Last year we were thrilled to discover a bunch of elderberry bushes growing wild on our property. We had also bought two bushes (before we found the wild ones). The chickens ate all the berries off the ones we planted, but they left the others alone, probably because most of the berries were too high for them to reach. :) We have picked tons of them this summer, enough to give a few bags away and still have plenty left over for ourselves! In fact, this batch I just made was from last year's berries that were still in the freezer!
In the past I have used this recipe from Deep Roots at Home for my syrup. It's super easy and very effective! This time I had happened across some other recipes at Gwen's Nest, and decided to try the "deluxe" version, since I had both nettle and astragalus root on hand. I used about 2+ cups of berries, 1/2 cup of nettle and 1/2 cup of astragalus root, and 6 cups of water. I brought it to a boil:
We take several teaspoons of this syrup daily when we feel cold symptoms coming on, or when we've been exposed to sickness . . . or it also works well to take a teaspoon every day during the winter as a preventative measure! (Just remember not to give it to babies under a year old because of the honey.) It's really good stuff. Last winter we were healthy from late November till early June and I truly believe this syrup had a big part in that! So what are you waiting for? Go find some berries and honey and make some syrup. :) (And if you're local, let me know if you'd like any berries--we still have a few extra! Otherwise you can buy dried ones online, or see if anyone in your area may have some to share.)