My husband and I often wax poetically about someday living in the country.
Nothing fancy or elaborate. Just a couple of acres where the kids can climb trees, scrape knees, dig holes, and get dirt under their fingernails. Our dream is to someday build a house in the country.
We may never actually do it, but it’s a fun dream. Our tastes have changed over the years, but the constants of this fake dream house always include an open airy kitchen, a deep wrap around porch, and a garden.
I have these romanticized visions of slowly sipped hot coffee on my cozy, perfectly pillowed swing. Listening to the birds chirp as the sun rises over my little patch of land. A vintage ruffled apron with faded yellow roses on it, as I prune and trim and harvest a bounty of vegetables into my handwoven basket.
It’s all very romantic and simple. And perfect. And not real.
Because, for now anyway, we live in the suburbs. In a tract home that looks like every other house in the neighborhood. On a cul-de-sac. On a tiny lot. It is California, after all. The sprawling yards I see of the “suburbs” of the Midwest are nothing like the ‘burbs I live in. My backyard is no more than a 50’x50’ square (which is actually one of the largest in the whole neighborhood!).
My dreams of an apron wearing harvest will have to wait.
That is, until I was inspired by One Bite at a Time to start a garden. Just like that. No minimum requirements. Nothing was too small. Tsh’s book implored me to start, even if it was just a couple of pots on a tiny urban balcony.
I’ve been working through One Bite all year, and I was inspired. So I walked out into my (already landscaped) backyard, tilted my head to the side, squinted, and tried to think outside of the box a little…and find a space where I could do some growing.
We had a small area off to the side that used to house kids’ toys, a deck box, and our garden hose.
It’s a small space. No more than 10’x4′. It won’t keep me from having to buy vegetables for my family of 6, but it’s a dirt-under-my-fingernails start.
Every time I see this little ragamuffin space, I’m reminded that I don’t have to wait until things are Just So. A little rearranging and some elbow grease are all I really need. These creative containers helped, too.
For those of you scared, let me tell you: I know nothing about vegetable gardening. My tomato plants are looking wild, I think I have some white mold on my squash leaves, and I have no idea when I’m supposed to pick the zucchini that are growing. But you know what? I don’t care. I’ll google it. I bought this book. I’ll figure it out.
I even went a step further and got chickens. Yes, chickens. Real ones. That will lay eggs. Chickens are so trendy. But I don’t care. They’re bringing a little bit of country to my decidedly not-country space.
And there are few things I am loving more these days than my itty bitty patch of veggies and my cute little coop.
Looks like I better get me an apron soon.
Do you have a vegetable garden? Have you been waiting until you have “more space”? What’s stopping you?