Friday, January 22, 2010

Delano Community Farmers' Market

Karen from urged me to post this to the blog. I would like to just cut and paste the text, but I can't figure out how to do that on blogger. It appears not to allow that.

So... I'm going to post a .jpg file of the newsletter itself, and a link to the website where Karen found it in the first place...

Happy Gardening!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

An open letter to the Mayor and my City Council representatives (and specifically, my councilman Paul Gray):

I am very disappointed in your statement in todays Eagle column...

"Council member Paul Gray said that biking isn't a major form of transportation in the city, and that no one on the City Council rides a bike to work."

Perhaps you SHOULD ride a bike to work. Five people is an accurate representation of the population of nearly half a million (metro area)? I personally ride a bike quite often.

Even if you don't believe that biking is a major form of transportation in Wichita, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't encourage people to use other forms of transportation than vehicles that use fossil fuels.

I would also point out the MANY comments on the Eagle's website that are from people that drive cars, that think that bicyclists are a problem for THEM, being on the street. In Wichita, it is illegal for bicycles to be on the sidewalk, except in certain areas... but if a cyclist rides in the street, they risk their lives with the crazy drivers in Wichita, who don't seem to want to share the road with cyclists.

Most major cities in the U.S. have bicycle lanes. I know that Wichita is the "World's Largest Small Town" but it is ridiculous for us not to encourage people to be more "green."

We continue to encourage more pedestrian-friendly places, such as Old Town, Downtown and Delano, but part of "pedestrian-friendly" also applies to people who use bikes as transportation (whether it is their MAIN transportation or not).

I would encourage you to become more informed on this issue by reviewing this blog:

I hope that we can change the attitudes in Wichita to encourage more people to use alternative methods of transportation. However, this will involve some leadership from our City's leaders.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Community Gardens and Farmers Markets

(This article was printed in the April Delano Dispatch (Delano Neighborhood Association) and the Wichita Independent Neighborhoods April newsletter. I would have had this posted a week ago, but Blogger won't let me cut and paste, so I had to wait until I had time to type it all in...)

Interest in gardening has increased by as much as 25% this year according to some estimates. In fact, companies like Burpee and Park Seed have reported difficulties in keeping vegetable seeds in stock. Much of this increase is fueled by rising food costs, the current state of the economy and, to a lesser extent, an increased interest in better nutrition.

Garden plots are sprouting up in back yards across the country, much like the Victory Gardens that became popular during WWII. Urban dwellers are growing vegetables in containers on their patios or rooftops. Community Gardens are gaining popularity among those who do not have a suitable place for a garden of their own.

Infinite Growth Opportunities ( currently has 12 Community Gardens in Wichita. For little more than the price of seed (or starts) and a little effort, a person can stake out a plot of their own in one of these gardens. Those who spend time working in the larger community plots may share in the produce from those plots as well.

In addition to the savings realized from growing your own food there are a number of intangible benefits to gardening. There are health benefits to working outside in the sun and fresh air; and digging in the dirt and being around plants increases serotonin levels and gives a sense of well-being. Community Gardens help to strengthen neighborhoods by providing an opportunity for individuals to be involved and encouraging interaction between neighbors.

Farmers' Markets are also gaining in popularity, with 3,000 new markets opening in the U.S. in the past 2 years. Farmers' Markets offer a wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce at a good price and the opportunity for the consumer to interact directly with the producers. Many markets also offer education on nutrition and food preparation.

Shoppers at a Farmers' Market help support the local economy and get fresher produce and more personal service than is found at supermarket chains. Small producers (family farms or back-yard gardeners) are able to sell produce which they might not raise in sufficient quantities to sell to grocery stores. Producers and consumers both benefit from this arrangement.

Historic Delano, Inc. is working with Infinite Growth Opportunities to start a Farmers' Market in the Delano neighborhood. The Delano Community Farmers' Market will provide an outlet for excess produce raised in Community Gardens (or back-yard plots) and allow gardeners to supplement their income with what they have grown and will not use themselves.

We are currently looking for people that are interested in helping with the Community Gardens or the Delano Market. The Delano Community Garden (located at the Senior Center) will be expanded to more than double the size of last year. Volunteers do not need to live in Delano. Check IGO's web site for the locations of their other existing gardens.

For information about Community Gardens contact Susan Schoket at

For information about the Delano Market contact Jill Houtz at

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The return of the Historic Delano Blog!

Well, we've been avoiding it but... we've been told that it's time to drag this blog out, dust it off and get it going again.

We originally created the Historic Delano Blog because of a suggestion that was made at one of our meetings. It was suggested by a new business owner who was all excited about what a Delano blog could do to promote the district. We were skeptical, but we'll try anything once.

