I know my gardening efforts are pretty slim compared to some, but I live in West Philadelphia and have only little postage-stamp sized plots and potted plants on the porch, so I’m proud of whatever I get.

The first tomato harvest (already eaten since this photo was taken a few days ago):

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Elderberries! My “druid tree,” the one that I grew for my Candidate year (though I didn’t know it at the time) is an Elder. These berries don’t come from that tree – they come from a much older Elder which is the parent of my little Elder. She will be getting her first crop of berries this year, but they aren’t ripe yet – the older tree ripened first. I just picked these today. They will probably get eaten tomorrow with the morning oatmeal. When the bigger part of the elderberry crop comes in, I’ll make a big batch of cough syrup.

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My intention of eating mostly local food this month has been shot all to hell. I got some blood test results back last week and my cholesterol is through the roof. Not just kind of high, but scary high. I shouldn’t be surprised by this, since every single woman on my mother’s side of the family gets high cholesterol after a certain age (I come from a long line of soft, buttery women), but it was still kind of a shock. I think of my diet as fairly healthy because I rarely eat junk food or sweets (heck, I don’t even eat bread), but I love fresh eggs and whole raw milk and that yummy butter that the Amish sell that comes in rounds, and since all this stuff is local and organic I think of it as wholesome so I don’t pay too much attention to how much of it I eat. Well, I didn’t before, but I do now. So I’ve switched to nonfat dairy only, no butter, cut way way back on eggs, and have added in things like ground flax seed, salmon, walnuts, and oats. I don’t know of a local source for most of these things – my dairy guy doesn’t do nonfat, I have to cook with olive oil instead of local butter, and I don’t know a local source for any of the anti-cholesterol foods I’m supposed to be eating. My produce is still all local, but that’s easy. I was hoping to get more of my non-produce foods locally, and I haven’t figured out how to do so and maintain the kind of diet I need to be eating.

Oh, and the final Harry Potter book rocked, except for a slow bit in the middle and an annoying epilogue. A higher body count than a George R. R. Martin novel, but a really satisfying ending for the series.

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