Bumper Crop of Baby Elderberries Bushes

When we moved to our little farm, one of the first things we did when spring arrived was start looking at our local bushes in the hopes that we would have lots of wild food, what we had the most of was Black Elderberry, having a huge bush by our big old back barn.

Since then, we have taken many a small elderberry baby out of the back pasture and up to the house or soft fruit bush lines, by the house we have five bushes, and this spring between three of them were all theres little starts that I thought looked like Elderberries leaves but typically, we get a shoot off the main bush and then we dig it out and move it, sometimes it dies down for the season but always the next spring, its back and in full growth, I had heard that it was VERY hard to grow elderberry from seed, and yet I do think that is what has happened. I have been watching them grow bigger by the day and today picked one and counted off its little ridges, and I am now postive that this little 3 or 4 inch high plants are in fact elderberries from seed.., I would appear to have between 30 to 40 of them in the bed overall.

This makes me very excited, I have a area that I really wanted to put into fruit bushes, and these elderberries will do the trick very nicely, planted six feet apart, they will grow up quickly to make a very good hedge row for that side of the garden/fruit growing area.

As I had looked at what the costs would be to order elderberries and it looks like they would be between 12.99 to 19.99 each, which I knew I would not be paying for considering that I can find them growing wild in the ditch locally, but with the price of gas, I didn’t want to be driving the back roads looking to much this year, this solves all those in one fell swoop.

I will update on how the transplanting goes and will for sure take follow up photos to show how they are doing in the future.

So do you have elderberries on your property? If so what do you make with them? and have you ever had them grow from seed? or do you normally take cuttings or root stock only? Does anyone know if they grow true from seed or if they can be variable?

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15 Responses to Bumper Crop of Baby Elderberries Bushes

  1. DEE says:

    Cleared out the woodline to fence in our orchard so can now see the elderberry bushes. Hopefully, we will get the berries before the birds this year! Want to try making syrup. Never thought to take cuttings. We have so many things the birds find yummy. DEE

  2. rjwoodland says:

    Apart from jelly, we have not done much with the berries, but how about these Elderflower recipes….
    I have not tried this one yet – Elderflower fritters:
    http://greenwood-carving.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-to-make-elderflower-fritters.html

    But this is definitely my favourite – Elderflower ‘Champagne’:
    3-4 large elderflower heads
    8 pints water
    1 1/2 pounds sugar
    2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    1 large lemon

    Trim the flowers from the stems with scissors (fiddly, but it’s worth it). Put in a large bowl and add the water, sugar and vinegar. Add the zest and juice of the lemon. Cover with a cloth and leave to stand for 24hrs, stirring now and then to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Strain through a cloth into strong bottles capable of handling pressure. After a couple of weeks it will be really fizzy. Fantastically refreshing when served chilled on a hot day. Be careful with the choice of bottles – they must be capable of withstanding the high pressure.
    Rich.

    • Thanks so much Rich, I will for sure try your drink and will post how it goes, I have to admit that I rarely take many flowers as I want the berries but am finally getting enough bushes that I can start taking more flowers now.

  3. CallieK says:

    We pick elderberries with Not Far From the Tree and make syrup from them – our signature drink (for parties and fundraisers) is made with this syrup and vodka !

  4. Heidi Tijssen says:

    Sigh. Till last year we had a lot of elderberry bushes around the abandoned barns behind our home. But since the place isn’t longer abandoned, the bushes are gone. I’ll have to look for another site for some plants, because I miss them dearly. They have so many uses, that I want them surely back. But difficult to raise from seed? I can’t hardly believe it. In our area elderberry bushes multiply on every piece of wasteland like weeds.

    • O, I am so sorry that you lost your bushes, I would miss mine badly as well, They must like your climate better then ours, while it is possable to find them with careful looking but they don’t grow like weeds are here.

      I still can’t find out why many sites say they are hard to come from seed, but I have certainly not had a issue.. Good luck on a finding a new picking site.

      What is your favorite use?

      • Heidi Tijssen says:

        Partly for making wine (often, but not always, tastes good) and for making jam (with apples)

  5. It’s elderberry season here in Louisiana and they are everywhere! Farmers irrigate their crops and the elderberries growing on the edges of their fields are beautifully plump and juicy. We like to take long rides and gather the fruits that way, but there are also elderberry plants growing on our property and along our road.

    I make jelly from elderberries. I’ve never used them any other way. A friend said that she mixed elderberry and muscadine juice to make jelly. That’s tomorrow’s project, making the mixed jelly.

    One thing I don’t understand is the enthusiasim for pies. The seeds are small and “crunchy”-for lack of a better word. Do they soften during cooking or do you just use the juice? Could someone explain about that?

    • Hi Janice,

      Elderberry fruit is never to be eaten raw but yes, there are many folks that do like to eat the fruit cooked in pies or as fruit, they do soften a bit during cooking but the seeds are certainly still there.. Its a matter of texture, some folks like it, and some folks don’t.

      I personaly use the juice much more then I do the fruit but I have made it into cooked pie filling and cooked fruit, which I like to use in baking recipes at a later point, lots of folks also like to dry them and use them in tea or baking afterwards.

      Hope that helps a bit..

    • Cherie says:

      Janice, I’m on the Northshore and looking for elderberries. Can you help point me in the right direction please? Thanks!

  6. Diana says:

    I made a pie once with elderberries and it was awful! But I love elderberry jelly! I am having a hard time getting them to grow on my land. We have lots of clay and rock here. I haven’t tried the seed yet though. I am thinking of planting berries, and throwing some around the edge of the woods, etc.

  7. Michella says:

    Hello! I’m visiting Baton Rouge in early June and I wanted to know if you have any suggestions for where to go to pick elderberries. I understand that’s the right season for them, yes?

    Thanks so much!
    Michella

  8. Annie says:

    Here in England they grow well. I found them easy to propagate just take simple stick cuttings, I just pushed them into the ground they all rooted within a month. My hedge is now 2ft tall and looks lovely. Only thing is planted them lft apart,methinks I will be thinning them out in the future, oh well, that will give me another hedge. Yummy.

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