West Branch Elderberries


Elderberries for your health
Our Story In Pictures
IMG_0136.jpg

Elderberry plants are best grown from cuttings, which are a 12” piece of stem cut from dormant Elderberry plants. We prepared the greenhouse for starting the cuttings in March.

IMG_0142.jpg

We potted the cuttings into flats in late March.

IMG_0143.jpg

As the flats are filled with cuttings, they are placed on wood sheeting so the roots don’t go down into the ground. The flats are placed in rows and separated by variety to maintain identity later on. We selected 5 varieties of Elderberry for our orchard. We will evaluate them individually for flavor, anti-oxidant content, yield, quality, and other characteristics.

IMG_0169.jpg

The greenhouse is full!

IMG_0220.jpg

After about 3 weeks of daily watering and care, we begin to see some life!

IMG_0303.jpg

Six weeks in the greenhouse and the plants are getting green.

IMG_1320.jpg

As the cuttings are developing in the greenhouse, the orchard was prepared by installing an underground drip irrigation system to conserve water and provide moisture when it gets dry.

IMG_0402.jpg

The young plants are removed from the pots and hand planted with the help of our RainFlo waterwheel planter. The planter digs a little hole and some water is placed in the hole to get the plants off to a good start.

IMG_0411.jpg

One week after planting. (shoe is for perspective.)

IMG_0410.jpg

Two weeks after planting and they are taking off! Elderberry plants grow very quickly.

IMG_0425.jpg

The newly planted Elderberrys must be hand weeded to maintain organic requirements, and to keep weed competition down. No herbicides or synthetic fertilizers may be used.

IMG_1226.jpg

After a 1 year of growth and development in the orchard, flowers begin to appear.

IMG_1290.jpg

In mid-July the flowers begin to turn into berries.

9-8-16 2016-08-04 005.jpg

The large clusters of berries are ready for harvest in August. Each cluster is hand selected for proper ripeness.

9-8-16 2016-08-04 002.jpg

Harvest days start early with washing and sanitizing equipment and containers before heading out to start hand picking the ripe berries.

Jasons Iphone 2016-08-06 001.jpg

There is not much room between the rows so we use the smallest equipment we can.

9-8-16 2016-08-07 001.jpg

Robins love Elderberries too!

9-8-16 2016-08-04 007.jpg

Verlyn and cousin Mike.

9-8-16 2016-08-30 004.jpg

Family and friends come together to bring in the harvest.

© 2016 - 2017 West Branch Elderberries Contact Us