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2021 Summer Updates

It was a busy summer and I thought things would slow down in the fall

The Farm

    We were able to get some row prep done, but time got away from me and the snow showed up, so the planning switched gears. Now we wait. I was planning to tone things down for this year to focus on making sure what I have in the ground is well taken care of, replant last years failures and then start smaller rows of several other varieties.

    We were able to get replacements for the Adams and Ranch cuttings that failed last year due to a combination of unfortunate events so that is a very good thing. We will be replants five hundred 'Adams' cutting and five hundred 'Ranch' cuttings. Ive also sought out a variety of other cultivars to see what does best up here in "Da Nort" of Minnesota. I started receiving cuttings and plan to trial each of the following cultivars in 2022...

  • Pocahontas - Indeterminate late maturing variety. This is the new "it" elderberry on the scene. I do not have high hopes for this variety for berry production although it is a very prolific berry producer in more Sothern locations. I am trialing this to see if I can get the same monstrous flower heads  that they do down south.

  • Anoka - This is an isolated wild variety from Minnesota, I have hopes for this one. Anoka is said to maybe the 'Ranch' of the north. I'm hoping it will space a little on berry maturity from ranch.

  • Soft - This is another isolated volunteer wild variety from Minnesota, this is another determinate variety that has shown to produce fruit on primal canes and hold berry until evenly ripe.

  • Marge - This is a European American adapted Sambucus Nigra variety that is said to grow will in cold climates. I wasn't going to grow an European varieties but until I truly know what is going to perform best in my zone 3 growing zone I though it was worth a shot.

  • Bob Gordon - This is an indeterminate variety that I know will grow here if taken care of. I have some friends that grow this variety and if I can keep the birds at bay I should get a good harvest of this variety that is know to have a higher sugar content and is valued by the winemakers.

  • York - This one is an older variety that is a cross with Adams and another variety from 1926. Supposed to be very productive with berry clusters that are heavy, quite large and a deep red color. Is a medium to late to ripen so we'll see on this one.

  • Coomer is an east coast variety. Cold Hardy decumbent cymes and large berries which will help a lot with bird predation.

  • Berry Hill was developed in Vermont by Lewis Hill. Growers say they cannot tell the difference between Coomer and Berry Hill except in some locations one will do well and one will not...we'll see which one wins in Northern Minnesota.

  • I also have three more unnamed varieties, one I found in Southern Minnesota and two from a batch of seedling to that grew to display primal cane berry production one of which had nice decumbent cymes. 

The Syrup Updates

    It has been a nice fall trying to grow this side of the business slowly while getting our ducks in a row. I did see a short bit of TikTok fame when a friend mentioned our syrup in her TikTok. It was a little overwhelming trying to keep up with orders, package and ship them well enough so that the Post Office didn't break the bottles before they got delivered. This was an awesome challenge, we learned a lot and it enabled us to purchase some more supplies and equipment. Some upgrades we've made have been an upsized kettle, we can now make fifteen gallons at a time which is nice. We've started buying supplies in larger quantities which really helps with pricing and when you have supplies on hand it really relieves a lot of the stress of the current supply chain issues. We also just received a bottling machine that will allow us to fill two bottles in half the time it took us to fill one. This I feel will be a godsend enabling us to more easily control temps put hot liquid in bottles at precise temps and spend a lot less time on bottling because filling one bottle at a time by hand is quite the task. This machine will help to ensure your elderberry syrup only receives the right amount of heat that is required to guarantee our syrup is safe, delicious and nutritious to drink!!!

Thank you for taking the time to keep up with our Farm we hope you enjoy and please feel free to check out the pictures below.

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