Growing Elderberries for Profit
We have an informative 4-part video interview with Rodger Lendhardt of Norm’s Farms, but first, sharing insight from a member of our Planting for Retirement Facebook group. Cindy Moine is fortunate to have loads of wild elderberries growing in on and around her property. Here’s what she had to say about how she’s selling them.
Community contributor, Cindy Moine:
Elderberries, Sambucus Nigra, are almost impossible to find fresh or frozen. I have found two farms online that sell them and the prices are high. I sell locally and they sell out fast. The picking is easy but getting them off the stem was a pain. But this year I have mastered that. 20 pounds in about 20 minutes. That used to take an entire day.
Every health food store around here has a huge end cap with cold and flu meds made with elderberry.
I sell them locally for $10 a pound. Evidently that is low but I’m happy, they are happy and it all works out. Many people buy them from me to make the cold and flu meds and can turn around and sell that for more. Elderberry syrup mixed with local honey and herbs goes for about $15 for 4 ounces.
Fresh frozen elderberries currently sell for $39.99 / 3lbs from NorthwestWildFoods.com.(https://nwwildfoods.com/product/fresh-frozen-wild-elderberries/)
Awesome information, right? If you’re selling elderberries and/or making elderberry product, please send us an email or comment below. We’d love to know more and share it with folks.
Meanwhile, we’ve asked Cindy to show us her super efficient process for removing the berries from the stem, so check back here in fall when it’s picking time.
Growing Elderberries with Rodger Lendhardt of Norm’s Farms—4 Part Video Interview Series
One of the most popular articles on GardensAll.com is on Elderberries. We’re in the second year of growing some and now we’re also considering growing elderberries as a small farm crop.
So we were delighted to discover Norm’s Farms, a family farm growing and selling elderberry plants and elderberry products. In fact they’re virtually right down the road from us, and their “parent farm” is in Hartsburg, Missouri.
Here are the first three parts of the GardensAll.com interview with Rodger Lendhardt, carrying on the legacy of Norm’s Farms legacy from his father, Norm Lendhardt.
In video interview part 1, Rodger talks about how and why they decided on Elderberry farming, how it fit into their permaculture and land restoration plan as well as help to revive the elderberry industry in the US.
Rodger said that all that his family is doing is thanks to his father’s foresight to establish a family trust, and he shares which kind of trust they chose and why. It was surprising to learn that in the US our Gross National Product, GDP, is still be supported largely by farms, run by just 1-2% of us.
In North Carolina, where the southern division of Norm’s Farms is based and also the home base for the GardensAll crew, farming is an $83 billion dollar contributor to the state’ economy. That means that in NC, farming is bigger than pharma and bigger than health care, two of the other largest industries in the state… and it’s being done by less than 2% of our population!
Rodger also mentions timber as an agricultural crop, and one of the largest crops in North Carolina, along with sweet potatoes, peanuts and cotton. On the family farm in Missouri, there are neighboring farms that are raising turkey and quail, so these are other kinds of crops for farmers and prospective farmers to research and consider.
Part 1 of Growing Elderberries – the Origins and Legacy of Norm’s Farms and Establishing a Family Trust
Part 2 of Growing Elderberries – Facts, Fiction and How to
Join us for this second part of the interview with Rodger Lendhardt. Here we go more in depth on why Norm’s Farms chose to grow and farm elderberries, their mistakes, lessons and successes. Rodger touches on how the elderberry variety, sambucus nigra, also called blue elderberry or blue elder, grows best in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Sambucus canadensis works best for the rest of the country.
Rodger said that you don’t have to have differing varieties of elderberry for cross-pollination… that there’s wild elderberries in nature and nature will take care of that. However, it can certainly expedite the process.
If you’re a beekeeper, honey bees are not pollinators for elderberries because the flower is too small and the bees mouth too big. So unfortunately you won’t be able to enjoy elderflower honey, lovely as that sounds. Lightning bugs are amongst the pollinators for , but not honey bees, so you won’t be able to have elderberry flower honey from bees.
