I shared my story previously about the elderberry bushes that planted themselves here in our yard, volunteers brought over most likely by birds from our neighbor Rita‘s garden. They have grown and spread so that now I have a nice little elderberry patch.
This is one plant I will be happy to watch take over my garden! It has so many uses for natural healing and tasty treats from both the flowers and the berries. It was a real dilemma deciding whether to pick flowers or let them all go to berry. This year I opted for berries.
This year I managed to save about 5 cups of berries from the birds, who also greatly enjoy the bounty. Not a ton but not terrible for my first real harvest. I netted the bushes in my largest patch in early summer which kept about 60% of the berries safe. I froze the fruit to use for winter potions.
Yesterday I pulled out my first bag of 2 cups and prepared Rita’s Medicinal Elderberry Syrup, as was published in Countryside magazine this year.
It’s pretty simple to prepare. You put the berries, water, ginger root, cinnamon and cloves in a pot and cook until reduced by half. Strain, let cool and add honey.
I put mine in a capped bottle in the fridge so the next time I’m starting to feel yucky, I have it ready to start sipping. Rita’s article suggests to take a tablespoon every 4 hours when you feel the onset of a cold or flu.
Elderberries are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C and have been utilized as natural immunity boosters for generations.
What’s your favorite elderberry or elderflower recipe?!