Friday, June 23, 2006


In the part of the country where I live the elderberries are blooming. From the time I was a child I've always watched to see where the elderberry plants are during the blooming season so I'll know where to find the berries when they are ready.

These days I'm lucky enough to have elderberries growing in our garden. I've been tending them closely and have learned some things that I hadn't known before. Elderberries seem to live 2 years. They will flower both years, but then seem to die off. They spread by sending runners underground, so a new shoot will pop up out of the ground some distance from the base of the main plant. Over time a thicket can grow up, spreading each year.

To keep things tidy I've been removing the dead branches/stalks every year. New shoots come up and the plants are doing well.

This year I'm hoping that I'll get enough berries to make some things. I also plan to talk to a neighbor who has a lot of elderberries in the fence line if I can pick them.

My family doesn't eat much jam or jelly, so I won't make any of that. We will eat a pie once in a while, and I love elderberry pie! There are two other things that I made from elderberries two summers ago that I'm hoping to make more of: wine and cordial. Both of these came out extremely well, and I sure hope I get enough to make more.

One very nice thing about elderberries is that they freeze wonderfully. Whatever I don't get put up I'll be freezing for later use.

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