Induction into the hall of fame for organics whispered of vindication to Alan Druce.
Having received the award from the peak body for farming standards though does nothing to through of Mr Druce’s humble stride.
The 90-year-old founder of Green Groves in Ardlethan – parent company to Junee’s Licorice and Chocolate Factory – acknowledges when he began his organic farming journey in March 1962, the reaction was very different.
“When I first started, I was the laughing stock of the district. They said all sorts of nasty comments about it,” said Mr Druce.
“They talked about my mad way of farming but I [didn’t listen] to the gossip.”
It was then, 58 years ago that Mr Druce vowed off using chemicals in his crop production. It was thought to be less than sustainable.
At last week’s Australian Organic Awards for Excellence ceremony in Canberra, Mr Druce was given the honour of hall of fame status.
The award listed the farming alongside Neil and Coral Druce, who own and operate the resurrected flour mill on Lord Street.
But the dedicated organics grower and his family did not attend the event, and remained unaware of their national success until several days later.
“It’s nice to receive the recognition, but it’s not my cleverness that’s got me there,” said Mr Druce.
“I’m only following others who have gone ahead with this organics business.”
Son Neil reiterating the sentiment, saying the organic way “is in our blood”.
“We love what we do, we like to keep our customers happy and that’s the best accolade really,” he said.
When people come through and say, ‘we love your products, we love this place’, that’s what we work for. We’ll just keep going, just keep growing.”