elderberries ripe.. so sad the ? flavor

vieja_gw(z7NM)July 9, 2013

I planted two varieties of elderberries last year & they are now over 8 ft. tall & full of ripening clusters of berries. I was SO disappointed when I tasted a few of the ripe berries that they were so bland & flavorless!! As a child, I remember them as rather tart but these are anything BUT tart! Anyone grow these & have any ideas on the flavor? Guess I will let the birds have these pretty clusters of dark purple berries ... odd, as of now even they seem to leave them alone?!

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

You always leave the first crop, said to be no good. If it's the first crop, then you will have to wait till next year for good berries.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Wonder why? I guess I shall let the birds or ? get this first crop then ... and I had my heart set on elderberry pie this summer!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:37PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm not sure? I read it in a couple garden guides, but some plant care info does not mention it? i think you can use them, but don't give up on flavor until the 2nd crop.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 11:11PM
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Will see what the 2014 crop tastes like then... thanks!
Do you raise elderberries yourself & have you tasted them? I did e-mail Shumway's where I ordered them last year & waiting for their response. I realize childhood memories often not reliable.. but I really thought I remembered these berries that I thought I loved!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:03AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I started 5 plants this year, and will have no harvest. But yeah they are suppossed to be tart! I love tart fruit! Yum!

Also the birds all over the country have been leaving everything alone. Cherry trees thoughout the land usually left bare by the birds are full of fruit! It is very strange...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:36AM
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The reason you all are having lots of fruit this year is probably (!! ha) because all the birds came down here & stripped not only the tiny fruit flower buds before they opened but also the small developing fruits... we have NO peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, apples... this year! This never happened before here either unless it was from late frosts some years!

Will let you know how the SECOND year crop of elderberries tastes next year... I also thought they should be tart! Got two varieties: York & Adam I believe Shumway's sent & forgot the bushes got so tall (read the roots though are not deep). Guess the ripe berries though should be cooked.. they have a toxic substance when fresh? I sure don;t remember as a kid ever getting sick from those raw berries & we sure ate a lot of them that did a good job staining our clothes!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:52AM
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