Pumpkin, "Dirt" is exactly the sort of thing my family would expect me to ask for. For Christmas, i asked for bird seed (didn't get it, but did get a gorgeous hand blown glass hummingbird feeder, with an ant moat. : )
You're right. There are scrap boards around here that I could start with, do some simple framing for a small raised bed. There is a pile of topsoil from when the house was built that I have whittled away at over the years...it wouldn't be too much trouble to do a small bed to start. And we have a free source for composted horse manure...so no excuse, really, not to try it.
I don't have the ambition for canning, either. I like to freeze things, but that's about the extent of my interest in food preservation.