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.

Start a garden - from One Bite at a Time by Tsh Oxenreider on

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?