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Resources

Buying Plants and Hardwood Cuttings:

Commercial elderberry propagation is most commonly done with dormant cuttings and nursery prepared plugs or plants:

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  1. Dormant Hardwood Cuttings are the form of plants typically used by nurseries for field or greenhouse propagation purposes. Cuttings are multiple node sections of juvenile (current seasons) canes, taken from mother plants and either “stuck” immediately into properly prepared beds in late fall, or stored at near freezing temperatures with proper humidity and stuck in early spring. This is the most economical form we offer, but requires more knowledge and special care to get the desired results. 
  2. Actively growing MaxiPlugs can be planted outdoors any time from early spring after danger of frost is past until the end of summer and even very early fall - provided the plants are available. A dramatic presentation of the power of these plants, their capacity to grow and produce an early crop (in 14 months), and largely out-compete weeds can be seen at Natura Farms / Berry Communications with their July 2013 elderberry planting.

    Obviously the earlier in the season one can plant these, the longer growing period they will have and the greater their development will be. But growers and farmers are often very, very busy in the spring, and sometime the weather simply does not cooperate to prepare the fields and transplant crops due to continuous rains making fields too wet to work. MaxiPlug plants enable farmers to transplant them at their convenience, rather than having to get them into the ground in very early spring, as is required with dormant cuttings and bare root plants. 
  3. Basic Planting Instructions - Terry Durham, River Hills Harvest
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W7MAg1qpvL0eGH2UXgTjxCBQPrah7z99/view

Watch Terry Durham make hardwood elderberry cuttings with Homesteaders Doug & Tracy, concludes three recipes made with freeze dried elderberries.

Terry Elderberry Harvest-narrow


Terry Durham, River Hills Harvest, Hartsburg, MO -
email info@riverhillsharvest.com
 
The original commercial elderberry grower in Missouri and MEC board member. You can order directly from the riverhllsharvest.com website or Facebook page.

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Natasha Simeon, Regeneration Acres Farm, Clayton, WI -
email natasha@regenerationacres.com

Natasha worked closely with Paul Otten for several years in propagating elderberry and currants. She continues this service in association with MEC. To buy northern grown Midwest cuttings and/or greenhouse elderberry plants, you may order directly from the regenerationacres.com website. 

Equipment

Ag Resource, Inc. / David Birky, 218-847-9351, 800-288-6650
The Birkys have worked with a number of MEC members to help them get started in elderberry production, irrigation and other agricultural equipment. Please see their website: agresourceincmn.com.

Hand Destemming TrayTerrys Destemmer

TED Terry's Elderberry Destemmer
Terry’s Elderberry Destemmer, also known as T.E.D., is a revolutionary design formatted for the small farmer. It is low cost and portable. The berries are gently destemmed and cleaned. It is capable of several hundred pounds per hour and reduces your post harvest labor.  It is constructed of food grade stainless steel which makes cleanup and maintenance a breeze. It allows the farmer to double the value of his crop and puts you in control. It is the first step in having a stable elderberry commodity.

Stainless Steel Hand Destemming Tray - See  https://www.riverhillsharvest.com/shop.

Planning & Installation

Terry Elderberry Harvest-narrow

Terry Durham, River Hills Harvest, Hartsburg, MO -
email info@riverhillsharvest.com
The original commercial elderberry grower in Missouri: from field design to full service installation. 

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

Fields Without Fences www.fieldswithoutfences.org
Elderberry Growers / Regenerative Ag Consultants, Kingwood Township, NJ

On our farm, located within the Delaware River watershed, we cultivate fruits, nuts, medicinal herbs, and wild edibles within naturalized plantings that mimic the wild ecology. Through site specific design, we integrate approaches found in environmental restoration, permaculture design, and regenerative agriculture to create low input, self-renewing, agroecological systems that naturally restore health and integrity to our shared landscape.

Beyond our fields, we bring these practices to our consulting and design work with farmers, landowners, and organizations. Inspired by a philosophy that recognizes all elements are integral to an interconnected planet, we approach landscapes as interdependent ecosystems, out of which the well being of all is reflected in the health and functionality of the whole. We bring this mindful holistic approach to everything we do, from the products we craft, to the programs and services we offer. Lindsay Napolitano, Johann Rinkens, info@fieldswithoutfences.org

PeteWidinLaughing Reduced

Peter Widin, Elderberry Systems Consultant 
Peter Widin is a landscape planner focused on edible and native ecosystems. His business Artisan Environments LLC is based in Stillwater, MN and is focused on perennial ag and productive homestead design. He also co-manages Blueberry Fields of Stillwater, an organic U-pick berry operation, and has degrees in Applied Ecology and Landscape Architecture. Peter offers the following services to the MEC community for growers at any scale:

  • Grant and investment proposal writing and review for increased approval rates
  • Implementation strategy and planning for field conversion to Elderberry production
  • On-site or remote technical guidance for site prep, installation, ongoing cultivation and harvest needs
  • Assistance in finding local markets and developing value-added products

Peter can be reached via phone 651-216-4229 or email, pete@artisanenvironments.com

Visit Paul Otten's Berry Communications webpages:
http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/

Soil Health

Gregg Forster, Wisconsin Mineral Solutions, Mondovi, WI
Umbrel Acres farm and a Restora-Life Minerals distributor, Gregg grows elderberry and helps famers find appropriate solutions for soil health, livestock vitality, compost, Accel. Hay & Silage Quality. Email him: greggfwms@gmail.com or call 715-926-4642.

Soil Testing 
Most state agricultural universities offer reasonably priced soil testing. For elderberry, you need to be sure that you are getting an appropriate profile for perennial fruits like raspberries or blackberries. For accurate tracking of changes in your soil profile, you need to compare results from the same lab. Each one varies a bit in its methodology. Paul Otten preferred to use Midwest Laboratories: www.midwestlabs.com.

Soil Works, LLC, Yankton, SD
Glen Rabenberg:  Rather than conforming to the traditional methods of soil science, Glen brings his knowledge of animal science and applies it to the soil. Many of the same required nutritional ratios shared by humans, animals, and plants are reflected in the soil. He believes that the soil is a living organism and that the health of the soil should be checked in the same manner that humans and animals are checked. Glen heavily relies on the electrical conductivity of the soil to tell him the pulse of the soil. He uses a soil respiration test to tell him how the soil is breathing.  And, he uses a penetrometer as a stress test and soil/plant tissue tests as the blood panel/work. Glen has learned to use these simple tests to diagnose virtually every soil problem. Email: info@soilworksllc.com or call 877-886-5115. https://soilworksllc.com/

Various

Fruit and Vegetable Wash 
Life’s Pure Balance Fruit and Vegetable Wash, "What’s different about this …. It is a concentrate that removes 5+ times more “stuff” than plain water. You wash your fruits and vegetables, just like you wash your clothes .. Immersing them in wash water! The 16 oz bottle will make up to 96 gallons of wash water.” https://lifespurebalance.com/product/produce-wash/.

Collapsible-Coolers


Collapsible Cooler 
The Collapsible Cooler performs like a molded form cooler, but better. The wrapped EPS foam form with integrated liner bag creates thermal properties similar to most common shipping coolers and is proven to be more damage and leak resistant, ensuring your product arrives in the best condition possible. Contact Jayne Ann Valley, JayneAnn@collapsiblecooler.com, 952-688-8204 or 952-285-2919. https://collapsiblecooler.com/

© Midwest Elderberry Cooperative 2018