Elderflower harvest time has come

14.07.2022 | Blog

Valuable extract is obtained from the picked elderflowers and used in syrups.
The scent of elderberry blossoms over our 1600 elderberry trees has already disappeared. On our own organic farm as well as at our contract elderberry farms in the region, the harvest of the cones with the lush inflorescences has been completed. Our hard-working helpers around “senior boss” Bruno Schenk picked them by hand. Ten umbels weigh about one kilo. Around 1000 kilograms per hectare are harvested this way. The time window for the harvest is small and amounts to two to three weeks. On the same day, the freshly harvested flowers are transported to the Paul Gasser AG winery, where they have been professionally processed for many years. They are then soaked in water and pressed to produce the noble extract, which is not only used to make our well-known syrup or the popular aperitif drink “Holunderblüten-Traum” (Elderflower Dream), but also adds its typical aroma to many other beverages.

Cherry vinegar fly attacks berries

The great thing about elderberry is that a second harvest is possible in autumn: the unharvested flowers ripen into dark blue berries. The squeezed juice is a real vitamin bomb. However, it must be warmed up first, because it is slightly poisonous when raw. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is no longer playing along so well. The cherry vinegar fly (Drosophila suzukii), which has migrated from far away, has unfortunately been attacking all kinds of fruit in Switzerland for a few years, including elderberries. Once nibbled, they become inedible. Combating the insect is time-consuming and expensive, especially in organic cultivation. For this reason, the importance of the berries for processing at Holderhof Produkte AG has declined somewhat. What remains, however, is still used, for example, in our elderberry syrup with honey.

Elderberry box