Growing Elderberries Part 3 – Elderberry Syrup, Jams and Marketability of Elderberry
In Part 3 of this interview series with Rodger Lendhardt of Norm’s Farms, we learn more about where in the US elderberries can grow, and what kind of products can be made and which are available from Norm’s Farms.
Part 4 – Growing Elderberries – Elderberry Farming for Profit and How to Get Started
Our favorite of all segments on growing elderberries with Rodger Lendhardt of Norm’s Farms, we get into the nitty gritty of elderberry farming. In this video interview we dive into talking about growing elderberries for profit as a business for primary or supplemental income. Rodger lays it all out and lets us know what to expect and hoe to get started slowly and build up and elderberry growing business.
In this video Rodger goes into regions and types of elderberries and what grows where and what doesn’t grow where. We learn how hardy and resilient elderberries are and specifics on profitability and possibilities should you want to consider growing elderberries for profit and farming elderberries.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this interview series with Rodger as much as we have. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions over on the GardensAll Facebook page.
Here’s GardensAll’s Coleman and LeAura Alderson with Rodger Lendhardt of Norm’s Farms.
Now… after that we were really ready to eat some elderberries in something. Betting you will be too, so here are some recipes to get your warmed up.
Elderberry Recipes – YUM!
For tons of amazing information, yummy recipes like this Roasted Winter Squash and with Elderberry Glaze and Spiced Walnuts, and Elderberry and Mint Jamtini.1)http://normsfarms.com/elderberry-and-mint-jamtini/ You’ll also find healing and delicious products so you can make your own delicious elderberry goodies. Visit NormsFarms.com.
Elderberry Strawberry Champagne Recipe
For when you’re wanting something like elderberry wine without having to wait months or a year for it to age, here’s a quick and easy Elderberry Strawberry Champagne recipe from Norm’s Farms:
Rinse strawberries in cold water, slice off the stem, cut in half and place in bowl. Cover strawberries with elderflower syrup and allow to macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Place 4 strawberry halves in the bottom of each champagne glass. Pour some of the elderflower syrup over the strawberries. Top with chilled champagne and serve immediately.
Loving this elderberry topic? For more on Elderberries from GardensAll, here’s that most popular article on elderberries we mentioned at the start.
Resources on Growing Elderberries
Elderberry Market, Production & Cost Considerations Report by University of Kentucky: 4)https://www.uky.edu/Ag/CCD/introsheets/elderberry.pdf
- Study on a comparison of fruit characteristics among diverse elderberry genotypes grown in Missouri and Oregon.6)http://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-berry-research/jbr054
- Common Elderberry – Sambucus Nigra – Plant Guide PDF. This guide summarizes most everything you need to know about elderberry, from planting, growing and propagating to edible and medicinal uses of elderberry.7)http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_sanic4.pdf
- American Elderberry Cultivar Development for the Midwest.8)http://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-berry-research/jbr0549)http://extension.missouri.edu/greene/documents/Horticulture/Elderberry/ElderberryCultivars.pdf
- Elderberry Financial Decision Support Tool from The Center for AgroForestry.org.10)http://www.centerforagroforestry.org/profit/elderberryfinance.php
- Elderberry Market Directory. 11)http://www.centerforagroforestry.org/profit/elderberrymarketdirectory.pdf
- Elderberry Market Research Report.12)http://www.centerforagroforestry.org/profit/elderberrymarketreport.pdf
- Elderberry Possibilities.13)http://extension.missouri.edu/greene/documents/Shared_Documents/SWregion/Byers/ElderberryPresentationMN.pdf
- Elderberry Propagation.14)http://extension.missouri.edu/greene/documents/Horticulture/Elderberry/ElderberryPropagation.pdf
- Pruning Elderberry, Raspberries, Blackberries, Gooseberries and Currants. 15)http://extension.missouri.edu/explorepdf/agguides/hort/g06000.pdf
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