Sunday, August 22, 2010

Clean Food Network - Your Real Local Farmers

I would like to tell you about some friends and mentors of mine, Dove and Russell Stackhouse, owners of Rusl n Doves farm in Geraldine. They are founding members of the Clean Food Network. They are also two of the best farmers in the South. Their love for the soil and their knowledge of plants and their ability to teach others is awe inspiring.

The Clean Food Network (CFN) is a network of 18 small to medium eco-friendly local farms. Eco-friendly means they strive to be sustainable and minimize the use of off farm inputs. It also means these farmers use regenerative techniques to build soil and improve the micro climates they impact through their farm operations. Most importantly it means Clean Food, food that has no synthetic pesticides on it. The physical removal of insects and the cultural practice of sanitation to remove infected or diseased plants is always the first choice of these farmers. As the CFN Farmers improve their soil each year the need to use pesticides, even the “organic” ones decreases.
I know all of this sounds to good to be true, but these folks are here, not on the West Coast. The CFN provides the highest quality, hand selected and picked produce year round. The network also provides grass fed beef, free range pork and lamb, chicken as well as eggs. These products contain no antibiotics or growth hormones. The network's farmers adhere to national standards or exceed them in actual practice.

CFN also provides you with value added products ranging from Cheeses and Jams, Baked Goods, to Soaps and Lotions. You can buy fair trade coffee ground and roasted locally. The proceeds from the coffee go to help Mayan women and children with education and health care.

The goals of the CFN are to provide the highest quality food, picked at the peak of it's nutritional value. The produce is usually less than 24 hours from the field. They strive to offer people choices beyond what the consolidated food system offers. The Clean Food Network's goal is not to just save family farms in the area, but to grow more farms to feed Huntsville and North Alabama. Sharing knowledge and experience to help new farms as well as farmers transitioning from conventional farming to sustainable, less toxic, soil building farming techniques. The network is working to broaden markets for local eco friendly farmers and to increase the number of sustainable farmers to maximize consumer choice.

The Clean Food Network farmers truly are your Real Local Farmers. Once you try Clean Food you will understand why so many customers say “Thank you for growing such good tasting food. This reminds me of the garden fresh vegetables my grandfather used to grow.”

To get started with CFN, click here

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