In the photo essay, we want readers to see Alyssa who is now harvesting elder blossoms, and they have the herbs drying in the school bus on the property at Harvest Hill!!
Herbalist, Alyssa Holmes, and her daughter, Sage, worked together to cut and harvest the blossoms.
The weather in southern Vermont has been glorious this June. The cool nights and long summer days of late June have helped to increase the bounty in our surroundings.
Parts used: Flowers and berries. Properties/Actions: Diaphoretic, alterative, stimulant,
Benefits: Eases colds, flus, fevers, acne, burns, rashes, wrinkles.
Suggested uses: Syrup (berries), infusion (flowers), herbal oil (flowers), salve (flowers).
Growing, harvesting, and wild crafting tips and specifics: Perennial. Divided roots. Prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil.
Cautions: Only the black elderberry (nigra) is safe to use. The red variety is toxic.
Here is a good overview from the Cornell Unversity Department of horticulture:
Elderberries are popular for their unusual taste in pies, jellies, and jams. They are occasionally used in winemaking. The plants are very hardy (usually to Zone 4 but some kinds to Zone 3), and because they flower in late June, the crop is seldom damaged by late spring frost.
They are attractive and easy to grow, and are great in landscape plantings. Elderberries contain more phosphorus and potassium than any other temperate fruit crop. The fruit is also rich in vitamin C.</blockquote>