Thanks for writing the Book. I am/have been a huge fan of Black Elderberry since my wife discovered it a few years back. It has kept me from getting sick and our shortened the time I was sick many many more times than I can remember. I tell everyone about it, if I hear a sniffle, cough, whatever. I am going to plant some in the garden this year.
Welcome to Permies.
I guess my only question would be what is the best place to plant them and any tips you might have.
Elder will grow in a wide variety of places - for highest yields, full sun with soil that gets adequate water (or easy access to irrigation) is optimal.
Yeah, I need to have my son make more of his "Caleb's Elderberry Critters" today so I can get so more elderberry into me! We have a medium sized elderberry syrup/gummy/other elderberry product business. Sales have been high of late with cold and flu season!
They are the bomb. I was turned onto them before almost anything else organic. When I lived in Houston and was tutoring, one December I had about 120 billable tutoring hours in a little over 3 weeks. That meant that with driving I was doing nearly 80 hours a week. I was tired and my immunity dropped down. About half way through the three weeks, I as driving to a long tutoring session, I started to feel a cold or worse coming on. I immediately got off the highway and drove to a drug store. I bought a 30 pack of Sambucol sub lingual tablets, and poured two under my tongue. That pack lasted me the rest of the tutoring blitz and I never got sick. I could go on and on about the effectiveness of Black Elderberry and I usually do, especially this time of year.
Oh Goodie!! A whole book on Elderberries! I am looking forward to it.
We moved to SW New Mexico 2 years ago and while we have planted many fruittrees and shrubs, the shrub elderberries were the only that have born heavily thus far ( not counting strawberries and raspberries). In just one year!
We made a couple of gallons of elderberry elixir this fall and it's been keeping us healthy this winter. Elderberries, ginger, calendula flowers, cardamon, cinnamon, rosehips, lemon peel and of course, brandy and honey.
We have several varieties one of which is a Mexican Elderberry which grows into a big tree! We've got some that grow in town nearby and they bear oodles of flowers and fruit all summer long.
I don't actually know the varieties of the other elderberries I have planted because I dug up roots from neighbours and they did not know the names.
Maybe you can answer this question I have John:
How do I know if I have a variety that needs to be cut back every spring to make fruit? I've read that some do and some don't? I'd like to get another big crop this year. My shrubs are already leafing out now.
Thanks for your berry wonderful book!
So, is it important to know your variety? For non-commercial growers, not at all.
Per pruning, it really depends. Since you don't know the variety, you probably want to selective prune as needed (damaged and diseased branches, or to keep the size/shape to your liking or for ease of harvest).
No variety has to be cut back - but do realize, nature does prune plants. It does it haphazardly via animal and natural (storms, falling trees, etc.) action. So I am a fan of pruning, similar to hunting - we take something nature does and with wisdom, do it better.
I once planted an elderberry, only to learn that it would become much too large for the space, so I had to take it out. I honestly wouldn't recognize an elderberry bush if it shook hands with me LoL.
My brother swears by elderberry (Sambucol) for colds and sore throats, so I bought a "kit" to make some myself. My dh and I are on the cusp of buying a small property and I'm so excited at the thought of being able to plant raspberries and blueberries, and elderberry, too, if it's as useful as my brother says it is. I am fortunate enough to be able to grow flowers where I live now, and have been able to grow plantain, calendula, carpenter's herb, bonewort and others to use in salves and creams.
Does elderberry prefer sun or shade, dampness or dry feet? Does it spread quickly, or is it more refined? I need to read your book! As well as ones on blueberry bushes, and other perennial foods.