Okay, all you skeptics. I think I've proven that it's possible to make a 800 square-foot vegetable garden in three days, and without removing the grass, if you are willing to have a large enough pile of compost dumped into your parking spot and the next-door neighbor's parking spot–oops–and willing to do the wheelbarrow work to bury the grass four inches deep.
Life is not perfect in this garden. For the first time, I've experienced the tragedies known as cut worms and cucumber wilt. I'm still figuring out light questions and scheming about removing two of the six ridiculous 150-foot Norway spruces in the yard. Beautiful, romantic tree, ridiculous only in a 7500 square-foot plot in a city.
But life is definitely good. I have more arugula, basil, cilantro, and tomatillos than I can handle, and the eggplants and tomatoes are rolling in. That's all I require: more arugula than I know what to do with.