Farms are all about place, right?
We are located in the Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio. We’re lucky to live in a very beautiful area with a lot of natural richness. Check out the Arc of Appalachia to learn more. They do amazing work and several of their preserves are within a few miles of us.
Our focus is on the American elderberry, a native plant in this region. We have about 450 elderberry plants in the ground right now and make Elderberry syrup and Elderflower syrup from what we…
The Flower of our Labors
This year we’ve been going through the liquor at an astonishing rate.
Really, it’s mostly been me. Beth being a lightweight, and having declared her first taste of gin “nasty,” has not contributed evenly. But to each their strengths. 😂
Honestly, though, I’ve not been drinking much of the alcohol we’ve run through. I mix a drink, take a sip, dump the rest. Then I alter the proportions, mix another drink, sip, dump. It’s not gone down the drain because I’m nervous about what all that alcohol, a …
Bigger and Better?
In October we did a production run of elderberry syrup in a larger commercial kitchen. This kitchen sported a huge (100 gallons!) kettle that allowed us to produce 4x more than we normally produce in a day. The automatic filler was great too. We typically fill the bottles by hand, a process that requires a lot of concentration around hot liquid. Children aged 3-6 are introduced to the practice of pouring liquids in the Montessori curriculum, and maybe if I’d attended a Montessori preschool I wou…
Is this Elderberry?
Do you know how to prune an elderberry bush? Me neither. Although I've grown elderberries for over a decade, I'm still relatively new at growing them on a large scale and managing them for production.
Despite not being certain as to the right approach, I started pruning this week on a 50 degree February day, and I hope to finish within the next 10 days or so.
Some of our plantings are now old enough that they need to be pruned, so I’ve been looking at what the literature says and what other …
Why Do We Grow Elderberries?
Why do we grow elderberries?
Several people have asked this question, and it is a reasonable one. Unlike some, I have no childhood memories of picking wild elderberries or savoring my grandmother’s sweet elderberry pie.
I only became intimate with elderberries as an adult, when I unboxed 2 small specimens of the ‘York’ variety. I had been exploring useful native plants that we might be able to integrate into our modest suburban yard. Elderberry seemed a possibility, small enough for our yard…