Events

ElderFlower Blossom

Yes, the Midwest Elderberry Cooperative Wants You!
We do accept, and truly appreciate, volunteer help with our events and elderberry crop maintenance and harvest. It provides opportunities for volunteer labor as a way of learning about sustainable agriculture, which includes the cultivation of elderberry. 

Future Events

February 23, 2018 Members Meeting at MOSES Conference 
MEC will hold a members meeting open to interested non-members in the “Red Room” from 7:15 – 9:00 p.m. on Friday night of the MOSES Conference. We will be remembering Paul Otten, a founding Board member of MEC, provide opportunity for Q&A about growing elderberry, etc. Chris Patton will report on the accelerating transition of elder berries & flowers from a hobby to commercial specialty fruit crop. We hear how our members are progressing and will discuss the 2018 harvest, ingredient development and marketing options.

March 8-10, 2018: EXPO West, Anaheim Convention Center
MEC will man a booth this show for the first time as part of the Minnesota Pavilion in order to promote our growing elderflower and elderberry ingredients business to national and international buyers. 

June 14-16, 2018 Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop, Jefferson City, MO
The Carver Center, 3804 Bald Hill Road, Jefferson City, MO 

June 14 is the New Growers Workshop. Terry Durham & team thrive on helping growers learn all they need to know about growing elderberries safely and profitably. The Workshop runs June 15-16 and brings together over a hundred growers annually and you learnBird registrations savings until MAY 13, 2018.
Click here for more details and to register.

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Past Events of Importance:

Presenting at 2018 Minnesota Organic Conference 
January 11-12, 2018 in Saint Cloud MN

Titled Transitioning Native Elder Berry & Flower Production from Craft Hobby to Commercial Small Fruit, Chris Patton and Jim Riddle will talk about the marketing and horticultural challenges of producing certified organic elderberry on a commercial scale profitably. 

Winter Fancy Food Show - Specialty Food Association 
January 21, 2018 Awards Presentation in San Francisco
MEC will be the guest of River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC at booth 205A in the Minnesota Pavilion. 

2018 Leadership Awards: Business Leadership: 

Christopher J. Patton, Midwest Elderberry Cooperative and 

River Hills Harvest Marketers

Announcement Link

Article Link  


Nov, 17, 2017: Midwest Elderberry Cooperative Annual 
Members & Board of Directors Meeting

Tom Erhardt from Albert Lea Seed Co.  graciously hosted us  with admission to their free Open House.
 

June 25-27 Summer Fancy Food Show,  New York, NY

Chris Patton as River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC  will attend this show as part (booth #6363) of the Minnesota pavilion, hosted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Marketing folks. Besides showcasing the River Hills harvest brand, he will distribute information about the Midwest Elderberry Cooperative. 

July 8, 2017 Elderflower Power Day Cancelled!

Instead, I’ll be singing, “Where have all the flowers gone…” 

Click here to see images of hail damage at our main production field.

One of our favorite events [ See pictures from last year.] has been cancelled by an act of nature. Online direct sales of dried elderflowers and elderberries are handled by Sacred Blossom Farm. Please click here to order.

Paul Otten will take orders for plant purchases. You can get that info and much more about growing elderberry and soil health in general at his website: http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/elderberry-cultivation.html 

2017 Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop, Jefferson City, MO

The Carver Center, 3804 Bald Hill Road, Jefferson City, MO 
May 31 - June 1-2, 2017 

Terry Durham & his Elderberry Team put on the original and most comprehensive workshop about growing elderberry. To review some of the presentations given, please go to our Reports & Grants page.

Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference -
January 19-21, 2017, Scheman Bldg., Ames, IA

Begins January 19 at 1 pm, Short Course Presentations & Discussion:
Production, Processing, and Marketing of Alternative Berry Crops with Terry Durham, Chris Patton, Jim Riddle and Kurt Rueber and hopefully Paul Otten. To review past presentations given, please go to our Reports & Grants page. Please see the IPF website: http://practicalfarmers.org/2017-annual-conference/

July 9, 2016 Elderflower Power Day & Public Plant Sale 

MEC Board Member and Elderflower Committee leader Dr. Will Marsh submitted the following schedule of events beginning at 9 am:

  • Identify and pick flowers in the field that are suitable for processing
  • Make Elderflower Syrup
  • Make Elderflower Lemonade
  • Demonstrate Elderflower Wine making process and equipment
  • Tastings:
    • - Elderflower Lemonade
    • - Elderflower Wine
    • - Elderflower Liqueur
    • - Elderflower Cocktail Ideas

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/elderberry-cultivation.html 

Spring MEC - Midwest Members Meeting & VOTE, Elderberry Workshop, Farm Tour & Plant Sale 

June 4, 2016 from 8am-5pm, free event.
Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative will conduct its annual members meeting at 10 am in the to discuss and vote on final by-laws including WI, IA and other non-MN growers as equal members with MN growers (hence a likely name change). The public is welcome to listen in, visit and buy plants. Only paid members will be able to vote. 

