When is elderberry season in Ohio? plus a few more ???

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by lunagardens, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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    I would like to harvest a good amount this year- never have, so this will be the first.
    When should I start looking for them?
    How/where do I spot them if looking in the state parks?
    Is there a way to cultivate them into the home garden/yard?
    What would be the best way to preserve besides making a tincture for flu/cold season? I am thinking elderberry wine is a MUST (tons of recipes out there) but would also like to hear about some tried and true yummy ways to preserve them.
    Would also like to ask if anyone has a reliable deliecious wine recipe they could share here.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and share your tried and true recipes. I am making myself a "field" notebook on all the wilds and herbs in our area and including how to use them.Elderberry is in my top 3 MUST try's for this year.
    Cheers!
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    You spot them by driving around and looking for huge white "snowballs", probably any time in July. They don't all bloom at once as they are spread out over 3 or 4 weeks. Here we are still seeing a lot of flowers on same bushes which have developing green berries. You may still be at the tail end of blossoming.

    Friend gave me 2 bottles of elderberry wine a week ago for helping out in his garden plots. When I pointed out where there is a concentration of some very prolific bushes, his reply was: "Where do you think I got the berries for this wine from?"

    Martin
     

  3. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Martin. I truly appreciate your advice. And it is nice to know they are not something that fruits up at once making it a short time to harvest them. I guess the kids and I have some hiking to do- if the rain would be kind enough to give a short break and let some sun shine.
    I am so excited to make up some of that wine. I keep hearing such good things about it.
    Is it o.k to freeze some while getting enough to make a batch or will it effect flavor or any benefits of the fruit?
    Thank you again Martin.
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Freezing them is the only way to get 100% berries without making a major mess. Collect entire clusters and freeze them in grocery bags. Strip by hand to get rid of the main stems. Shake real good again and winnow in a stuff breeze to get rid of each berry's individual little stem. Otherwise those green bits turn to something almost like rubber and almost impossible to get out of your nylon fruit bag.

    Martin
     
  5. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm going to try drying them and from the fresh make jam.
     
  6. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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    Martin~ Great advice! I only have the 1 bag so that is a awesome tip. I need to pick up another but I make batches with the season of growth so it has not proved to be a bother as of yet having just the one. But I and my bag thank you for the great tip. Just thinking about those tips attatching themselves to the bag seems like a major downer and without your advice I would of had a bad experience and most likely never bothered with using them in wine again.LOL

    Rita~ I like the idea of drying them too. What do you use the dried ones for? Are they used like a berry in muffins? Do they have better taste with the sugar (not so tart) like blueberries?

    Thank you again for your time in resonding to my questions. I do not know of anyone who collects elderberries nor anyone to advise me as such wisdom I recieve here.
    ~Tammie
     
  7. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have some behind my barn and they are already in grren berries right now.
    I can take a picture if you want to see what you will be looking for.
     
  8. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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    Oh please do Oberhaslikid!
    I have looked uppictures for identifying but it is the leaves which throw me off. I have a plant growing the same elderberry clusters in the back yard but the leaves appear different then the pics I have seen.
    I would love to see a pic of the leaves and berry cluster but would also like to see growing habit stalk/stem to help keep my eye on track.
    When you have time that is.
    Thank you!
     
  9. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Well-Known Member Supporter

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  10. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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  11. Shawna

    Shawna Well-Known Member

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    I am in northcentral Ohio and ours are pretty much done blooming. They are starting to get green berries. We went out a couple of weeks ago and scouted them out....we now know all the hotspots around our neighborhood LOL! If I remember correctly from the past two years, we harvest around the end of August.

    I have never made wine....we have never had enough of them to do so....a friend gives us what he finds. Now that we know where they are at, we'll probably have enough to try making some wine. I always make jam and freeze the remainder for pies.

    I adore elderberries....yum Y*U*M! We are going to try to move some small trees to our property (we know the property owners where the trees are at currently) so hopefully we will have success with that. We do have three small trees on our property, which we thought were acccidentally bulldozed two years ago....but we found them blooming away this year so we were ecstatic about that!!

    Good luck! I'll post the jam and pie recipes later on today.
    :D
    Shawna
     
  12. ronron

    ronron Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone use the red elderberries I have heard they are poison?
    Also we have a mountian ash tree in our yard And I have herd those berries are edible they look like the same kind of plant.
    Something else you can do with them is, I put some elderberries in an old grape basket a few years ago and let them dry they have been sitting up above my cabnets in my kitchen and are very decorative, I think I will try some dried arrangements with them this year.
     
  13. mtnest

    mtnest Well-Known Member

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    I have always been told to wait until after the first light frost to harvest elderberries... maybe I'm thinking of something else but I could swear it was elderberries.
    D
     
  14. Island of Blueb

    Island of Blueb Island of Blueb Supporter

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    We only have the red kind here. I don't use them, the whole bush has a really bitter odor.

    But a friend, a lady of the tribal people here makes jelly. She says she crushes all the berries, brings to a boil with a little water, then lets them ferment for I think 2 days, then strains and proceeds with the jelly-making.

    I believe they are poisonous as you have heard. Not daring enough to try them.

    The mountain ash berries are edible, an old friend told me his parents used to supplement the normal berries with them if they did not get enough for jelly to last the year.

    So "I" tried it.

    Don't. Waste. Your. Sugar!

    Bitter? Oh my Lord! And I think I made about 36 pints of beautiful clear red jelly. Had to put about 34 pints on the compost pile.

    Sometimes you just have to laugh. Good luck!
     
  15. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Red elderberries are native whereas the purple ones are from Europe. Eaten raw, red elderberries can cause stomach uncomfort and nausea. No problem if cooked or made into wine. There used to be a huge area known to a lot of local winemakers in the 1980s. Easy to fill 5 or 6 shopping bags in less than a half hour. Alas, now under a Menard's parking lot.

    Martin
     
  16. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    mtnest...that's persimmons. If you wait for the first frost, the elderberries will all be gone. Birds LOVE them.

    Here is Mississippi the elderberries are usually ready by now. Due to below normal temps and lots of rain they're just now starting to ripen. I usually make Elderberry Jelly, but am going to make a few bottles of tincture this year.
     
  17. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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    I am not finding any spots yet. Going to a different place to see if the other back roads have anything to offer...
     
  18. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Look for lowlands such as near streams or drainage ditches. They like to have their roots damp most of the time.

    Martin
     
  19. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i'll have to get pics of my alleged elderberry bushes. that is one fruit my dad didn't have time to teach me to use. i wacked them down a few years ago thinking they were poison sumac and they came back.
     
  20. Ladyhen

    Ladyhen Well-Known Member

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    They are just starting to turn purple here in North Carolina. I was out scouting them today while driving ;)