well - i've decided i'm going to go for it. I'm going to prep the front yard so that next season i can work in as many vegetable plants as i can. We've already stopped wasting water for a lawn's sake. If i'm going to water - it's going to be for food.
Will be able to start some lettuces and cool-weather plants late summer.
The side yard gets enough sun to handle a good-sized patch of sweetcorn. I checked our neighborhood association covenants, and I think i can get away with it. And if I keep it ornamental in look, I'll avoid any issue for sure.
Unfortunately though - there is a covenant clause keeping me from having the chickens I really want. someday...