Hi, Well if your soil is really poor, you might want to grow veggies in large tubs and containers. You can use almost anything as long as it has drain holes in the bottom. Fill the container with a good quality potting soil (don't use garden soil) and plant what you want. Just remember that most veggies require a least 6 to 8 hours of sunshine a day and, when grown in containers, probably need watering almost every day in the summer. As far as animals pests go, you could place all your pots in one area and surround them with a temporary screen of chicken wire.