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/elderberry-cultivation.html 

Participant at the Women's Agricultural Leadership Conference 2016
Celebrating 18 Years of the Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference
Wednesday April 13, 2016, 8 am - 6 pm
Location: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 36785 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN

2016 Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference

January 22-23ay the invitation of SARE/USDA, Chris Patton will be presenting on growing/marketing elderberry at the Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference at the Iowa State Conference Center in Ames. 

Feast Local Foods Festival 2015
Mayo Civic CenterBox Office - 30 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, Minnesota 55902

More information at http://www.local-feast.org/.

The 2015 Green Lands Blue Waters Conference

November 3 & 4, 2015
Coffman Memorial Union, 3rd floor
Minneapolis-East Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota

MEC Founding Director Chris Patton will present & participate at the conference. Elderberries from Natura Farms will be included in the menu.

2015 Minnesota Elderberry Harvest Apprenticeship
8:30 am both days - Friday, August 28, 2015 and Saturday, August 29, 2015 
The University of Minnesota Good Agricultural Practices page provides (almost) everything you need to know:    
http://www.extension.umn.edu/rsdp/community-and-local-food/good-agricultural-practices/

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047
Click here to launch a short video of the 2014 Workshop.

Mother Earth News Fair, West Bend, WI
August 8-9, 2015
Terry Durham will present on growing elderberry for fun and profit. River Hills Harvest ElderBerry Juice products and MEC will share a booth at this event.

July 4, 2015 Elderflower Power Day & Public Plant Sale

Learn about elderflowers by participating in our harvest from 8 am - Noon. Enjoy your own picnic lunch on the farm. You will learn about the traditional uses of elderflowers and make some recipes. Elderberry plants will be available for sale plus a seasonal elderflower / elderberry bonus opportunity. 

Planned activities include: 

  • Harvesting Elderflowers:
    • Determine when flowers are ready to pick
    • Participate in picking and bagging elderflower cymes
    • Separating flowers from cymes
  • Making Elderflower Syrup 
    • The first step in making Elderflower Lemonade

Hosted by:
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop, Jefferson City, MO
June 18-19, 2015 Terry Durham & his Elderberry Team put on the original and most comprehensive workshop about growing elderberry. Keep an eye of riverhillsharvest.com for other events.

Spring Elderberry Workshop, Farm Tour & Plant Sale 

June 6, 2015 from 8am-5pm, free event.
Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative free workshop on growing elderberry and farm tour of some beautifully productive berry fields.

http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/elderberry-cultivation.html 

Event Partners:

Berry Communications, River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC, Sustainable Farming Association, Organic Fruit Growers Association

Sponsored by North Central SARE

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047


Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative First Annual Members Meeting

9 am - Noon on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 23 Empire St,  St. Paul, MN.  

Elderberry as a Third Crop, Presentation - March 9, 2015

Rural Advantage [http://ruraladvantage.org/], 1243 Lake Avenue Suite 222, Fairmont, MN 56031, 507-238-5449.

Sustainable Farming Association of MN

The 2015 SFA Annual Conference will be Feb. 14, 2015, at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. 

Minnesota Elderberry Festival

Friday - Saturday, August 22-23, 2014, 8:00am - 5:00pm
At Natura Farms, LLC / Berry Communications
19060 Manning Trail N., Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Berry Communications (nursery) Paul Otten: 651-308-3801; pmo@chof.net;
Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative, Natura Farms, LLC, Natural Kick Farms, River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC.
Chris Patton: 612-418-4624  


Minnesota Fruit & Vegetable Growers Assoc. Conference

Thursday - Friday, January 16-17, 2014
St. Cloud Convention Center

On Thursday afternoon at the MFVGA, MEC hosted the University of Missouri’s Patrick Byers, who will speak on the following elderberry related topics:

  • History of the Missouri Elderberry Development project, current emphasis areas, and future directions
  • Elderberry production practices, and how these recommendations may need to be adjusted for northern production areas
  • Development of the industry in Missouri, and the role that growers have played
  • Challenges to further development of the industry in Missouri and elsewhere

Byers-in-field

Patrick Byers

Regional Horticulture Specialist - Southwest Region
Greene County Extension Office, University of Missouri Extension
2400 South Scenic
Springfield, MO 65807
telephone: 
417-881-8909; fax 417-823-4818
email: byerspl@missouri.edu
Greene County Extension website: http://extension.missouri.edu/greene/


Biological Berry Day

Saturday, August 24, 2013, 8:00am - 5:00pm
At Natura Farms, LLC / Berry Communications
19060 Manning Trail N., Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Sponsored by:  
Berry Communications (nursery) 
Paul Otten
Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative, Natura Farms, LLC, Natural Kick Farms, 
River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
 

This field day was developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the US Department of Agriculture — National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).

First International Symposium on Elderberry

© Midwest Elderberry Cooperative 2018