Chatting About Elderberry (Mostly) With Guest John Moody

On today’s podcast episode I have a chat with the author, speaker, and homesteader John Moody about growing and using Elderberry and his new book on the subject.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 124 – June 23, 2019 – Chatting About Elderberry (Mostly) With Guest John Moody.

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Elderberry: A Multifaceted Plant for Modern Homesteading

Elderberry – A Plant with Historical Significance and Modern Benefits
Elderberries have long been treasured for their nutritional and medicinal properties. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, they are particularly beneficial for bolstering the immune system, especially during the cold and flu seasons. Their use in traditional medicine is well-documented, highlighting their enduring value.

The Nutritional and Medicinal Value of Elderberry Elderberries are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, making them highly beneficial for immune support. Their use dates back centuries, with a notable presence in traditional medicine. The fruit is typically used for syrups, teas, and other remedies, particularly effective during cold and flu seasons.

Growing Elderberry – Essential Tips for Homesteaders
To successfully cultivate elderberry plants, a few key factors must be considered:

  • Sunlight and Soil: Elderberries thrive in full to partial sun and prefer moist, well-drained soil.
  • Watering Needs: These plants are not drought-tolerant, necessitating regular watering, especially in dry periods.
  • Space Requirements: Given their rapid growth and sizable nature, elderberries need ample space to flourish.

Cultivation and Care of Elderberry Plants Elderberries thrive in full to partial sun and require moist, well-drained soil. They are not drought-tolerant, and thus, regular watering is crucial, especially during dry spells. These plants grow quickly and can reach considerable sizes, necessitating ample space for growth.

Propagation and Harvesting Elderberry plants can be propagated through hardwood cuttings, softwood cuttings, or seeds. However, propagation from cuttings is preferred due to its ease and effectiveness. The plants are also known for their runners, which can be used to grow new plants. Harvesting typically occurs in late summer when the berries are fully ripe.

Elderberry’s Versatility in Homesteading Besides its health benefits, elderberry plants are incredibly versatile. They can be used to create living fences or privacy screens, and their wood is ideal for making flutes, blowguns, and other crafts. This versatility makes elderberry a valuable addition to any homestead.

  • Living Fences and Screens: Their fast growth and size make them ideal for creating natural barriers or privacy screens.
  • Crafting Potential: Elderberry wood is excellent for making various crafts, such as flutes and blowguns, adding a creative dimension to their use.

Potential Risks and Safe Consumption There has been some debate regarding the safety of consuming raw elderberries. While American elderberries are generally safe when ripe, they can cause digestive discomfort in some individuals. It’s advisable to consume elderberries in cooked or processed forms to avoid any potential risks.

Conclusion: The Invaluable Role of Elderberry in Homesteading
Elderberry stands out as a versatile and beneficial addition to any homestead. Its health benefits, coupled with practical and aesthetic uses, make it a sustainable and valuable resource. With proper care and understanding, elderberries can enrich the homesteading experience in numerous ways.


John’s Books –

The Frugal Homesteader: Living The Good Life On Less

The Elderberry Book Pre-order Form

John’s Website –

Homestead Recipe Of The Week:

This week’s recipe comes in from Sam at Lupine Wood Rabbitry in Alexander, NC. and she has an awesome fermented drink recipe for us called Tepache.

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    Author, blogger, podcaster, homesteading and permaculture enthusiast. I have a passion for sharing what I learn and helping others on their journey. If you're looking for me, you'll usually find me in the garden.

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