Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Elderberries (Sambucus canadensis) in a pan ready to go into the freezer

We went on a swim in the San Marcos River a few days ago and found some loaded elderberry bushes. I harvested what I could and hope to get back to the site soon to take some good pictures. The little berries can be difficult to separate from the stems so I freeze them first, stems and all, and then rub my hands over the frozen berries - they will easily fall off the stems. (If there are still some tiny stems attached after doing this, shuffle the berries from hand to hand and the stems will stick to your palms when the berries fall out of them.) I then freeze the berries in a freezer bag or use immediately to make sauces, jellies and medicine. The berries shouldn't be eaten raw in large quantities, but are fabulous cooked into juice and then made into a variety of tasty treats. I'll post my recipe for elderberry jelly once I finish de-stemming the berries!


  1. There used to be a wonderful stand of elderberries near Town Lake (what is now Ladybird Lake) They had to cut them down because the street people turned it into a tent city under the bushes. A friend and I used to go down and harvest them. Made a wonderful wine with the berries.

  2. This is so exciting - I've been looking for elderflower ever since I experienced elderflower cordial and elderflower champagne - absolutely intoxicating! I had started to give up that they could grow around Austin but I now have new hope!