Defining homegrown, homemade

Renee Davis bakes 100 percent whole wheat bread with flax and millet from flour she and her family grind fresh. They also use fresh bread dough for pizza crust and other food needs.

Renee Davis bakes 100 percent whole wheat bread with flax and millet from flour she and her family grind fresh. They also use fresh bread dough for pizza crust and other food needs.

RUSSELLVILLE — Doing what is best for her children’s future delightfully has worked out to be better for the environment, too.

“We want to take everything as close to the form God created it,” said Renee Davis. “It clarifies and it’s easy.”

In the area of food, Davis, 42, began with breastmilk and later began eliminating man-made preservatives and non-nutritious staples from their diets. She has been making their bread fresh for eight years, grinding the flour for three years, and this year they are expanding a homegrown garden to fill as many of their meals as possible.

“Feeding people is like my love language,” Davis said.

The outdoor garden also reinforces the areas of responsibility and family. Davis and her husband Steve expect their children to pitch in, whether it’s baking bread, keeping house or tending the garden.

And the children — James, Liam, Letta and Destiney — don’t mind.

“Our kids are more excited than ever about the garden,” Davis said.

The common goals and meals around the table draws the Davis family together, she said.

“It’s just a a way of life; our family lives outside,” she said.

Looking toward her children’s educational welfare, Davis home-schooled them. And now she has established Renee’s Homestead Bread to cover tuition for them to study at Lighthouse Preparatory Academy.

“It is totally a blessing form the Lord Jesus Christ,” Davis said teary-eyed. “I believe God has opened doors.”

Her family business takes its next step Tuesday, adding Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning drop-off locations in Jefferson City.

“This wasn’t planned out; it’s been a slow progression.”

This spring they set up a large greenhouse and they have begun raising rabbits for meat.

“It’s a desire to produce what we need and not be reliant on other people,” Davis said. “And it’s a safer product for our kids, meat without hormones and antibiotics.

“I want my children to live a long time and I want them to live well; food can be your greatest healer ... or poison.”

As an added benefit to building a healthy foundation for her children, Davis is pleased to decrease their impact on the environment, too.

The most important contribution is reducing their carbon footprint, Davis said.

By buying ingredients locally or growing it themselves, they don’t rely on heavy transportation or large factory farms, she said.Through her efforts in the past with the Russellville Farmer’s Market, Davis has discovered many talented people in her community who make and grow things.

“Buying local is like casting a vote,” Davis said. “It decreases demand. It’s important each of us takes a step.”

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