Thank you for the tips.
Deb, I love the Keyhole gardens, although I am not sure I could do that in my backyard. My home is in more of city/town environment and my compost is probably going to need to be more contained because of my neighbors. I may try a variation on the idea though. I do like it. My yard is a rectangle with a fence all the way around. I want to do beds along the perimeter of the fence and also use the vertical space of the fence with some of the hanging containers my daughter and I used this year. I really can't believe how well some of the plants did in the juice bottles and the amount of space that was available and I still have to use is amazing and they really didn't need all that much watering. Then I want to put beds in the bulk of the yard with paths in between. I figure we can add beds until we feel that we have gotten to a point that we are feeling to much and then slow down for a season and the garden can grow as we get more comfortable.
I love getting plants from cuttings or friends. We actually bought 1 strawberry plant from a locally nursery this year for my daughter to get started with and it developed so many runners that we started new plants off of I can't believe how many we have now. Also my brother in law has shared many of his plants and seeds. I am trying to find people and resources locally now. I imagine there must be clubs and organizations. While my home is in more of a city type area we are not far from a very rural area. My brother in laws property is pretty much farm country.
I loved watching my little girl plant the seeds and then the excitement when she saw the first strawberry and picked it and ate it. Also when her first cucumber was ready and she was so proud to walk around the house with it cut up on a plate and make sure everyone got some.
I am already working on my plan for next season with a list of the plants we want and companion plants for them, creating a planting calendar to remind me, and making a design for the actual beds in the back yard and trying to find resources for decent soil etc. We are also saving seeds from this years vegetables to plant next year.