For this badge bit, you will create elderberry syrup &/or gummies:
- Make a journal page about a recipe for a elderberry syrup/gummies along with dosage information.
- Make an elderberry syrup/gummies, with a picture of it being made, and of it being finished.
- Make a journal page about the uses and attributes and and how to ID and how to grow elderberry. Add it to the herb section.
To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must post:
- a picture of your journal page about your recipe and dosage information for elderberry syrup.
- a picture of your elderberries being harvested
- a picture of your elderberries syrup being made
- a picture of your completed elderberry syrup or gummies in a labelled container
- a picture of your journal page about elderberry's attributes, how to grow, and harvest (including a note about how to make them non-toxic)
I intend take 1 tbsp of syrup every other day. I enjoyed making this elderberry syrup, and I think I will continue to make it. I foraged these elderberries in Western Washington, and I believe they are the blue elderberry variety.
-Picture of Journal (updated)
-Picture of Harvest
-Picture of Cooking
-Picture of Completion
You will need:
Optional spices (see step 3)
Raw apple cider vinegar
1. First you will need to find an elderberry tree in fruit. I found these in the first month of autumn and in the garden of an old homestead we were visiting. Sometimes trees are on the side of the road, or branches are hanging over someone’s fence. Elder trees are beautiful to look at and many people have them growing in their garden as ornamentals that don’t end up being harvested. They’re supposed to be quite easy to grow, and the leaves and branches are good goat food.
2. Carefully harvest the bunches of fruits off the trees, gather as much as you’re likely to use. I started with around 2 litres of loosely packed bunches and ended up with around 1300ml of oxymel.
3. Wash the berries and gently strip the berries from the twigs into a cooking pot, it doesn’t matter if a few small twigs get in too. Mix in a small amount of water (for around 1200ml of berries at this stage I added half a cup). Add some spices now if you wish, I added 1/2 inch of grated fresh ginger, a pinch of ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
4. Bring the berries to the boil with the lid on, then remove the lid and continue to cook, while squashing the berries with a wooden spoon to extract the juice and evaporate some of the water. Do this for 10-20 minutes, being careful to not evaporate too much of the liquid, until it looks like you’ve squashed the berries as much as they can be squashed.
5. Filter the juice through a fine mesh sieve, then continue to squash the berries into the sieve to extract the last of the juice. Pour the juice into a measuring cup or jar to see how much you have. I ended up with 400ml of juice. Allow the juice to cool down to a blood-warm temperature.
6. When you can put some of the juice on the inside of your wrist without it hurting, pour the juice into a mixing bowl and add the same volume of raw cider vinegar and raw honey, so that you have 1 part elderberry juice, 1 part cider vinegar, and 1 part honey.
7. Pour into sterilised jars and store in a fairly cold and dry place. Take 1 tablespoon at a time, either on its own or mixed with water. It’s also good mixed with boiling water as a hot drink.
I think this qualifies as my first natural medicine badge bit!