Yay: I finally can have my vegetables and eat them too. A box of local, organically grown food is delivered to our door every week. We can also go out to the farm once in a while and load up on chickens, excess corn, even flowers. The food-growing thing was just never going to happen in any kind of successful fashion for me. But now I’m supporting an excellent family farm and enjoying some of the best potatoes (among other produce) I have ever had. It took me a while to find a great CSA experience, but it finally happened.

 Boo: Fracking. Talk about one step backward. As we struggle to increase the health of our waterways—with some success—the notion of blasting chemicals into the ground becomes more popular than ever. Hard to see how it will do anything but harm to the farms, vineyards, and overall ecosystem of New York.

Boo: I may not grow vegetables but anyone who wants to should. The zoning boards, HOAs, city inspectors, and other regulators  need to turn their attention to real problems, and stay out of people’s gardens.

Yay: Garden Walk! This continues to be one of the coolest garden touring experiences anywhere. People walk it, bike it, bring their kids, bring their out-of-town guests, and travel to it from afar (we routinely see walkers from all over the U.S. and abroad). It is the social event of the season in Buffalo and increasingly renowned elsewhere. And thanks to the example set by those on both the big walk and the regional walks, front gardens throughout Western New York are a lot more interesting. GW celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014.

Yay: We have learned to keep fish alive in a shallow pond. It takes a certain amount of technology, but now we can maintain a relationship over time with our pond pets. Too bad, though, about the tadpole I tried to introduce. That didn’t work.

Still yay: Bulbs in containers. This strategy never fails. It makes for better variety, easier planting, and zero aftercare.

Yay: A real winter.  In my neck of the woods, anyway, this is the way it’s supposed to work. Let it snow.

Triple yay: Welcome to the Rant’s three new contributors, Ivette, Evelyn, and Allen. The more the merrier when it comes to ranting; their voices and those of our guests help keep things fresh around here.