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Field Workshop on Growing and Caring for Elderberries

198 Taylor Road
Greensboro Bend, VT

With its white flowers in the late spring, dark berries in summer, tolerance for a variety of conditions, traditional medicinal and culinary uses, antioxidant and anti-viral properties, elderberry is enjoying a surge of interest.

Vermont (and nearby) farmers, gardeners, landowners, and land managers are invited to learn how to establish and maintain elderberry bushes using organic practices for home or commercial use on August 26 from 2-4 pm. This two-hour workshop at beautiful Thornhill Farm in the rolling high hills of Greensboro, Vermont will provide you with an overview of site preparation, soil fertility and health, weed and pest management and the basics required to grow certified organic berries. We will also have an opportunity to compare the seven different cultivars planted at Thornhill Farm by Todd Hardie, including Coomer and Berry Hill, both given to Todd by elderberry breeder and Vermont horticultural legend, Lewis Hill.  Workshop participants will receive an elderberry cutting to plant at home.

This workshop costs $25 and will be capped at 30 participants.

Register here.

Our presenters are some of the most experienced elderberry growers and processors in the state

Todd Hardie founded Honey Gardens Apiaries and Caledonia Spirits, both of which use elderberry in their products. He currently farms at Thornhill Farm, where he grows 7 cultivars of elder on 2+ acres, including Lewis Hill’s cultivars Berry Hill and Coomer. Winter rye, barley, Mangalista and registered Tamworth pigs are also grown on the farm.

John Hayden grows and processes elderberry with his wife, Nancy. Together they run The Farm Between, a certified organic fruit nursery and farm in Jeffersonville and make syrups with elderberry.

David Fried is a certified horticulturalist with over 33 years researching and growing cold-hardy varieties suited to Vermont’s climate. His nursery, Elmore Roots, carries seven varieties of elderberries that will thrive in Vermont.

Nicole Dehne, Certification Director of NOFA-VT for Vermont Organic Farmers, will also be available to answer questions about organic certification

For more information about the cultivation of elderberries, see the resources on the Center’s website here.  The Center’s research into elderberry as a commercially viable crop is funded by the Working Lands Enterprise Board and the Northern Community Investment Corporation.

Individuals requesting a disability-related accommodation to participate in this workshop should contact Cheryl Herrick at 802-656-5459 or by August 1, 2016 so we may assist you.

Established in 1994, the UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture provides timely information to Vermont communities and the UVM campus.  Center staff conduct innovative research, support the development of promising practices, cultivates partnership, and inform policy to advance sustainable food and farming systems


University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.