How to: Harvest Elderberries

Category: Water / Difficulty Level: 1
Posted: 2018-09-09 19:19:01
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Elderberries (Sambucus spp.) are very tasty & often rendered into a medicinal syrup to treat colds & the Flu. Take care to only harvest umbreles of dark purple or dark burgundy berries - GREEN ELDERBERRIES ARE TOXIC!

In fact the stems and stalks are quite toxic, so be mindful if you choose to try your hand at harvesting these late Summer berries. They also have a few toxic or poisonous look alikes so please be careful.

In this video I also found some small Goosberries (Ribes uva-crispa) which are quite edible, and I briefly cover a very toxic look-alike to elderberries, Virginia Creeper berries - THESE ARE NOT EDIBLE!


1). Only harvest plants that you have 110% positively identified.

2). Only harvest from areas where you have permission to do so.

3). Only harvest from areas you know are not sprayed, contaminated, or polluted.

4).Only use your harvest after they have been well washed in water.

5). Only ingest small amounts at first; If you choose to do so it is AT YOUR OWN RISK! DO NOT use this short video as the source of truth...DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and/or find someone in your area who is knowledgeable and competent

#5 is especially important if you are new to wild foraging. Aside from the obvious dangers of thistles, poison ivy, poison oak, and deadly water hemlock...Many wild plants contain off the charts vitamins and minerals which might create a shock to your system...considering the nutrient count of your average domesticated vegetable foodstuffs.

Also and adendem to rule #1 is follow Green Deane's of EatTheWeeds I.T.E.M-ize Rules:
(I)dentify the plant beyond sure it is the right
(T)ime of year. Check its
(E)nvironment. This involves two things. One is making sure it is growing in the right place. The other is making sure the plant is getting clean water and is not in polluted soil. And then...
(M)ethod of preparation.

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