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Day #42

Thursday, June 1, 2000 

The heat has really been something this past week and the crew is very aware of how it is affecting them individually.   Steps are being taken to ensure that everyone is drinking plenty of cool water and taking numerous breaks to get out of the sun.  Then too, the crew is talking about starting earlier in the morning and quitting earlier in the afternoon.  That will most likely be the case if the heat continues.  

Progress has been made, however, despite the working conditions.   A shutoff valve has been installed at the intersection of Patterson and Omio Rd. in preparation for the pressure test slated for Friday, June 2, 2000.  

Getting started always requires servicing the machinery.  At left one sees Steve Place (son), Steve Spiegel and Steve Place (father), examining the chain on the trencher and greasing the tracks for better performance.

By-the-way, congratulations go out to Steve and Janelle 

Spiegel who now have a new son named Jacob Leon born last Saturday.  Steve's comment was he now had his own work crew, Jacob being his third son.

Once the tractor is serviced, Steve Place (son) begins to dig the trench at the base of Spencer Street along Quy over to Howe.  Father Steve watches while monitoring the depth of the trench.   This one block link will complete the loop and enable the crew to turn its attention once again to Omio Road.
Formoso = Community

Most of the pictures and narrative found here have focused on the project itself up to now, but there is more to Formoso then just water lines and the effort underway.   While perhaps the only community in Kansas not served by a paved highway or even a paved link to a highway, Formoso remains an active social community seeking to better itself and take care of its own.   Some of the activities are not readily apparent, but they become known by listening to people talk.  From here on out, at various times throughout the remainder of the project, you will find brief stories and photos of other things going on in town.   Today the focus is on the Community Gardens.   

First and foremost, Formoso is a community with a great deal of pride and you see this right off as you drive into town from either the south or the north.   Here you find signs that proclaim the city as being a participant in the state's PRIDE Program, which provides support and guidance to    
communities seeking to better themselves through organization and focused activity.  The PRIDE program addresses such areas as planning, housing, community services and community enrichment.   One project undertaken by Formoso citizens that fits both community services and enrichment categories is that of the Community Gardens.    

Large gardens spring up on vacant lots and backyards everywhere in Formoso during the summer.  It is something that makes the town a distinctive place to live in North Central Kansas.  

The Community Garden system is the product of a collective effort to grow enough vegetables 

to practically feed the entire town throughout the summer.  Carl Studer, shown above in one such garden early Thursday morning enjoying a cold cup of water just dipped from the garden's well, is President of the Formoso Community Garden Club.   While Carl is a member of the crew working on the waterlines, he spends off hours early and late in the day attending to the gardens and otherwise organizing the volunteers who make the gardens the success that they are. 

At right is one of the many gardens.  This one supports the cole crops of broccoli and cabbage with some undisclosed veggie growing under cans along the left side of the garden patch.  Off to the right is a compost pile full of last year's leaves and grass clippings.  

One of the primary goals of the Community Garden Club is for everyone to have fresh produce during the summer months, with enough for some to maybe even can (preserve) if they are willing to put forth the effort.   Community volunteers see to the gardens' needs throughout the growing season, making sure the soil is tilled, seeds and plants are set out and weeds are pulled -- all under Carl's watchful eye.   Carl further sees to it that everyone knows when the vegetables in season are ready and those who can are then free to come and pick whatever they want, whenever they want.   Those individuals physically unable to pick their own are not left out, for Carl also makes sure they get their share by taking the time to put together "share bundles", delivering the packages himself.  Kind of a Santa Claus in a green suit.   

The interesting thing one notices in listening to the locals talk about the garden system is no one complains about some citizen taking more than their share.  That would seem to indicate that everyone is mindful of what is available and what they can take without denying someone else their taste of summer.

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