicolas and his mom before presenting them with the award. I can not remember any of it. I was too busy watching them in order to witness that amazing moment when they would recognize that Michael was talking about them.

The GA organics conference has gotten huge! There were 650 people signed up for this one and it was sold out; people were turned away. Organics in GA has come a long way. I believe the credit is partly due to the amazing writing of people like Michael Pollan, who wrote Omnivore's Dilemma and Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. Good writing about the environment, when it isn't preachy, is powerful. There is a writer who changed forever the way I think about the ecology of the South. Her name is Janisse Ray and she was the keynote speaker at the GO conference two years ago. Last night, since she was starting the night's proceedings off by reading one of her poems, she was seated at the front table, as were we...! My excitement over talking to Janisse Ray was almost as huge as that I was feeling over Nicolas and Helen winning an award. It was quite a night. I'll have to write about Janisse in another post.

The key note speaker was the CEO (he calls himself CEIO) of the co-op that produces Organic Valley products. He was about the most down to earth and genuine CEO that I have ever heard speak. Sure, I would like to keep everything local and definitely not import from the other side of the world. He does all he can to promote local but sees that we aren't there yet and he brought up some good points about helping the cultures of those producing organic for us in China or South America. This guy's co-op is the real deal, especially as compared to that other big dairy business - Horizon.

Here is a page from GA Organics web site that has a great 5 minute video about organics (you can hear Nicolas, and see our farmers' market and farm in a few shots).

9 comments:

Bhu said...

Wow, cool! Congratulations Nicolas and Helen. You guys are all amazing. P.S. Gillen's new hair is awesome and Jesse's looking sharp too :)

persephone said...

Congratulations Nicolas and Helen. Just watched he video, Nicolas is famous!

persephone said...

Congratulations Nicolas and Helen. Just watched he video, Nicolas is famous!

Deanne said...

How wonderful! Congratulations to your DH and MIL!

(I also think the boys look great with their new haircuts, so cute!)

Blogging Molly said...

That is some well deserved bragging! Congrats to organic pioneers! Your family is just beautiful.

Danielle said...

Congratulations! How wonderful and fitting for such amazing mentors.

mindy said...

I love that family picture! You all look so happy and joyful. We congratulate the Belgian and his mum. It looks like the evening was a smashing success. I can't wait to hear what everybody ate!

Sara said...

What great smiles! Congrats. I'll be checking out the books too!

Tamar Orvell said...

rock, rock, rock. and you look terrific. hair down, no pony tail... all dressed up. are you wearing those awesome hairpins you treated yourself to months ago and blogged about? i thought of you when i dropped ten bux for a bobby-pin w tiny red sparkly stones. and whe i wear it, i feel like a million bux. (and the exchange rate is horrible now so my dollars buy fewer NIS [new israeli shekels])