I've only started this year with restructuring my garden, so I can't give you any specific advice, but I can tell you what I did and why, maybe that will spark some ideas for your own situation. (Still can't do paragraphs, so this will be a long one.) The climate here is exactly as you describe it, and so is the attitude of the locals, especially when they've been farmers for generations. 😉 Including the house, my plot is about 800 m2 and has 8 olive trees on it. The soil is not very fertile, and in some parts there is sheer limestone, so I consider most of it a foundation for raised beds rather than soil. ----- The first thing I did was to get clear on a plan: What do I want this garden for in the long term (food, plants for dyeing wool, beauty) and what can I achieve with ease (on average not more than one hour per day) in the next couple of years to get things started. For food I want to focus on what others don't have - I get lemons, oranges, cabbage and butternut squash from friends, sometimes potatoes or avocados, so im planting sweet potatoes, New Zealand spinach and strawberries and can give some of the young plants to others as well. Apart from the olives I have a loquat and a mulberry tree, and want to add three more mulberries, a pomegranate and a grapefruit, which are either difficult to get or expensive. ----- The second thing was not to cut the weeds, but to observe what comes up and what their properties are, and then see what I want to keep, to relocate, or to replace with something similar. For example, a lot of the ground is covered by oxalis in winter/ spring, which keeps the weeds down, delivers acid to the very alkaline soil, and gives a bright orange dye. Another example is Bitumen bituminosa, a legume that binds nitrogen, gives shade, can be cut to encourage longer growth, the stripped stalks make wattle and the flowers and leaves are mixed with the soil to loosen it up. ----- The third thing is water; as you know, there's hardly any rain from June to September. End of May I get many sheep fleeces from a local farmer, and the first wash (just clean enough for storage and further hand processing) is only with water. On average I use 5 buckets of water per day which is enough for most of the plants that need watering, and an additional source of fertiliser. The base of the raised beds this year is cut weeds (most of them wild oats and such) plus urine for moisture and nitrogen. In a few weeks this will be topped with cardboard, compost, topsoil and straw which I can get from a friend who had some strimming done. ----- I don't consider my garden for making a living by selling the produce, although in a couple of years it will cover most of our fruit and veggie needs, but as part of my life and what I want to do (design and make clothing and other items from wool) it contributes directly. By the way, I've spent so far 60 Euros, 20 of it for tools, the rest for potting soil in order to get started as I didn't have any compost yet. ----- Regarding compost, over the past years I had no success at all with slow composting, but hot compost and raised beds work well in this climete. ----- As for the locals, most of them are too polite to "correct" my point of view regarding my gardening ideas, but I can tell what they are thinking . 😄 However, I've been planting thought-seeds by telling them about a not-new-but-forgotten traditional gardening method called permaculture, that gives better harvests with less work ... now who wouldn't like that! At least one of them must have looked up some information, because I saw some straw bales on his pickup, and as he only got chicken for animals, I assume he'll start with mulching.