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).
We were also delighted to find our first goji blossoms and little green berries beginning in late August and still blossoming.
Mid to late July brought us delicious 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.
Red, white, pink and black currants ripened throughout July as well.
Enough for now – you’ll just have to come see for yourself someday how blessed we are!