To make a long story short... We weren't "bloggers", we never had a firm concept for this blog in mind, that new business closed and the guy with the concept moved away. Us non-bloggers played around with a few postings to see how this blog thing worked. There didn't seem to be much interest so after about a month we moved on to other things.

So, why come back to it now? Priorities.

2008 was the first full year for Historic Delano, Inc. and we were quite busy. We put on a successful, but cold, 2nd Annual St. Patrick's Parade (the weather cooperated much better this year) and we helped create the Rumble in Delano Car Show (which is coming up again on the last Saturday in May). We also organized the Ghost Stories of Historic Delano Ghost Tour and the Holiday Decor Contest.

In addition to organizing these events, we designed and printed 10,000 copies of the Historic Delano Visitors Guide which is distributed through local merchants, the Greater Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau and the downtown hotels. We only have about 1,000 left after one year, but the distribution points still have plenty.

We publish a monthly newsletter, Historic Delano News (mostly distributed electronically), and we created a rudimentary web site at The web site was envisioned as an electronic version of the Visitors Guide combined with news and current events from the newsletter which we could update easily. Bringing the printed page to the world wide web... or something like that. This blog was sort of a spin-off of the web site that we never did anything with.

We just completed a very successful 3rd Annual St. Patrick's Parade - it couldn't have gone any smoother! Plans for the 2nd Annual Rumble in Delano Car Show are well underway and this years show is expected to be even bigger than last year. The web site is getting more and more traffic - already in 2009 the total number of hits is over half of the entire 2008 total.

Along with success comes growth. Since last summer we have been working on a completely new Historic Delano web site which will be more interactive and manage content better. One new feature will be a searchable directory of all of the businesses in Delano. Other features will include an updated calendar of events and... yes... a feed from this blog.

Completing the new site took on more of an urgency recently for several reasons. One of them is, a site which gathers information from a number of other sites on "all things Delano." Karen has been following our activities on her site and recently added our blog to her Blog Aggregator - Hello, DelanoWichita readers! Another reason is the afore-mentioned increase in traffic on the site (hmmm... could that be related to the first reason?).

Finally, quite frankly, we just want to see the project completed soon so that we can move on to our next project, which I'll get back to in a minute. We hope to have the new site live in the next 30 - 60 days. We'll let you know as the time draws nearer.

This blog (and our web site) will become our new primary methods for disseminating news - they're quick, free and effective. We're still looking for a focus, but we may go back and post some things from the past year's newsletters to start with. The fate of the monthly newsletter is uncertain - it may become a digest version of the important topics from the blog.

Now, back to those new projects...

Historic Delano is working with Infinite Growth Opportunities (IGO) to increase the size and scope of the Delano Community Garden located at the Senior Center. We are also working with a group of interested people to establish a Farmers' Market in Delano which would feature urban-grown produce (grown by individuals in community gardens or back yard plots). By the way, one of those interested parties is Karen from, which is also where the prodding on the blog came from. Check out those links for all the information.

So, there's the long and short of what ol' H.D. Blogger has been up to. More to come...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Merle's Opens Patio

Merle's Place, located at 440 N. Seneca, recently expanded and added an outdoor patio on the north side of the building.  The expansion doubles their space and they have added more tables as well as another pool table and some other games.

Of course, they still have their tasty menu of sandwiches and snacks.  Stop by and check it out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ghosts in Delano!

We have been approached by a Paranormal Investigator.  His team would like to come to Delano and investigate any buildings or homes that might have some "unusual" activity.  An area can be investigated too, and we were told that they have monitored some activity along the river.

There is no cost for their services.  They would like to put together a walking or possibly a trolley tour for a couple weekends in October.  We already have more than 10 people signed up.  We will be meeting with the team on Wednesday, July 30th at 6:00 p.m.  The meeting will be at The Secret Gallery - 300 N. Meridian and anyone interested is invited.

If you are interested in having your building investigated, please contact Nancy Lawrence at Central Plains Novelty at 267-1260 or 640-2453.  You may also e-mail her at  Please respond by September 1st so that they will have time to do their investigations before October.

The Palette

The newest place to eat in Delano is The Palette located in the Academy of Fine Art.  The address is 535 W. Douglas, Suite 130 -- just west of Hertz, Bungalow 26 and The Perfect Touch.

Anyway, Z and I have gone there a couple of times already. The grilled meatloaf sandwich and the chicken salad on croissant are wonderful.

Sandwiches come with a side salad (not the bagged kind) or chips.  They have other sandwiches but I am hooked these two.  The atmosphere is artsy and just a neat/different place to eat.  They are open for breakfast also.  I haven't tried that yet but will soon.