Events

ElderFlower Blossom

Yes, the Midwest Elderberry Cooperative Wants You!
We do accept, and truly appreciate, volunteer help with our events and elderberry crop maintenance and harvest. Natura Farms incorporates education in its mission goals, which is one reason why it hosts our events. It provides opportunities for volunteer labor as a way of learning about sustainable agriculture, which includes the cultivation of elderberry. To volunteer, pre-register or coordinate group participation, please contact Paul Otten directly: 651-308-3801; pmo@chof.net.

Future Events

2017 Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop, Jefferson City, MO

The Carver Center, 3804 Bald Hill Road, Jefferson City, MO 
May 31 - New Grower Events
June 1-2, 2017 Comprehensive Workshop & Field To
ur

Terry Durham & his Elderberry Team put on the original and most comprehensive workshop about growing elderberry. To register and learn more go to this website:  https://elderberryworkshopfieldtour.wordpress.com/workshop-field-tours/workshop-schedule/


July 8, 2017 Elderflower Power Day & Public Plant Sale 

Learn about elderflowers by participating in our elderflower harvest from 8 am - Noon. Enjoy your own picnic lunch on the farm. You will learn a bit about the traditional uses of elderflowers and recipes. Harvest workers will take home a bunch of elderflowers for their personal use. Please bring your own shears, pruner or sharp knife as well as cloth bags, or gallon freezer bags for your flowers. See pictures from last year.

These harvested elderflowers will also be sold by MEC to local food and beverage producers as well as to dry them for distribution to local food cooperatives for bulk retail sales. We will be harvesting all properly open blooms found up to one yard above the ground. Low hanging elderflowers do not usually produce marketable berries, so their harvest does not really reduce the potential berry harvest.

Berry Communications retails elderflowers for $20/lb. at the farm. Buyer should provides his/her own containers. We will have limited quantities of Minnesota Grown bags on hand at the farm.  

Elder plants will also be available for sale. These plants, or maxiplugs, can be installed anytime this year, which allows for proper field/soil preparation. Click for the price list.

We will have some hot beverages when you arrive. Chris Patton will give a reasonably quick overview of MEC developments. MEC Board Member and Elderflower Committee leader Dr. Will Marsh will facilitate a discussion beginning at 9 am that will cover:

  • Identify and pick flowers in the field that are suitable for processing
  • How to make Elderflower Syrup
  • How to make Elderflower Lemonade
  • Elderflower wine and generally, what to do with elderflowers 

Paul Otten and other growers will be on hand to participate in an open Q&A about growing elderberry later in the day along with the opportunity to tour Natura Farm’s berry, fruit, and vegetable operations in addition to the elderberry installations.

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/elderberry-cultivation.html 

Past Events of Importance:

Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference -
January 19-21, 2017, Scheman Bldg., Ames, IA

Begins January 19 at 1 pm, Short Course Presentations & Discussion:
Production, Processing, and Marketing of Alternative Berry Crops with Terry Durham, Chris Patton, Jim Riddle and Kurt Rueber and hopefully Paul Otten. Presentations on growing, harvesting and marketing will include currant, blueberry, gooseberry and a strong focus on elderberry. Please see the IPF website: http://practicalfarmers.org/2017-annual-conference/

Twin Cities VegFest - October 29-30, 2016

The exhibitor's hall will be open to the public on Saturday, October 29th, and Sunday, October 30th, 2016, from 11am-4pm each day. It will take place at Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

We will be there educating people about North American Elderberry and selling $1 shots of River Hills Harvest ElderBerry Juice to raise money for the Midwest Elderberry Cooperative.

July 9, 2016 Elderflower Power Day & Public Plant Sale 

MEC Board Member and Elderflower Committee leader Dr. Will Marsh submitted the following schedule of events beginning at 9 am:

  • Identify and pick flowers in the field that are suitable for processing
  • Make Elderflower Syrup
  • Make Elderflower Lemonade
  • Demonstrate Elderflower Wine making process and equipment
  • Tastings:
    • - Elderflower Lemonade
    • - Elderflower Wine
    • - Elderflower Liqueur
    • - Elderflower Cocktail Ideas

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/elderberry-cultivation.html 

Spring MEC - Midwest Members Meeting & VOTE, Elderberry Workshop, Farm Tour & Plant Sale 

June 4, 2016 from 8am-5pm, free event.
Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative will conduct its annual members meeting at 10 am in the to discuss and vote on final by-laws including WI, IA and other non-MN growers as equal members with MN growers (hence a likely name change). The public is welcome to listen in, visit and buy plants. Only paid members will be able to vote. 

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/elderberry-cultivation.html 

Participant at the Women's Agricultural Leadership Conference 2016
Celebrating 18 Years of the Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference
Wednesday April 13, 2016, 8 am - 6 pm
Location: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 36785 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN

2016 Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference

January 22-23ay the invitation of SARE/USDA, Chris Patton will be presenting on growing/marketing elderberry at the Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference at the Iowa State Conference Center in Ames. 

