By Kristi Strain

I read an article from Sustainable Connections, and the question was asked, “Why buy local?”.  The article stated that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned business, more of your money is used to buy from other local farms and business. 

We recently had the pleasure of working with Ralston Family Farms on some recipes that deliciously blend this theory together.  Ralston Family Farms has been farming for over ten generations.  They grow rice in the Arkansas River Valley and do it in a sustainable way.   Petit Jean Meats have been providing hams, bacon, and lunchmeat for over 90 years.  Our meats are smoked for over 18 hours and we use only quality cuts of meat and we never add fillers or water. 

Growing up you always heard “you are what you eat.” Petit Jean Meats provides tasty lean proteins, and Ralston Family Farms provides yummy whole grains that are sustainable. So, for me, buying local means, I am supporting my neighbors, strengthening my community, and I am aware of what I consume. 

Garden Rummage Salad

The Dressing 


  • ½ C Olive Oil 
  • 2 TBSP Fresh Lime Juice 
  • 2 TBSP White Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ C granulated sugar 
  • ½ tsp garlic salt 
  • ½ tsp salt 


Mix and allow sugar to dissolve

The Rummage


  • 2 C Green Cabbage shredded and chopped 
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained 
  • 1 C cauliflower 
  • ½ C chopped red onion
  • 2 avocados diced
  • ½ C chopped green pepper
  • ½ C chopped red pepper 
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed, diced small 
  • 4 Roma tomatoes seeds removed and diced 
  • 1/3 C parsley chopped 


  1. Cook the rice according to package directions. 
  2. Combine the first six ingredients and allow to sit while you are prepping the rummage.  
  3. Prepare all of the veggies and combine them into a large bowl.
  4. Mix the dressing once more and pour over the rummage and combine well.  
  5. Keep refrigerated. If not serving immediately, be sure to toss/stir well before serving. 

Note: Use all of these veggies or make substitutions

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