Watch My Food Grow ~ A South Florida Raised Vegetable Garden

Florida Backyard Raised Vegetable Garden

2015 Lake Worth Street Painting Festival

February 22nd, 2015 by Lila Steinhoff

Art in the Morning

February 20th and 21st… yesterday and today… was the 2015 Lake Worth Street Painting Festival. This annual art fest is one I do NOT miss. There are hundreds of artists and thousands of fans.

My sister, Marty Riley, has come from Missouri several times to chalk beautiful things for this event.

Tiger in Chalk 2009

Irises in Chalk 2010


The youngest artists have their own area marked off in sections and are supplied chalk for their own creative experiences. How cool is that?!!?

Budding Artists

 Rain or Shine

The festival goes on regardless of the weather.

Event FAQs

It rained for a couple of hours on Saturday. Many artists bring something to cover their work. Some did not, and their work was rinsed by mother nature. Most artists were back this morning, though, to redo and continue.

So Much Fun!

The weather was beautiful… clear blue skies, temps in the high 70s and low 80s and palm trees blowing in the best breeze ever. I love, love, love this event!

Seeing is believing, but it will be quite a wait for the next Street Painting Festival. To hold you over until next February, I’ve attached a gallery of pictures taken this morning. Click on any photo to make it larger and use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.



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A Charlie Brown Tree

December 19th, 2014 by Lila Steinhoff

I Have a Christmas Story

Norfolk Pine Christmas Tree

For the last 8 or 9 years, our tree has been a Norfolk pine in a pot on my pool deck. Another year’s growth made it too big to carry inside, so I was stalling with decorating, until last Saturday.

I attended a supper that had a white elephant swap for Christmas. My gift was an artificial, 4-foot tall, pre-lighted tree in a pot… stuffed into the original box which was taped up with several layers of packing tape to keep it all together… enough tape to prove that it must have been used for several years.

Well, I didn’t have one!

Artificial Tree

Tonight, grandson Malcolm was tasked with taking it out of the box and unbending the limbs into a tree-shape suitable for Christmas. He did his best, but it still looked scrawny. That’s okay, because we decided it was a Charlie Brown tree.

We set it in the usual Christmas tree space in the living room and plugged it in. The lights came on first time… on the bottom half of the tree. The wires had been cut and tied together at some point, so there would be no warm glow from the top half of the tree. That’s okay. It’s a Charlie Brown tree.

Makeshift Ornaments

Since we did not bring in the big tree from previous years, I did not bring the boxes of ornaments down from the attic. Instead, I used what I found in different drawers and the grandkids’ toy box.

Wreath and Ribbon


Toy Backhoe


Toy Firetruck


Clip-on Poinsettia

I found a single wreath ornament that missed being boxed last year, a piece of red ribbon in the wrapping paper drawer, a bag of stick-on bows left from last year, several small toy trucks and a clip-on silver poinsettia… all of which are now residing on the tree.


The pièce de résistance was ‘Chester the Tall Goat’ (actually, a giraffe) that Malcolm got from his teacher today. He will be leaving when Malcolm goes home tomorrow, but that’s okay. It’s a Charlie Brown tree.

Not Bad!

Opening Gifts

Since Malcolm will not be in town for Christmas, we celebrated his Christmas tonight. We considered it a dry run for the big day. It worked beautifully!

Charlie Brown Tree

I think this is the best  ‘Charlie Brown’ tree we’ve ever had.

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Planting in October

October 4th, 2014 by Lila Steinhoff

Herbs First

Today we prepared the garden boxes for the 2014 fall planting season. First on the list was the herb box. It’s been almost two years since the herb box was planted.  Most of the herbs were way overgrown. They had spread out everywhere and many had become very woody.

thinning herbs

Thinning and Trimming Herbs

The herbs needed to be thinned out and cut back. Gardening buddy Bill and I cut all the herbs down to the ground, leaving a few leaves on what was left. They will come back fast and will be healthy. We had a pile of herb clippings about two feet square when we were finished.

Remove Solarization Cover

removing solarizing cover

Removing Solarization Cover

We removed the plastic sheeting used for solarization from the middle box. We do not cover the herb box, because most herbs are perennials. We usually cover the other two boxes from sometime in August until the beginning of October.

tall okra

Talk Okra in Background

However, this year, only one box was covered. The okra planted in the extra the box behind Bill (who 5’10”) has grown to over 7 1/2 feet tall (never seen that before) and is still flowering and producing. The okra is doing so well that we are going to leave it until we get ready to plant tomatoes against the white tie-up bars.

Replacement Soil

spreading replacement soil

Adding Soil to Garden

Each year, the boxes lose soil from wind, rain and pulling out plants. To keep enough depth for root growth, the soil must be replaced. It takes about half a dozen bags of soil to do this. *A hint that works well… cutting the soil bag across each end and down the middle allows the dirt to be spread easily. Just pull on one side and roll the soil off into the garden.

Once the new soil is added, rake it out flat, spray water on it to level it and begin to plant.

raking out soil

Raking Soil

 New Plants

The only herb we replaced was the parsley. We’ve decided not to grow cilantro again. It really does not do well in this garden, and fresh cilantro is relatively inexpensive to get elsewhere.

This year, we have nine broccoli plants with Swiss chard planted all around the broccoli in the rest of the box. Broccoli grows tall and bulky. There is plenty of room to grow chard all around it. Once the broccoli is finished and is pulled up, the chard will continue to grow in the box.

We bought tomatoes, but the plants were dry and rather limp. They needed to be watered and given a few days to recover before they are planted.


Garden Boxes

So far, things are going well. I’m looking forward to another season of fresh vegetables.




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