Feast Local Foods Festival 2015
Mayo Civic CenterBox Office - 30 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, Minnesota 55902

More information at http://www.local-feast.org/.

The 2015 Green Lands Blue Waters Conference

November 3 & 4, 2015
Coffman Memorial Union, 3rd floor
Minneapolis-East Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota

MEC Founding Director Chris Patton will present & participate at the conference. Elderberries from Natura Farms will be included in the menu.

2015 Minnesota Elderberry Harvest Apprenticeship
8:30 am both days - Friday, August 28, 2015 and Saturday, August 29, 2015

Qualify to volunteer in harvesting or learn how to harvest and process your own elderberries. We will begin with orientation and a review of the GAP/FDA rules followed by mostly a hands-on elderberry in-the-field harvesting and processing workshop running from about 9 am to 5 pm. No charge, no compensation besides learning by doing. 

You can read ahead and learn a bit before doing. The University of Minnesota Good Agricultural Practices page provides (almost) everything you need to know:    http://www.extension.umn.edu/rsdp/community-and-local-food/good-agricultural-practices/

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047
Click here to launch a short video of the 2014 Workshop.

Mother Earth News Fair, West Bend, WI
August 8-9, 2015
Terry Durham will present on growing elderberry for fun and profit. River Hills Harvest ElderBerry Juice products and MEC will share a booth at this event.

July 4, 2015 Elderflower Power Day & Public Plant Sale

Learn about elderflowers by participating in our harvest from 8 am - Noon. Enjoy your own picnic lunch on the farm. You will learn about the traditional uses of elderflowers and make some recipes. Elderberry plants will be available for sale plus a seasonal elderflower / elderberry bonus opportunity. 

Planned activities include: 

  • Harvesting Elderflowers:
    • Determine when flowers are ready to pick
    • Participate in picking and bagging elderflower cymes
    • Separating flowers from cymes
  • Making Elderflower Syrup 
    • The first step in making Elderflower Lemonade

Hosted by:
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop, Jefferson City, MO
June 18-19, 2015 Terry Durham & his Elderberry Team put on the original and most comprehensive workshop about growing elderberry. Keep an eye of riverhillsharvest.com for other events.

Spring Elderberry Workshop, Farm Tour & Plant Sale 

June 6, 2015 from 8am-5pm, free event.
Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative free workshop on growing elderberry and farm tour of some beautifully productive berry fields.

http://berrycommunications.midwest-elderberry.coop/elderberry-cultivation.html 

Event Partners:

Berry Communications, River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC, Sustainable Farming Association, Organic Fruit Growers Association

Sponsored by North Central SARE

Hosted by:

River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
Berry Communications at Natura Farms
19060 Manning Trail N. 
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047


Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative First Annual Members Meeting

9 am - Noon on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 23 Empire St,  St. Paul, MN.  

Elderberry as a Third Crop, Presentation - March 9, 2015

Rural Advantage [http://ruraladvantage.org/], 1243 Lake Avenue Suite 222, Fairmont, MN 56031, 507-238-5449.

Sustainable Farming Association of MN

The 2015 SFA Annual Conference will be Feb. 14, 2015, at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. 

Minnesota Elderberry Festival

Friday - Saturday, August 22-23, 2014, 8:00am - 5:00pm
At Natura Farms, LLC / Berry Communications
19060 Manning Trail N., Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Berry Communications (nursery) Paul Otten: 651-308-3801; pmo@chof.net;
Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative, Natura Farms, LLC, Natural Kick Farms, River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC.
Chris Patton: 612-418-4624  


Minnesota Fruit & Vegetable Growers Assoc. Conference

Thursday - Friday, January 16-17, 2014

St. Cloud Convention Center

On Thursday afternoon at the MFVGA, MEC hosted the University of Missouri’s Patrick Byers, who will speak on the following elderberry related topics:

  • History of the Missouri Elderberry Development project, current emphasis areas, and future directions
  • Elderberry production practices, and how these recommendations may need to be adjusted for northern production areas
  • Development of the industry in Missouri, and the role that growers have played
  • Challenges to further development of the industry in Missouri and elsewhere

Byers-in-field

Patrick Byers

Regional Horticulture Specialist - Southwest Region
Greene County Extension Office, University of Missouri Extension
2400 South Scenic
Springfield, MO 65807
telephone: 
417-881-8909; fax 417-823-4818
email: byerspl@missouri.edu
Greene County Extension website: http://extension.missouri.edu/greene/


Biological Berry Day

Saturday, August 24, 2013, 8:00am - 5:00pm

At Natura Farms, LLC / Berry Communications

19060 Manning Trail N., Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Sponsored by:  

Berry Communications (nursery) Paul Otten: 651-308-3801; pmo@chof.net;
Minnesota Elderberry Cooperative, Natura Farms, LLC, Natural Kick Farms,
River Hills Harvest Marketers, LLC
 

This field day was developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the US Department of Agriculture — National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).

First International Symposium on Elderberry

© Midwest Elderberry Cooperative 2016