Saturday, July 18, 2009

Elders Among Us

It has been a while since I last posted. Times are challenging, going through a divorce makes you question many things in life. Through my 46 years growing up and living the nursery industry I have been through many phases and many changes in this business. The nursery industry originally started as a fruit and vegetable plant industry in its early days. In those days most people did not have disposable income to spend just on plant beauty as they were concerned more with just living and trying to survive. As our society prospered after World War 2 and our parents and grand parents struggled to make a better society and a better world they became more concerned during the baby boom of dressing up their landscape with beautiful flowers and green hedges, and less about what kind of food they would try to grow themselves, after all the had the money to just go down to the new chain grocery store to pick up whatever they needed, because it was there and could be bought cheaper than they could grow it.

Today times are changing again with the collapse of our financial system and many American companies failing, with high unemployment and the uncertainty of our future has many thinking about growing more of what they need to eat themselves. A return to the land and of sustainable living is found almost everywhere these days. Not only in topics on the internet through articles and blogs but with crowds and conversations at the local Farmers Market and even the local convenience store and local gas station.

One plant that has come up in many articles and conversations that seems to fit suistainable living to the highest point is our native American Elderberry(Sambuscus Canadensis). Native to the lower eastern half of the United States it has been overlooked as a landscape plant and somewhat forgotten as a fruit crop at least for family and individual use. I am no Elderberry expert but I am learning also. With one purchase of Elderberry jelly from one of my neighbor vendors at my local farmers market I was hooked. Herbalist friends on Twitter and Facebook taught the herbal, nutritional and health uses of the Elders fruit. It has many benefits and have even more nutritional value than blueberries. It is a great looking plant as well. Perhaps when we face hard times perhaps we should go back and listen to those who have lived through hard times and listen to them instead of thinking we know better, and yes as corny as it sounds respect our Elders. In the photo is my friend 90 year old Mrs Billie Daniels of Harmony North Carolina and her native Elderberry on her property.


  1. Would elderberry thrive in South Florida? Where could I purchase one?

  2. Wonderful post! I would like to meet this Mrs Billie sometime.

    Will be praying for you through the divorce. I will also be praying for your business. 99% of the time, I buy from folks like you!

  3. Kevin,

    We have lots of wild Elderberry growing along the roadsides here. I have a buddy who has made the jam before and yes it was yummy! We have made Spearmint Mint jam too and it grows wild too and it yummy also.

    Hope things work out for you! I'm a handyman and January and June were awful. Last week I was booked all week something I've not seen in months.