More than sustainable, elderberry enhances the environment when planted as part of  a horticultural installation designed to accomplish a set of soil, water, pollinator and wildlife management objectives.  - Chris Patton, President, MEC

Elderberry Plants Available for Purchase - Plan for 2017

 To buy northern grown Midwest cuttings and/or greenhouse elderberry plants, please contact Paul Otten. Click to go to his Berry Communications webpagesClick this link to learn about late season planting.

Terry Durham at River Hills Harvest sells MO grown cuttings. Go to

The Development of Elderberry Cultivation Best Practices

Chris-Leah Fieldwork-Fun72

MEC organizes several events each year to help potential growers evaluate elderberry as a hobby or business crop. In many cases the public is welcome to participate and/or volunteer time to learn more about elderberry. We have a great deal to learn, and the work has its pleasant ah-ha moments, too. Check out our events page for what’s scheduled and when.

Terry Durham began efforts to cultivate elderberry as a commercial crop about 15 years ago. He has worked closely with various departments of the University of Missouri, which has dedicated research dollars and staff time for many years. Most of what is currently documented about growing elderberry under commercially cultivated conditions is a result of their log-term partnership, which recently culminated in the June 2013 First International Symposium on Elderberry. Terry has offered a variety of workshops at his farm south of Columbia, MO for years. He also travels to other places to share his experience on growing and processing elderberry fruits. You check out his program schedule at the River Hills Harvest web site.

Short Video of our 2014 Harvest & Processing Workshop

Growing Currants, Gooseberries & Elderberries in Wisconsin

Growing Elderberries: A Production Manual and Enterprise Viability Guide for Vermont and the Northeast (University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture)

With its white flowers in the late spring, dark berries in summer, tolerance for a variety of conditions, and anti-oxidant and anti-viral properties, elderberry is enjoying a surge of interest.

Because elderberry is relatively easy to cultivate, and can tolerate short-term flooding and the variable precipitation predicted with climate change, it may represent a good crop for farmers and landowners for diversifying income. However, as a perennial crop that takes at least three years to get established, interested growers need good information to evaluate the prospective return on investment for their enterprise.

Click here to download the production manual.

Home Guide Articles on Elderberry Cultivation

This set of articles found on the main page and in the margins contain good amounts of general information are directed more towards techniques on growing elderberry around one’s home. However, the main picture on the linked page is of a red elderberry, that is NOT good for human consumption. Most of the guidance is reliable - such as soil preference, site location, and pruning elderberry for a home garden. Other comments are questionable: cuttings are quite easy to grow, contrary to what was stated in one article, for example. 

Growing Elderberry for Food & Meds Published on May 15, 2013
Amazingly adaptable and hardy, elder grows almost anywhere. Canadian herbalist Conrad Richter discusses the varieties of elder, and how to grow them and which can be used for drinks, foods and medicines. The presentation was part of Richters’ HerbDay celebration in honor of elder, the 2013 Herb of the Year. [Good video for home hobbyists or for some exploring the commercial potential of elderberry. -cjp]

Elderberry: Botany, Horticulture & Potential as a Food and Medicinal Crop, by Denis Charlebois et al

Elderberry Possibilities, Patrick Byers Presentation at Minnesota Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference, on January 16, 2014 in St. Cloud, MN.

Overview of Elderberry Nutrition (growing), Patrick Byers Presentation at Missouri Elderberry Comprehensive Workshop, June 2014.

University of Missouri Presentation Video Presented 2012 / Published on Feb 20, 2013
The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri has identified elderberry as an important component in a variety of agroforestry practices. In this video Michael Gold, Pat Byers, Andrew Thomas, Ina Cernusca, and Larry Godsey present, "Elderberry: A Rapidly Growing Specialty Crop in the U.S. Midwest,” at the 2012 Farmers Forum. [Reviews the start of commercial elderberry production in the US.  -cjp]

University of Missouri in Columbia Elderberry Decision Tool
The linked Excel spreadsheet incorporates the information learned by the university’s agricultural research and extension service experience from growing elderberry commercially in Missouri. Download the Elderberry Financial Decision Tool.

For more Information on Cultivation go to the Berry Communications webpage.

Ag Resource, Inc. / David Birky, 218-847-9351, 800-288-6650

Go to River Hills Harvest / Terry Durham in MO:

From River Hills Harvest / Terry Durham - March 2015:

Soil Preparation-RHH

© Midwest Elderberry Cooperative 2018