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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I've mentioned before what a terrible year this has been for fruit in Michigan. In my personal kingdom where I usually get free fruit, this year there are no cherries, no raspberries, no mulberries, no apples, no crabapples, and no pears.

However, I've been watching the ditches along a few roads not far from me. The Elderberries are easy to spot when they are in bloom. I noted some locations when the big white flower heads were visible in June. Today, I checked out one of those places.

American elderberry

The fruits that look nearly black are ready to pick! This is American elderberry, Sambucus Canadensis.

American elderberry

Remember my goal to make a year's worth of breakfast juice last year? I did make enough to get me through the whole year. I'll be hard pressed to pull that off for "free" this year. (I use a little sweetener, and processing costs a bit for the gas for the stove, and canning lids, but you know what I mean)

However, there will be a few jars of yummy, yummy elderberry juice!

American elderberry

Not all the berries were ready, so I'll be stopping back there again.

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rainfield61 said...

By understanding more about the wild fruits can help to save money and resources.

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

I love canning fruit myself. I wish I had access to some elderberry.

jeanlivingsimple said...

I think I have an Elderberry growing on the back side of my camper. The birds have always beat me to picking the fruit for myself but have to admit I have never tried this fruit.

RNSANE said...

Was it drought that caused the lack of fruit this year? Good thing you spotted the flowers in bloom. You are so industrious, Joan.

Secondary Roads said...

They are so tasty. I've never used elderberries for juice, but they taste great in a pie.

vanilla said...

When I was a kid, elderberry pie was my favorite. Most recently, canned elderberry syrup and jelly. Hmm. May have to try juice.

Ann said...

I can't recall ever having tried elderberries before. It's a shame this was such a bad year for fruit

Ratty said...

You are probably lucky to even find those. It's been a bad year all around for any kind of crops. The corn crops around here have been devastated.

Lin said...

I'm with Ann--I don't think I've had elderberry before. I've heard of elderberry wine though.

Sharkbytes said...

rainfield- and have the best tastes, too!

Storm- I don't know of any commercial growers, I think you just have to search the ditches

Jean- yes, it can be hard to beat the birds, but so worth it

Carmen- it was the early heat followed by several killing frosts

Chuck and Vanilla- yes, we talked about elderberry pie at our picnic. That is a real labor of love, and I don't need that much sugar these days. Juice will be good for me.

Ann and Lin- It is a taste not to be equaled. I love it

Ratty- the things that bloomed later are good. That isn't many things, though.

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