Elderberry in a Time of Change


A few months ago we decided to hack up our elderberry bush and make 74 new ones. We cut them off leaving 2 sets of nodes and stuck the branches in a mason jar with about an inch of water. Within weeks we started to see roots emerging. After another month we saw tiny buds growing.

They grew a nice bundle of roots and soon the buds beginning to leaf out. We then planted our elderberries in an organic compost mixture of aged chicken manure, worm castings and soil. It was an experiment that turned out to be a great success.

The plants were off to a wonderful start. They took off once they got into the soil. They grew fast and strong. We decide to plant 3 elderberry bush lanes. They border the back of the property and line the back of the community garden. 5 months later they are starting to flower in ground and in pots. We decided to sell all the ones we couldn’t find a place for on the land. That has been the most rewarding part of the elderberry propagation.

We have met some amazing people from all over St Louis. One of the ladies is a holistic herbalist that makes elderberry syrup. Another lovely couple, who farmed in Africa, is pictured above. One young man came by who just moved into a new house. He needed something to absorb wet areas on his property. A very sweet couple, with a freshly planted garden, came and picked up 8!

It’s a delight to meet and greet them with our little plants. We take them on a tour and they were amazed by the farm. It’s exhausting work at times but we love being connected to the land and knowing where the majority of our food comes from. Last summer we rarely had to go to the grocery store. It’s wonderful to meet like minded individuals who inspire us with their stories.

One of our missions is to reconnect people with nature. I am delighted by the number of people who are growing their own food already. I’m proud to be able to provide a valuable resource they can take home, love, turn into medicine, a rain garden, or even a beautiful hedge.

You see we are currently in the midst of a pandemic, a second civil rights movement, and a possible food supply chain disaster. I don’t want to sound like an alarmist but things are shifting in America right now. Because I am an eternal optimist, I am sure something amazing will come of all this.

One of my cousins sent me a message with a link to elderberry gummies. I thought about how weird it would be to take a supplement like that when we have massive amounts of elderberries growing naturally all over our land. I count my blessings and appreciate the unique opportunity we have to co-create something amazing with a little help from mother nature.

Its funny how one elderberry bush could lead to healing, create heart to heart connections, and so much more. Only time will tell how our elderberries will produce for everyone who gets one. We hope they will thrive and impact others as much as they have us!

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