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Elderberry crop planting on your land?

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by rich59, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. rich59

    rich59 Maker

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    Hi,

    I would be interested to talk to anyone who would be in a position to grow a few acres of elderberries. This is for an elderflower champagne!
     
  2. rich59

    rich59 Maker

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    The reason for growing rather than just harvesting wild is that the varieties have been selected for unique characteristics.
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
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    Where are you looking for Rich?

    I am Chairman of the Sussex and Surrey Coppice Group. Email a request and I’ll forward it to the members. They may well have access to some land suitable for Elder.
     
  4. daveO

    daveO Settler

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    Does it have to be grown as freestanding trees? You could do it as hedgerow planting and restore hedges on farms as part of their agri environmental subsidy work.
     
    Insel Affen likes this.
  5. rich59

    rich59 Maker

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    Hi Dave,

    Definitely could be as hedges. Only stipulation is that trimming back would need to not start till the flowering was finished for the year - about mid to late June.
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
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    I have passed your details to the Hampshire and the Sussex and Surrey Coppice Groups to see if they can offer some support.

    Another avenue to explore would be the woodland trust and small woods association.
     
    Toddy likes this.
  7. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I can not help with your request, but your project sounds yummy and interesting!
    Would you be kind and tell us sbout your idea?
     
  8. rich59

    rich59 Maker

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    Hi Janne,

    Definitely yummy and interesting. To see the commercial wing of this you might like to visit www.renegadeandlongton.com . We went commercial in 2016 with first batches now for sale of 2 versions of wild sourced elderflower champagne.

    The journey started many years ago from my side of things. Explored in detail some great elderberry wines. In recent years got hooked on making the elderflower champagnes. Did a few years of many, many small volume trials before coming up with a super product now coming to market.

    But the journey continues. We are exploring many other materials for wine/ sparkling wine but the elderflower journey is not over. Grape wines thrive on individual strains, why not elderflower as well. Tests/ tastings of many strains has confirmed this. I've got a shortlist of 5 strains that have done very well - each making a quality wine, and individual. The challenge now is to grow them at commercial quantity. Hence seeking some help.

    Richard
     
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  9. Mike313

    Mike313 Forager

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    Very interesting project. Do you use a wine yeast for fermentation? S.bayanus ? I assume you will not refer to your product as 'champagne' officially ;) Good luck with your quest for land.
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
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    One of the questions raised at the SSCG meeting this evening was your estimate of the quantity of Elder flowers you would need.

    They queried the number of bushes required for a mere 20kg of flowers.

    Blue Berry Bob suggested you only needed a round 15 bushes with a yield of 2kg per bush.
     
  11. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I find it interesting that you talk about ’strains’ of elderflowers.
    Is it considering flavour and yield?

    Are you able to export ( FedEx or DHL) two cases?
     
  12. rich59

    rich59 Maker

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    Mike, you clearly know the score with sparkling wines.
     
  13. rich59

    rich59 Maker

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    Very good points. I am in fact working to 200kg per acre estimate. I may have slipped a decimal point somewhere. I know a site of about 10 cultivated acres with a yield of 2000kg. Something like 4 flower heads to the bottle.
     
  14. rich59

    rich59 Maker

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    On the export front I am sure we can give you a price and get it to you. And the "pure" is now in stock. Contact us through the website www.renegadeandlongton.com .

    Every bush (unless cloned as a cutting) will be genetically unique. With over 50 flavour chemicals identified and each bush producing different levels of these flavours that's probably trillians of potential variations. Then there are variations in growth habit, yield, resistance to environmental stresses, flowering time, etc.
     
  15. milius2

    milius2 Maker

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    Wow, that's quite something! My site is full of these bushes and I often have to get rid of them as they are in my way, but I was always keen on keeping as much, because the flowers makes one of the best teas in the world and it's one of the most treasured bushes of the ancients, they called it magic tree or bubble tree and had a special brewers God living in a tree, because it has properties to protect and ferment things in a very special way. Never cured to my mind to plant them in numbers, but hey maybe that's something I should do, especially because these are gaining popularity in broad audience these days too.....
     
  16. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    What do you use it for today, except for the tea?
     
  17. milius2

    milius2 Maker

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    Well, mostly they are left for the wild birds on my property :D :D As a berry it has a very unusual taste and smell, one of the local names for the tree is a "fart" (but that's also because it makes bubbles) :D But we make more and more jam out of it every year now, as the research show this bush berry to be one of the TOP five berries there are, leaving famous blueberry behind. And also syrup, to be then used as a lemonade. But the flowers are unique with very sweet and tender taste, makes nice yellow color tea and that what we like the most. But let me tell you, things change !!! Like 10 years ago anyone would cut this bush straight away anywhere they grow, because they thought it was infesting any woodland and 5 years ago I was still a white crow for keeping them plentiful on my property, so I was told over and over again I should get rid of them. But there was no point in doing so and now I feel like I'm onto something very useful here. :D Maybe I show them in spring.
     
  18. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    My parents generation thought rather as your's did about the elder trees (it's known as the Boor tree here) I think mostly because they sprouted so easily and prolifically in every hedge. I have to pull out seven or eight from my own hedges every year. The birds use the beech hedge and the elders sprout among the roots and grow straight up through the hedge. The young plants seem to manage shade just fine, and then before you know it your neat tidy beech hedge is sprouting green topknots :rolleyes:
    There are two just over the high fence that I leave to grow in peace, and harvest flourish from :)

    I do like the flourish, and I do make a robb from the berries, but I'm not so keen on that. Makes a good dye :) if you're patient.

    M
     
  19. Tengu

    Tengu Full Member

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    I gave half a dozen of your white ones to Helligan so in a few years time everyone will be growing them.
     

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