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Growing Elderberry for – All About Elderberries with Norm’s Farms

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.


Editor’s Note:
Fresh frozen elderberries currently sell for $39.99 / 3lbs from
Elderberries – image by Suzanne, from

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

Strawberry Elderflower Jam – image by Norm’s Farms

One of the most popular articles on 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 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.

growing elderberries, elderflowers, elderberries
Elderflowers of the elderberry shrub tree

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!

roasted-winter-squash recipe
Roasted Winter Squash and with Elderberry Glaze and Spiced Walnuts Recipe from Norm’s Farms

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] You’ll also find healing and delicious products so you can make your own delicious elderberry goodies. Visit

Elderberry and Mint Jamtini recipe on Norm's Farms
Elderberry and Mint Jamtini – image and recipe from

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:

Elderberry Strawberry Champagne, perfect for a special occasion or brunch
Elderberry Strawberry Champagne, perfect for a special occasion or brunch. Image and recipe from Norm’s Farms.


1 bottle of champagne (or sparkling white grape juice for a non-alcoholic drink)
Fresh strawberries, 2 per serving
Elderflower Syrup (recipe at Norm’s Farms and you’ll need elderflowers)

Strawberry Preparation:

Elderberry Wellness Syrup
Elderberry Wellness Syrup used to make Elderberry Strawberry Champagne – image 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.

Drink Assemblage:

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.

Growing elderberries, how to root elderberry cuttings
Rooting elderberries, image from Norm’s Farms
elderberries, green deane,,
Elderberries: this and the cover image is from one of our favorite sites and wild food specialists, Green Deane of
Growing elderberries, elderflowers, drying elderflowers
Drying elderberry flowers – image by Norm’s Farms
Growing elderberries, elderflowers, drying elderflowers
Norm’s Farms says: “How much cold can elderberries tolerate? These are already starting to leaf out a bit despite single digit temps. They won’t even blemish or show any sign of damage once it warms up. These canes have been living and growing in my rain barrel for over two years now. Amazing plant.”

Resources on Growing Elderberries[3]

Elderberry Market, Production & Cost Considerations Report by University of Kentucky: [4]

Here’s a brief guide in downloadable PDF format of elderberry growing resources from, or you can click through to most of them from our footnote references.[5]PDF

  • Study on a comparison of fruit characteristics among diverse elderberry genotypes grown in Missouri and Oregon.[6]
  • 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]
  • American Elderberry Cultivar Development for the Midwest.[8][9]
  • Elderberry Financial Decision Support Tool from The Center for[10]
  • Elderberry Market Directory. [11]
  • Elderberry Market Research Report.[12]
  • Elderberry Possibilities.[13]
  • Elderberry Propagation.[14]
  • Pruning Elderberry, Raspberries, Blackberries, Gooseberries and Currants. [15]

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