Last year was a year for experiments that did NOT work. For instance, Wall-o-Waters here become instead Wall-o-Slugs. Weed cloth becomes cover for voles. Both of those things were large disappointments. Dry gardening potatoes was only a small disappointment. It works and we do have an area we can't irrigate, but the yield is definitely smaller. I think that plot got under-limed though, which would have had an effect.
This year though, I hope will be a year for GOOD experiments. We have tapped several of our big leaf maple trees. We started too late to get a great deal of sap, but it's been enough for us to make a cup or two of syrup. Tastes just like maple syrup, even.
We're hoping we no longer have a duck deficiency. That'd help with the slug issues. I have to figure out how to keep them from stomping the smaller plants in the garden though. I'm thinking chicken wire might do the trick. Or it might not. You never can tell.
Big experiment is making soil blocks for some starts instead of using pots. I've got two of each tomato variety we're trying this year, one in a pot, one in a block. The theory is that transplant shock is less with blocks. We shall see how they do. I'm going to try direct seeding some too, which goes very much against conventional wisdom for this area. I've been told that the six week start for...well, starts, only translated to a three week gain in harvest. Might make it worthwhile to just direct seed some of the earliest varieties.
Someone has tried to convince me to do an experiment with manganese, but I think I'll wait on that one. Then again, maybe not. I'll see how I feel when it's time to plant corn. In the meantime, we'll plop some minerals and some llama poop on the garden and start a'plantin'. We're even going to put in a few asparagus plants this year, since it seems we'll be here longer than we thought.