hard‧scrab‧ble [only before noun]
hardscrabble land has poor soil and will not produce good crops of food, and sometimes not any food at all:
I remembered it being green and humid, nothing like this hardscrabble land.
poor, and working on land that does not produce enough food to eat or crops to sell:
The town is also home to hardscrabble residents who have to eat at the soup kitchen.