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Harvesting wild elderberry

 
Posts: 63
Location: Haut-Rhin, France
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Hi Sergei

Here in central Europe it looks like the elderberry start to ripen.
What to watch for in harvesting wild elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in Europe?
I plan on collecting some in a stainless pan with lid while hiking.

Regards
Dominik
 
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Location: London, UK
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Dominik

I love Elderberry. In June I harvested flowers and made elderberry cordial. Now I'm getting ready to harvest the fruits and make some syrup for winter. Either in sugar on in alcohol. From what I read it contains some serious antiviral properties.

When I harvest them I'll make sure they all ripen (dark purple in colour) and that there are no pests on it, as removing them is a pain.
 
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What to watch for? There's not much that can go wrong.

Make sure you've got the right plant, of course, but it's not like it's a difficult one to identify.

As best you can, make sure nobody's sprayed anything foul on them.

I taste them for ripeness. They never taste great raw, but you can certainly tell the difference between the mildness of the ones that are ripe versus the much more intense flavor of the unripe ones.

 
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Experts say that water hemlock grows in the same conditions as elderberry. Don't get tooo giddy while harvesting. Verify that each berry cluster has branched panicles and is attached to a woody stem.
 
Mike Cantrell
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Experts say that water hemlock grows in the same conditions as elderberry. Don't get tooo giddy while harvesting. Verify that each berry cluster has branched panicles and is attached to a woody stem.



What? Water hemlock doesn't even make berries.

Green Dean addresses the differences.

If Dominic were talking about harvesting the flowers, he might need to be careful, but there's no more chance of mixing up the elderberries with water hemlock seed heads than there is with cherries, walnuts, or grapes. They just don't look similar.
 
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Dominik Riva wrote:Hi Sergei

Here in central Europe it looks like the elderberry start to ripen.
What to watch for in harvesting wild elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in Europe?
I plan on collecting some in a stainless pan with lid while hiking.

Regards
Dominik


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