How to make a small vegetable garden - help for a newbie gardene

Today, the post is more of a descriptive question and hopefully some people can help me with that one. Send me tons of feedback because i really need to hear from you. It is a cry of the heart but mostly of the taste buds.

So, about the question. We would like to do a small edible garden, with maybe 10 different vegetables. I am thinking about tomatoes and garlic of course and carrots, squash, but do you have suggestions for :
1. Name 10 vegetables, super easy to grow (please no peppers otherwise i will have to take tons of Alka-Seltzer after the meal).
2. When do you begin planting the seeds ?
3. What about fertilizers, which ones are the best and is there options for natural, organic ones?
4. I heard that there is some combinations of vegetables that you can make (side by side).
5. I want a small garden that won't take every single minute i have.
6. What about the bugs and the birds. We do have some Japanese beetles over here (i am not really in love with them, but i am trying to exercise my Buddha mind ... it is not easy).
7. And the seeds, is there better ones than others, do i have to put them in water for germination ?
8. Of course, all other suggestions are welcome !!!

Thanks for all your help you, online gardeners. I am waiting for your thoughts.

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