Local “foodie” Jessica Gnad is promoting more gardens and production of more local foods to increase income and better nutrition.

Kansas is known for producing wheat and cattle, some of the best in the world on both counts. While Kansas produces a lot of food it doesn’t come close to producing everything it consumes. According to the Crossroads Research Center, more than 90 percent of Kansas food dollars is spent on food from outside Kansas.

A local home garden food producer, Jessica Gnad, a self proclaimed “local foodie,” wants to increase home grown food production to help increase food income and, at the same time, improve nutrition.

Gnad has been an avid proponent for getting a farmers market established at the new Merchant Park that was recently completed at Fourth and Main in downtown Pratt. The first official farmer’s market in the park it set for Saturday, May 13.

Gnad presented her philosophy and plans to increase food production to the Pratt Rotary Club on May 4. She encouraged everyone to support local food movements, like the farmer’s market, and go to the food source and eat what’s in season.

Gnad said there were several reasons why growing and buying more local produce is beneficial. First, purchasing local food means it’s fresher and tastes better because it’s picked at the height of freshness and hasn’t spent days inside a delivery truck.

Producing more food locally can result in unexpected results. She planted some potatoes and thought she had gotten them all but a year later, she saw green sprouts where the potatoes had been the year before. She harvested 75 pounds of potatoes and with minimal effort.

Producers should try a variety of seasonal foods they had not considered before. There are varieties of fruits and vegetables, she grows a variety of tomato that is black, that don’t look…