When we think about berries, we typically think about strawberries, blueberries, and even raspberries. One that never pops into our heads are elderberries, yet it’s probably the one we see the most during our morning run or walk to the grocery store. The benefits of growing elderberries are abundant when you begin to grow them in your garden, besides the obvious one of giving your garden a beautiful and attractive look to it.
What are Elderberries?
Elderberries are actually native to north and central America, so if you’re located in those areas, you’ve probably spotted an elderberry tree or bush before. They are teeny berries found growing on Sambucus plants. They are sweet to taste and have a deep blue, almost black, color to them. There are actually even some variants of wine made solely from these berries.
Elderberry plants are known for their eye-catching white flowers that grow throughout the plant and produce clusters of these berries. The actual elderberries sprout within 2 to 4 years of the Sambucus being planted, although ideal conditions will produce the berries within a year of planting. These berries are commonly used in jams, pies, other edible delights, and even as medicine!
The Benefits of Growing Elderberries
Okay, this should be obvious. Most gardens that grow produce don’t have much color to them. They’re typically green and brown and nothing more. However, if you plant some elderberry shrubs, your garden can look much more appealing. Elderberry shrubs and trees are beautiful, especially when they’re in their mid-growth cycle. This is when they sprout beautiful bunches of white flowers that can look truly elegant in your garden.
Then, when the flowers are fully bloomed, they transform into those delicious elderberries. Even the branches, post berry season, are fairly beautiful with their purple tint. Spice up your boring garden and plant some Sambucus!
Consumption Betters Your Health
It’s no secret that home-grown, organic food is better for your health over all of that GMO crap, and elderberries are no different! Consuming elderberries have proven to better your physical health in a variety of way. This includes the following:
- Aids in digestion.
- Promotes a healthy heart.
- Improves the immune system.
- Controls diabetes.
- Promotes weight loss.
- Improves skin care.
- Promotes bone strength.
Pop a few of these berries into your daily diet and reap the benefits. Elderberries generally increase metabolism and have benefits that increase your overall health. Without getting too technical, they are packed with fiber, vitamin A, B and C, iron, potassium, phosphorus, proteins and more! If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not, at all.
Wondering how to get the most out of your elderberry crops? Check out this amazing elderberry syrup recipe for keeping the cold and flu at bay!
Biomass, Mulch, and Compost
Elderberry trees and shrubs are actually one of the quickest growing tree species found in the world. They also love themselves some good pruning. This means you can control how large your tree grows while pruning accordingly. All that you prune and the crop could then be used in mulch and compost. Think of it as your endless supply of compost.
With excess biomass mulch being produced by your elderberry tree, you can decide how to use the fallen mulch. Add it to your compost pile or use it to contour your pile or hugelkultur structure.
Save the Bees
With your constantly growing elderberry tree, you’re bound to notice it’s pollination attraction. Elderberry tree flowers promote pollination regularly, so your surrounding bees will thank you. You can promote a healthy garden and society when you plant an elderberry tree due to its pollination potential. These trees flower most of the time during growing season, so your neighborhood bees will be grateful for the abundant and constant source of food.
It’s obvious, the benefits of growing elderberries being grown in your garden. Start growing your elderberry tree today using these tips.