Echoes of the Garden

Noble Interest

Sambucus spp.


I spent summers on my Grandfather's farm. Little Pipe Creek flowed through the middle of it and when I was ten, the banks of the creek were covered in elderberry bushes. The good lady he had purchased the farm from came back every year to gather the fruits when they were ripe and always brought back a few jars of jelly as a thank you gift.

Ten years later, all of the elderberries were gone. To this day, I don't know what happened. It seems obvious that something changed in their environment but I have no idea what it could have been unless the problem lay somewhere upstream. They are still missed by our family, though.

I have a couple of them on my small patch of joy. One in particular is very good about giving me enough every year to keep my family in jelly but I as soon as I am able I will be planting more nearer to the house. I confess to being greedy. I want to be able to make not only jelly, but syrup and elderberry fizz as well.

So let's see what we can learn about this Noble Interest.

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About Me

About Me

My interest in plants started young. While most of my friends were playing with Barbie or dreaming of horses, I was out in the fields of our farm creating imaginary villages and caching collected seeds, roots and herbs against winter need. When I discovered the library and field guides, I realized that I had found my passion- the interaction between plants and people. While my caching habits have switched to saving more useful plants, some things don’t change. I still …
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