Who knew the little black elderberry—only the size of a BB pellet—could pack such an enormous health punch? What it lacks in size is more than made up for by its concentration of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Folate, Iron, Carotenoids, Flavonoids, Quercetin, and Rutin.
You could say nature knew what it was doing when it gave us the black elderberry. But they don’t grow overnight. In fact, it takes about three years of cultivation before the black elderberry plant bears fruit. And 5 to 6 years before the bush reaches full production. In a plant's early stages of growth, it requires detailed attention to minimize weeds and good organic matter and water too.
In early June, elderberry blooms a hearty, sweet aromatic flower with an incredible floral flavor. Next, the mature plant sets the berries, which take 6 weeks or so to ripen. Then when the fruit clusters appear, the harvest time comes in the heat of the summer, usually in late July and August. At that point it’s all-hands-on-deck. Each morning, ripe berry clusters are hand-harvested with care and placed in buckets before being transported to our production facility.
Once the berries are picked and transported, they undergo a rigorous process of destemming and cleaning before they are frozen and held for cooking. This step is extremely important to us, and part of our commitment to ensuring the safety and consistency in all Norm’s Farms black elderberry products. All in one day’s work, berries are harvested, cleaned, boxed and frozen to preserve freshness and quality.
The question of black elderberry safety often comes up, and the answer is, yes, cooked berries are completely safe to eat. Raw black elderberries, the bark, stems, and leaves are not edible. The reason that raw black elderberries should not be consumed is that the seeds contain a cyanide-inducing glycoside. These cyanide-inducing glycosides are the same ones found in apple seeds and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cooking the berries destroys the glycosides and makes the berries safe for human consumption. We take every precaution to remove all of the stems and leaves from our black elderberries during our cleaning and sanitizing process, and then use a gentle water and heat extraction process to create our Elderberry Extract, yielding a delicious, nutritious and powerful immune system booster.
At every stage from our farm to your table, we are committed to upholding the taste and integrity of this powerful super fruit. With patience, persistence, and passion, we grow and harvest pure North American black elderberry that can only be found with Norm’s Farms products. We are proud to be the go-to purveyors of black elderberry, farmed and cultivated with care to deliver a full range of wellness benefits and immune support.
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Learn about how we got into black elderberry with Our Origin Story
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