About Prairie Nana

I believe that good nutrition is necessary for good health.  In 1971, while pregnant with my first child, I read about toxins in our foods in an Adele Davis book.  I became a gardener immediately, wanting to learn how to produce healthy food for my infant.  I began by following Rodale guidelines in building the health of my soil and growing food safely.  Through the years I have become informed on various corollary topics including nutrition and food supply safety.  “Good nutrition” is a huge topic; my particular focus has been on food produced and consumed in the most healthful ways.  More chemicals than ever before are being used to produce and process foods. Both chemical residues on, and additives in our foods in America are widespread, and they contribute to peoples’ poor health. I would like to see people asking questions about where their food comes from, and what has been put on it, and what is in it.

With my Prairie Growers Guide newsletter, website, and Facebook page, I hope to raise consumer consciousness about food issues in a positive way, and promote understanding about the benefits of locally grown foods.  In my search for local growers and producers I have discovered that our two farmers’ markets in Hays are supplied by folks who are sharing their bounty at market.  Many come from some distances east, west, north and south of Hays.  I appreciate being able to talk face to face with them to learn how they are growing their produce.  I began the Guide in August of 2016 in support of them.

Through my work I have become aware of growers and producers in northwest Kansas who sell their goods through venues other than farmers’ markets.  I have begun listing them and their contact information on my website, prairiegrowersguide.com.  Look under the Prairie Provender tab for them and for others who sell Kansas grown and produced foods at market and from their farms and homes.  Past issues of the Prairie Growers Guide are available for viewing in the Archive section.  

People wanting healthy, chemical-free food have caused the demand for organic food in the United States to grow faster than the domestic supply.  By some estimates the 20 percent demand in the market is only met by 10 percent of American produce; the remainder is imported.  I hope consumer consciousness will translate into grower / producer support in this area, and perhaps into more requests for food grown in ways that support the increasingly fragile ecology of our planet.  I am happy to support those people who are making the effort to sell in our area, and I would like to encourage them in their businesses.  Perhaps if my newsletter, website, and Facebook page can play a part in creating consumer demand for fresh, healthful, safe foods, we might have more people turning to market farming for their livelihoods in our region. 

Nan Sundgren, Prairie Nana for the Prairie Growers Guide

About Prairie Growers Guide Initiatives

Just as some plants in gardens are good at re-seeding themselves and sprouting up in new niches, the locally distributed Prairie Growers Guide has been sprouting and growing in new spheres.  Digital Guides are dispersed to a subscriber list, helpful articles are displayed on the Guide's Face book page, and grower / producer information is expanded on the website.  Small Scale gardening classes are cropping up at Hays Recreation Commission, and presentations are emerging at venues in the area.  To find and connect with these new niches, please look over Prairie Sprouts information here.

Prairie Sprouts

In order to raise community consciousness about the benefits of locally grown foods while supporting local food vendors at Hays’ two farmers’ markets, Nan Sundgren (Prairie Nana) began publishing the Prairie Growers Guide newsletter in August 2016.  The Guide is published nine times a year and is distributed in paper and electronic copies throughout Hays, and to other locations near and far.  By signing up for an electronic Guide, you will receive regular information about fresh foods that are seasonally available at Hays farmers’ markets, and also growers’ and producers’ names and phone numbers.  Request your Guides by email at prairienana@box147.com.

Now, in 2018, with the launching of the website prairiegrowersguide.com in late 2017, another means of getting to know area growers and producers, their contact information, and foods they produce can be found under the menu selection Prairie Provender.  Local market vendors, and also those who sell through other venues, are represented in this directory on their own pages.

Another “Sprout” of the Prairie Growers Guide can be found on Facebook.  Look for a Monarch butterfly on a sunflower image.  (Image from Prairie Nana’s garden.)  Posts highlight information from the wider world about developing healthy soils, growing healthy foods, and nourishing healthy people.

Nan Sundgren also teaches Small Scale Gardening classes at Hays Recreation Commission.  We talk about vegetables you can grow in small, sunny spaces out of doors, gardening basics, extended season practices, wise use of water, and re-purposed materials.  Sign up through HRC.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these Prairie Growers Guide initiatives, or would like to have Nan make a presentation to your group, please email her at prairienana@box147.com, or call 785-625-1117.