Our story begins with Norman Lenhardt, who had a vision for the world. He wanted to protect and preserve America's farm lands while also ensuring that we would have enough food to feed the world. When Norm was not advocating for farm preservation, city planning, or wildlife protection, he spent his time on his 170-acre farm. Located in the Missouri river bottom of Hartsburg, MO, Norm's Farm boasts some of the richest soil in the world. Today the farm is managed by Norm's son, Rodger Lenhardt. In honor of Norm's dream for land preservation, the farm has been put in a trust.
Norm’s Farms, originally founded in 2013 by Ann, Rodger, and Erin Lenhardt in Pittsboro, NC, began as a way of carrying on Norm's work and vision. The Lenhardt family developed a line of products featuring our home-grown elderberries and a simple, clean ingredient list. The products received immediate enthusiasm for their great taste and efficacy and quickly found their way on to shelves in co-ops, independently owned health food stores, Whole Foods and a host of other grocery and specialty markets. Norm’s Farms products can now be found in over 20 states and the list of stores carrying our products continues to grow every day. In 2017 the Mareth and Bennett family farmers joined the Lenhardts to make Norm’s Farms the first vertically integrated three family business focused on the American elderberry in the United States. Norm's Farms believes in the sustainable production of healing foods made with natural, simple ingredients--just like the elderberries Norm's Farms grows on our three family farms. We strive to be your go-to-source for all things elderberries, including but not limited to all aspects of this amazing berry's history, uses, and potential for sustainable cultivation in North America.
Norm's Farms is at the forefront of one of the most sustainable and exciting new crops: Elderberry. This emerging superfruit is packed with Vitamins A, B and C , iron, potassium, and the powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins. The plants are a hardy perennial, and are naturally disease resistant. Surprisingly, only 10% of the elderberries consumed in the US are actually grown here; the other 90% are grown in Europe. We're working to change that by selling plants and making value-added elderberry products.
Elderberries are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and are known for boosting the immune system. While the exact mechanism of how elderberry stimulates the immune system is not fully understood, scientists generally agree that elderberry's high concentration of certain kinds of antioxidants, called bioflavonoids, are probably involved. Elderberry is also mildly laxative, diuretic and diaphoretic as well, which means it helps remove fluids from the system. However, if you drink too much of it, you'll be removing too many fluids! For that reason, it is best to remember that a little bit of elderberry goes a long way, and to always drink plenty of water as well.
Norm's Farms is dedicated to growing elderberry plants using sustainable farming practices. We believe it is the best way to produce all-natural, healthy and absolutely delicious elderberries. However, we are not the only ones involved in this process; you can be too! Therefore, we invite you to grow your own elderberry plants in your own backyard. We have a variety of elderberry cuttings for purchase, as well as plenty of elderberry knowledge to help your new plants grow!
We have several varieties of elderberry cuttings for sale. The Norm's Farms Elderberry Nursery can supply you with just a few plants for your backyard garden, or, if you are a commercial farmer, we can supply you with all the plants your farm needs!
Cuttings are taken from elderberry canes when the plants are dormant, and are shipped in the cold winter months of January, February and March. While we welcome orders for cuttings at any time, please note that orders are held until they can be safely shipped, and we will contact you to determine a ship date that works for you.
Interested in propagating elderberries? Whether you are a backyard or a "back 40" elderberry grower, we think you'll find the following resources very helpful. While elderberries are relatively easy to grow, there a couple things you should know about this incredible plant before you dive in.
If you would like to be involved on a larger scale, you might consider applying to be a wholesaler of our great American made elderberry products; or, if you happen to grow (or want to grow) elderberries, apply to be one of our berry suppliers. We're always looking for partners to help us share and spread the good news about elderberries!
We've assembled a few of our favorite options for incorporating elderberry into a daily diet here. We hope you enjoy these tips and invite you to check out our recipes for great tasting ways to get elderberry into your family's diet.
The easiest way to consume elderberry is straight up out of a shot glass. Add one teaspoon of elderberry to a shot glass and add cold water or your favorite juice. One teaspoon of elderberry a day delivers plenty of the antioxidants you need for immune system support.
Add one teaspoon of Elderberry Extract to a hot cup of chamomile, Earl Grey, or good old-fashioned green tea. Add a teaspoon or two of honey to sweeten it if desired. For a refreshing iced tea, make a batch of "sun tea" by filling a quart mason jar with water, adding a couple bags of your favorite tea, screw the lid down tight and place the jar in a sunny window so that the tea can brew. Sun tea usually takes a couple hours of brew time before the flavors are just right. When the flavor suits you, add 4 teaspoons of Elderberry Extract to the tea and refrigerate for use.
Mix a teaspoon of Elderberry Extract with sparkling water and add another ounce or two of your favorite fruit juice to make a sparkling beverage that is not only good, but good for you, too. We are especially fond of mixing Elderberry Extract with orange juice, orange-mango juice or orange-pineapple juice. For a seasonal treat, try Elderberry Extract mixed with whole apple cider!
We have a wealth of recipes available on our website for your consideration. Norm's Farms' recipes have been created in our own home kitchen and by creative chefs who love elderberry, including the fantastic chef Forrest Mason of the Saucy Spork and North Carolina's favorite personal chef, The Food Fairy. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!