Res Ellenberger
Date:  Saturday, October 01, 2016 08:28 am
Subject:  Hearty Greetings from "Res" Ellenberger to the Class of 1966

Dear John, dear Vicky, Jim, and the entire crowd assembled to celebrate 
the 50th anniversary of our High School Graduation!

Here come my hearty greetings from Switzerland to you all! Let me know 
you how much I appreciated having the chance to spend my senior year 
as an AFS guest student at Joplin High among you all, particularly 
with the kind support of the friends in the AFS student chapter 
and above all:  with the wonderful hospitality of the HALE family!

Even if my contacts to John and most of you have been very scarce, 
my gratitude to the JOPLIN experience is undiminished to this day.

The picture shows me with Helena, my wife for ever, and Sara, 
our daughter with Imre, our six-year-old grandson (beside: Imre's 
grandparents from Germany; while David, Imre's Dad, is behind 
the camera).

We are “posing” in front of the Merian Medicinal Plant Garden in 
Basel, which says quite a bit about the journey I made in the last 
fifty years.

Originally bound for the fine arts, I lived quite a change of view 
for my entire life in my Joplin year, as beloved Bill “Daddy” Hale, 
who was a hidden farmer - opened my eyes for the potential of 
agriculture to solve a great part of third world problems. So, when 
I returned to Switzerland, my folks were fairly surprised about 
my decision to enroll at FIT (Federal Institute of Technology) in 
Zurich and graduate in Agriculture.

As life goes, I didn't end up in Africa nor in India as a Peace 
Corps expert or similar, but ran across the bio-dynamic method of 
farming and gardening, which opened up a whole new world and 
philosophy. Helena and I first went into a grass-root gardening 
experiment, growing vegetables ourselves and going to market in 
Bern, the capital of Switzerland.  Later, I went into organic 
breeding and multiplying vegetable seeds, working at the same time 
with handicapped youngsters.

When I was 45, I joined the Swiss branch of Weleda, Europe's leading 
producer of anthroposphic medicine and natural cosmetics, and was 
responsible for the sourcing of medicinal plants; a fascinating task, 
that often also brought me abroad, when taking care of specific 
sustainable sourcing projects. Later, my responsibility embraced the 
company's environmental and sustainability management as well.

My retired life is still quite rewarding and happy. Helena and I are 
enthusiastic mountain hikers; house and garden are keeping me busy, 
but above all, there is HORTUS OFFICINARUM, a medicinal plant seed 
initiative, of which I am taking care. Its goal is to provide good 
bio-dynamic seed, free from GMOs and Hybrids, for herb and medicinal 
plant growers. It's a non-profit organisation which unites seed and 
herb growers as well as natural medicine laboratories and private 

As for the background of the picture above: it's part of a wonderful 
park outside of Basel where I have the possibility to guide people 
around and open their eyes for the wonders of nature, and for myself 
to remain on the road of incessant learning...

I wish you all a happy reunion, with fine encounters and the renewal 
of a lot of good memories!

With my very best wishes, particularly health-wise, and kindest regards

Andreas “Res” Ellenberger

Andreas Ellenberger
Widenweg 371
CH-4204 Himmelried
++41 61 741 16 40