Friday, August 24, 2012

Faeries Friday - Elderberry

(The illustration above is by Cicely Mary Barker, one of my favorite artists)

The elderberries that grow wild in these mountains will look more like those in the painting above when they are ripe.  I took the photo below about two weeks ago, so maybe they are ripe by now.

Jam can be made from the berries, but all other parts of the plant are poisonous, except for the tiny flowers.  If a mammal eats the berries raw, the berry seeds are toxic, but birds can eat the berries and suffer no adverse reactions.  I tried making some jam once, years ago, but the berries of the species that grow in these mountains are so tiny it took me forever to pick enough to make the jam!  I've read that one can make a sort of sparking wine from the blossoms, but I've never tried that.  When I was young I helped my daddy and grandfather make moonshine (a clear liquor distilled from corn), but that's a story for another time...


  1. For quite a few summers I made elderberry jam... It was so sweet and tasted like wild ripe sunshine !!
    I would always put a finished jar of jam on the windowsill... what I called a 'poor womans' stained glass window !!

  2. hahaha I would love to hear about the moonshine. I believe some people still make it around here. I did try it at one time but wasn't impressed. A lovely picture of the fairy with the berries.

  3. A friend of mine makes elderflower fritters, and elderberry wine used to be quite common in Britain when folks relied more on the fruits of their own labour than they do now.

    Still, the still intrigues. I gather it can be a dangerous business unless you know exactly what you're doing. Or is that just a story spread by the Excise men?

  4. B'ham, you're right it tastes wonderful, but I'm guessing you must have bigger berries where you live...

    OC and JJ, I'll do a post about making moonshine with my dad and grandpa...just as soon as I find out what the Statute of Limitations is on this particular 'crime.' ;)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, I appreciate it!

Related Posts with Thumbnails