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2021 Summer Updates

    So if you are up to date with the results of spring planting you know we've been quite busy this year. We have faced many challenges and learned a lot of lessons in the meantime. I would not count this year in the win column but I do feel like I got about ten years of elderberry growing education crammed all in to one year.

    We started off with the planting and weather challenges from spring and then we were so lucky to move right into a drought witch lasted the whole summer. Technically we are still in a drought but the ground is cooling and wet now so things are at least stable.  

    I was able to get drip irrigation in which helped with the water a lot, but for a good portion of the cuttings it was too late. A lot of the old-timer elderberry people tell me that some of them may regrow in the spring, and I did see some regrowth after the drip irrigation was able to deliver consistent water to the cuttings but we'll see in the spring. I plan to replant the failed cutting next spring and have also started planning next years rows.

    We started marking and mowing new rows this fall for next springs expansion...one bad year wont stop us we have immune systems to boost with these berries! We started some rows on contour to help out with elevation drops on this side of the property. This should help to deliver consistent pressure and volume to the entire rows.

    We started mulching rows to combat weeds. We learned some valuable lessons with weeds....stop them before they start because once they take off they want to take over...This was my secondary challenge to the drought, excessive weed growth. Next years plants will be planted as rooted cuttings in to weed barrier mulch so they do not have to compete. 

    All in all we enjoyed the challenges and the lessons...well some of them anyway, that came our way. Hopefully we will get rain and we will be able to really grow some good elderberries next year. If all goes well we'll be able to stop purchasing berries and use our own on farm sustainably raised American Black Elderberries for our totally awesome Popple Tree Creek Farms Elderberry Syrup. 

    Next year will bring an approximate expansion of 1/2 acre of plantings of five more varieties of elderberry. A tractor is definitely going to show up as well as a few other pieces of equipment. From there we will see which varieties are most successful and use them to expand further.

    If you are here for the syrup please visit the shop, if you are here for the farm please subscribe to the newsletter to stay up to date with what's happening...I have a feeling next year will be exciting!

Dont forget to Follow on Facebook and look for benmac02gt on TikTok for Dad Jokes, Elderberry Info, Recipes  and other Northwoods fun...My TikTok is safe for everyone.  

Click on Pictures to enlarge and read the story!

  

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