Thursday, June 20, 2013

Anxiously awaiting cherries and Elderberries

Our Cherry Tree, June 2013, photo by J.Stahl

This is the most recent photo I have of our cherry tree outside. As you can see, we're in the middle of June, and no ripe cherries. Not even one. Usually, we'll have ripe cherries in abundance, but we're not there just yet!

We've had some of the coolest weather we've had until this week, since I arrived here in 2007. To tell you how crazy our weather has been, we've remained in the 30s and 40s in the mornings, and had highs in the 60s until early on in the month, and we started getting some warmer weather, and then had all that rain that some of you might have heard of that caused so much flooding.

The result of that, is unripe fruit, vegetables and grain. I'm sure our farmers are not appreciating that the wheat crop isn't even near ripe. I, however, I'm appreciating the fact I can leave the windows open for a few more days.  It's always such a pain when they're harvesting as it takes several days for all the dust to settle for me to not react to it.  And then we have the barley and rye harvesting.

Unripe cherries, June 2013, J.Stahl
As you can see, our tree is rather laden with fruit, so when they come in, we'll have our work cut out for us. I plan on trying to can as much as possible so that we can save a little money in the grocery department. My kids have canned cherries in some form, about once a month. I'll be trying to make maraschino and pie filling. I'll keep you posted!

Elder Tree, 2013, J.Stahl
Here is our elder tree. I've been slow to get outside and start picking the flowers, but now that our weather has changed; I need to get on that STAT.

To the left is a wonderful book that I purchased two years ago, right before my health bottomed back out. It is an investment. I found my copy on for 15€.

When I found out about our elder plant, I was so excited because I can now make my own Sambucol. Our local pharmacies have stopped carrying it, and I really need to get us on this vitamin protocol daily. I've been reluctant to start and then run out, if you know what I mean.  That really is a stupid sort of justification. Trust me, I'm working on it!

There are many things that you can do with the elder plant, such as pickle the shoots (like bamboo), pickle the buds, make fritters with the flowers, make water ice, ice cream, chutney, pudding,  elderflower syrup, Jams, drinks including: tea, vinegar, wine and liqueur, and cosmetics!

Here is a quote from the book about the elder is as follows:

"All parts of the elder were used medicinally by the Romans, and in pre-Roman times by the ancient Britons and Celts. In Pliny's day, the country people used elderberry juice as a hair dye, and Culpeper described how 'the hair of the head washed with the berries boiled in wine is made black'. John Evelyn claimed that it greatly assisted longevity and that the juice of the berries was effective 'against all infirmities whatever'."
Page 81, Edible Wild Plants & Herbs, A Compendium of Recipes and Remedies: The Perfect companion for every budding forager by Pamela Michael

Now you know what I'm looking forward to.  Do you have any interesting dietary changes that you plan to make this summer?  If so, drop me a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

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