Q. How do I create a city vegetable garden?
This site in the link below has good information on preparing a new garden plot. The sections on soil testing, soil amendment, and turning are the most important, I think.
Here is contact information for the Extension Service that will be able to test the soil for you, as well as answer other questions you may have:
Preparing the space now, before the ground freezes, is an excellent idea, so that when the planting season starts, you will be well prepared.
Having an eastern exposure might be challenging for vegetable gardening. Most vegetable crops require 6 -8 hours of sunlight, but that is not to say it can’t be done. Lettuces would do very well in your space, I think. Most herbs like basil also require lots of sun. However, there may be enough light in your space during the day to support a very nice vegetable and herb garden. There are many excellent books available on growing vegetables and herbs, which you can check out at any library, or browse in a bookstore. I think you’ll get good ideas on how to plant and harvest your favorites. The winter is a good time to begin to explore the possibilities.
I've added a few links (below) to subject guides we've created, on small space gardening and food gardening. They contain helpful books, web sites and videos that will help you with your garden planning.