Just another day or two and the first of this years elderberry crop will be ready to start coming in, just want a those still reddish to turn a touch more black, but you can’t wait to long or the already black will start to go.. The bushes are loaded this year, which is excellent as this berry is a super power in the health department
To collect these berries, I snip the whole berry cluster, and then I put the clusters on a steel tray and into the freezer they go, in a couple hours when frozen, I take them out and using a folk, just pop the frozen berries off into a bowl, throwing away the stem, now you can do this unfrozen but its alot more messy, colorful and you won’t have killed off the many, many little tiny bugs that will be coming in with the fruit..
Folks like to dry the berries, freeze or Can them for later use, or make them into juice to be used to be made into jelly, or syrups or cough syrups etc. These bushes can grow five to eight feet in a single year, they do require a fair amount of pruning to keep them their most productive, while one will do ok, a row of them will outproduce the single bush with at least double the fruit, so it does appear to help plant at least few together.
The second most common berry bush in my area would be the black or blue Chokeberry, it is not a big of a bush as the elderberry and it takes alot longer to grow and produce berries but on the other hand the big patch that I pick from requires no care from me, it does not need to be pruned each year, nor do I need to really feed it, it just does its thing and yet remains loaded with berries each year. Elderberries bush’s outproduce the chokeberry at a min of 3 to 1 in the amount of berries produced but the chokeberries fruit is at least twice the size of the average elderberry and must be hand pick off the bush. While they say you can eat the chokeberry fresh, it has two fairly large seeds in each one and for me at least, I would not enjoy the fresh taste, they need to be made into juice for home use in our place.
The Chokeberries are very healthy for you. The amount of research given into this berry is amazing, Germany and Europe exported it back when they found N.A. and it has been known and used there much more then I think it has been here in recent years.
When I grew up out west, the most common wild berry was the saskatoon, and many hours of my childhood was spent picking with my family, now on my little farm, the Elderberry and Chokeberry had found there place into my kitchen..
What is your most common and available Wild Fruit in your area?