Elderberries are ripening right now! I have a stand of elderberries between the barn and my new field. For the first few years, here at Blue Button Farm, I would cut them down, thinking they were just weed trees. I actually bid on an elderberry plant at the BYBA annual dinner and silent auction. Luckily I didn't win, because I have dozens already! Thanks to my friend, Michael Lund who identified them!
Bees love elderberry flowers, Which can be seen in late June. The flowers are big, kind of like giant Queen Anne's Lace. I'm told they taste good batter dipped and fried, but I leave the flowers for the bees. The berries are tart tasting and need to be cooked to be used in various recipes. Make sure your berries are really ripe, because unripe berries, and also the stems can make some people very ill.
There are many recipes out there for elderberry syrup. It has been used in folk medicine for centuries as a treatment of the flu, colds, and sinus problems.
- Vitamin C
- They are also high in antioxidants
Making elderberry syrup
Remove stems from ripe elderberries
Mash and heat over low flame
Simmer for 15 minutes
Elderberry gummies can be made by adding gelatin and sweetened with honey