Thanks for the responses!
I hate to admit that every year I usually use that black paper to stop the weeds. Is that no good? I did get a sample of this stuff called "sweet peet" at my nursery last week. It's a combination of organic soil conditioner/ mulch. I suppose I could get a few yards and add that rather than the paper. It'll be a lot more work. If it's much healthier, then I'll do it. Think it's worth it?
I did read that tilling isn't good for the soil, but I expanded the garden size this year by 8 feet. So I have to get rid of all that grass, unless there's a better way to do it that I don't know about.
As for what my soil is like, I'm not sure I'm experienced enough to make an assesment on that. But for the last 4 years that I've lived here, I've produced tomato plants that are 6+ft tall, with lots of fruit & same with just about everything I plant - it all seems to thrive. So I assume it's good soil. I'd just like to keep it that way. I know I've probably stripped it of a lot of nutrients over the past few years.
And about the compost pile, thanks for the advice! I was looking online at those barels that have cranks you turn. Is that the easiet to start you think? I'm not lazy, just limited on time. I work full time and have a 1 yr old at home