Fall elderberries and late taste of Aurora haskap/honeyberry

Summer has flown by with the ripening of dwarf sour cherries, currants, and gooseberries in our fledgling orchard. We escaped a September frost, giving the Sambucus canadensis elderberries a chance to ripen. A few late planted Auroa haskap (honeyberries) surprised us with a few berries this fall as well. We have a volunteer from wwoof.org who agreed to share his first impression of a fresh honeyberry.

While we’re finding it chancy to get elderberries to ripen, we are discovering many great uses for elder blossoms. We’re trying our hand at non-alcoholic elder blossom cordial, tea, dried berries, and wine. More recipes and great info on the uses of elder to combat the flu virus can be found at The Wellness Mama‘s site.

The blossom season runs from July through September. First year shoots blossom later than older stalks. The blossoms smell terrific and are a pleasure to handle. We dried as well as froze many, many cymes (blossom heads).

Elder blossom July 30, 2015

Elder blossom July 30, 2015

Elder blossom preparation for freezing July 31, 2015

Elder blossom preparation for freezing July 31, 2015

Elder blossom vacuum sealed 8 oz July 31, 2015

Elder blossom vacuum sealed 8 oz July 31, 2015

We were also delighted to find our first goji blossoms and little green berries beginning in late August and still blossoming.

Goji blossoms

Goji blossoms July 21, 2015

Mid to late July brought us delicious cherries.

2015-07-11Cherries (16)

July 11, 2015 – Crimson Passion dwarf sour cherries

Our harvest was somewhat diminished by cedar waxwings and robins. We’ll have to check more into Full Overhead Bird Netting Instructions, complements of Bob Thaden, Tongue River Vineyard & Winery, Miles City, MT. Bob says, “If you do it right, you’ll never regret it, and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!!”

For the home gardener, netting from Plantra, draped over a frame surrounding the fruit bush, is a good option.

Hoop 3

Netting from plantra.com (stock foto)

Red, white, pink and black currants ripened throughout July as well.

2015-07-18 currant Gloire des Sablons

Gloire des sablons pink currants July 18, 2015

Enough for now – you’ll just have to come see for yourself someday how blessed we are!


About honeyberrylady

Growing honeyberries and other cold hardy fruit (dwarf sour cherries, saskatoons, currants, gooseberries, aronia, elderberry, and goji) in zone 3a, just north of the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, USA.
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