Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Teach Anything: How to Make Elderberry Syrup

 Botanical name: Sambucus spp. 
Common name: Elder, Hylde Mor, The Elder Mother

Elderberries have been used in folk medicine in both Europe and America for hundreds of years. Elderberry syrup is a wonderfully delicious way to preserve the medicinal benefits of the elderberries; to create a remedy for cold and flu during winter. Elderberries contain antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. They can be harvested in early Autumn, when the bunches begin to droop down because of the weight of the fruit.

What you need: 
1 cup of fresh elderberries
3 cups of water
1 cup of local honey

First, find elderberry bush. Do your research: make sure it's elder.

Wait patiently while berries are being harvested.
Use scissors to cut the bunches. Don't forget to save some for the deer and the birds!
Pick all the berries off the bunches (this is a lesson in patience)
*Though tempting, do not eat berries that haven't been cooked!
Make sure to pick out all the little stems & any green/brown berries.
Place the berries in a saucepan and cover with water. 

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer for about 30-45 minutes.

Strain liquid and berries into a bowl.
Use the bottom of a cup or spatula to press all the remaining juice out of the berries.  

Add honey. Taste & add more honey if desired. 

Bottle syrup and keep refrigerated for 2 to 3 months.
Take a teaspoon daily as a preventative or take more frequently at the signs of cold.
Enjoy & be well!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hard at work

We're busy here: writing, reading, creating, playing, foraging, and planting!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Equinox.

Spring is so magical, isn't it? I still find it so, even as an adult. The first dandelion greens, nettles, violet leaves, and flowers sprouting up are so uplifting. We begin collecting and eating fresh, wild plants and best of all our work in the garden will be beginning soon. We abandoned starting seeds/plants indoors years ago, and much prefer to plant in the ground, though we harvest later. One of Alice's favorites will be first...probably next week: peas! 
Happy Spring everyone!

Our Spring nature table, curated by Alice.

I don't know about you, but the Spring Fairies visited our house :)