In 2005 we started naming names; that is, we really concentrated on trying different varieties of the same veggie. The idea was to see if we had a preference, and in most cases we really didn't.
We do prefer white eggplant to the traditional dark purple, but only for the uniformity of the slices.
It was also the year we first planted Amaranth, but we did not know it was edible.
That would be a few years yet.
We learned the hard way that hot peppers and sweet peppers can cross pollinate in 2006. Of course this only affects the seeds, but hot peppers seeds have heat. A few of the sweet peppers picked up some of that heat, and it made eating them real interesting.
We also added a cherry tree that year, but that would not last long.
A birdhouse gourd grew up from the compost, and as it vined it's way up a nearby pine, it grabbed the little cherry tree and pulled it right out of the ground.
Unfortunately it was too late by the time we noticed.
Another expansion took place in 2007.
It had been 3 growing seasons since we tried to limit the garden until we finally gave in.
Actually, we did better than expected.
That year we learned you can grow strawberries underneath dwarf peach trees if you keep the fruit trees pruned to give the berries enough sun.
We also learned that year how easily corn will cross pollinate, even if they are not down wind from each other.
An experimental 'Compost Garden' was planted in 2008. The idea was to see how many volunteers we could get if we didn't put a single seed in the ground, and only used our own compost.
It certainly did show how easy growing food can be.
We didn't get nearly as much of a harvest, a few potatoes made it and late in the season we had a nice supple of green tomatoes. None of the squash produced more than 1 or 2 fruit, mainly because they came up later than what we planted elsewhere by seed.
But experimenting is fun, so it was all good.
Finally in 2009 we expanded just a wee bit more. We added some kiwi vines, which always looked wonderful but never produced. We also got smart with the potted herbs, and put them all together in a shadier area, which also made keeping them watered easier.
Our experiment that year was with dry beans. we purchased a bag of 15 assorted dry soup beans at the local market and planted them.
To play it safe, we planted them in amongst the corn. That way if any were pole types, we were covered.
It was a bit of a madhouse in that bed, but it worked well.
For the most part, that was the last time we bought dry bean seeds.
It was in the late fall of 2009 that this blog began.
Since then every year has been a combination of trying new veggies and cultivars, and more experiments.
A lot of that has been documented here, but there is one more thing that hasn't.
Not to leave you hanging, but that will be the final post of this series.