We recently had the pleasure of meeting "Tater Man" (an alias he uses so he can work in the food industry and still give his unbiased reviews on restaurants and others in the same line of work) at a local Farm to School event. After discussing our mutual love of rice we invited him to the mill for a tour and were thrilled to learn he was inspired enough to blog about what he saw.
This is a repost of his blog.
We are honored.
The Ralston Family Farms
April 20, 2018
Friends, I come out of a blogging hibernation to bring you a post that I have been excited to write about for some time. I was first introduced to this family during a farm to school conference in Conway, AR. The sisters Jennifer and Ashley were there to represent their family farm and surround themselves with like minded folks looking to bridge the gap from farm to school. I was made aware that Arkansas ranks in the bottom 5 of the United States that is the least participative in the federal Farm to School initiative. After spending some wonderful time speaking to them that day I was astounded to learn that they were living and farming in Atkins, AR (my back yard), this was music to my rice loving ears. I had to know and see so much more.
Several weeks later we ended up being brought together at a round-table discussion looking to focus on ways to improve our Russellville and surrounding communities with more localized sustainable support. I left this meeting grinning ear to ear, just to spend that time with these leaders of our community discussing the very bright future for the Russellville School District, The greater Russellville and surrounding community farmers market as well as our Food 4 Kids efforts, was the best thing to happen this year. We have spent so much time as a nation traveling down the wrong road as designed by our ever growing food and grocery industry that somehow we have gotten ourselves to a point where farmers allover the country are struggling to support their very own homes and families. The agricultural industry cannot continue this way, we must see that the problem is not passed the point of no return but in fact very reversible.
To see a family who has realized that sustainability looks very different these days than it used to, is such a relief. They are a family dedicated to serving those around them and sowing the land around them. You can find this family’s story on their website www.ralstonfamilyfarms.com and view their wonderful rice. From what I understand they will have a few of their rice varieties in stores very soon and varieties available with your Blue Apron orders. I applaud you (Ralston family) and will continue to support you in every way possible for the sustainable future. Keep it up!
It is planting season again. The days are longer, the grass greener, and we are busy sowing seeds of anticipation for this year's harvest.
On the farm, as in life, there is a way to do everything and since our way is sustainably, we value making long-term choices.
When it comes to planting, no-till is our long-term solution for a better crop.
No-till farming, also called zero-tillage, is a way to plant crops without soil disruption through tilling.This method allows us to use the breakdown of organic materials in the field and the natural harvest process from the year before to reduce our use of resources, energy costs, and time.
Find out more by watching the video below.
Using Golden Rice creates one of those happy occasions when everybody at the table wins- the picky eater and the health-conscious mom.
Rice is mostly broken down into two distinct categories: white, which is loved by all, and brown, its often less-loved, healthy counterpart.
Not everybody is a fan of brown rice. The nutrition from brown comes from the bran and because of this it can be heavy for some and has a longer cooking time than white. But it is hard to easily dismiss the health benefits of choosing brown.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture*:
"Whole-grain brown rice contains 15 vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and iron—all nutrients the body needs to grow and develop normally. In addition to these essential nutrients, there are bioactive phytochemicals in rice, as well as in other whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds..."
Our Golden Rice retains most of these nutrients, meaning it is the best of both worlds. A rice that cooks and tastes like white but with the health benefits of a whole grain.
This is your go-to variety for that #dinnerwin.
Visit our store to learn more about Golden Rice.
*"USDA ARS Online Magazine Vol. 61, No. 4." AgResearch Mag. Accessed March 08, 2018. https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2013/apr/rice/.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around." We at Ralston Family Farms find a certain peace knowing we put our beliefs into practice.
We call this way of life sustainable.
This isn't just a buzz word to peak interest. It is a day-in and day-out way of doing things. It is how we make our decisions and who we say we are.
Here are three truths about sustainability at Ralston Family Farms:
1. Resource-First Mindset
Being accountable is the lifeblood of sustainability. By going out of our way to use resources in a manner that is renewable and responsible we maintain a sense of authenticity. It takes some ingenuity and a lot of hard work, but we don't mind. Using practices such as Zero-grade leveling and surface water irrigation utilizes the farm's natural assets.
2. Legacy Centered
We make a point to not only do no harm but to also improve the quality of the land we farm for future generations. We want to pass down both our farm and our values to our children and grandchildren and to do that we must be forward thinking in our actions. This is why we invest in the newest and most efficient technologies and methods.
3. Quality Counts
Quality has its own relation to sustainability. Making thoughtful choices about the way we farm and mill ensures premium results and when the results are food that is pretty important. We take feeding your family as seriously as we take feeding our own and we wouldn't expect you to eat anything less than the best. We inspect every part of the milling process from the time it first comes out of the bins to the final package.
To learn more about our sustainable practices visit our About Us page at ralstonfamilyfarms.com.
It's a great day on the farm! The Ralston family is pleased to introduce you to our new range of artisanal rice varieties and invite you to learn a little more about our core values and who we are.
Visit our store to order your favorite variety from Ralston Family Farms.
Questions? Comments? We would love to hear from you.