This weekend, we needed to stop at bulk barn and always I am amazed at the prices of things, a tiny bottle of Elderberry Honey Cough Syrup was closer to 20 Canadian then it was to 15 a bottle At 16.99 for a tiny bottle, it seemed quite high, but to be far when I looked at the next store where we needed to mail out a letter, it was inline with commercial cough syrups and in some cases a bit less.
I love having the control of everything from the plant to the flowers to the berries to how they are picked and processed to how they are stored.. its gives me a piece of mind.. I know what is in that bottle..
Its been a very poor year for the berries, first the flowers were so tiny and small compared to normal due to the drought but we got rains at just the right times and the elders went into fruit production and while they were again much smaller and drier than normal, they were coming in..
And then the birds came.. O my the birds.. I headed out with buckets to my favorite picking area’s and came back empty-handed to say the least.. even on my own food forest, the birds where picking them clean.. the only bushes that produced are my very few yard bushes where the farm cats made sure that other than the geese and chickens getting the very lowest berries, the rest where left alone..
I got my lowest Elderberry yield in 12 years, only 6 pints of finished product to put into the pantry, It’s enough for the medical uses but it’s not enough for many extra’s with it, that’s for sure..
If we go by the cost in the store, boy o boy does it have value though.. 6 pints at the store prices of that company that I saw in Ontario, Canada worked out to 272 dollars worth, and normally health food stores are more than the bulk barn is.
Now assuming you have more berries this year and you want to figure out a few uses for the juice or syrup you are putting up.. here are a few for you!
A few idea’s on how to use this syrup.
Hot Elderberry Tea
- 2 TBS of Syrup
- One cup boiling water
- 3 TSB Syrup
- Ginger ale or sparkling Water
Can be used on Pancakes, or drizzled on fruit or cooked meat, or one bagel with cream cheese etc.
You can take 1/4 cup syrup, mix with ginger and tsp of red wine vinegar to make a quick and tasty sweet/sour sauce, you can mix it with vinegar and drizzle on for a salad dressing