Thursday, September 16, 2010

Elderberries and butterflies

Elderberries! Fully ripe and ready to harvest. It is a true sign of late summer when it is elderberry time.  We gathered these to store as well as make a special syrup for keeping away any winter colds. It is been used by many generations as a folk remedy and we both love it. Another great attribute of this plant/shrub is that it is native to us and grows wild in the right settings. Meadows, damp areas with lots of sun. In the early spring you can collect the the flowers which are great for fevers.  Casey is in waist deep gathering the tiny little berries. The goldenrod was just starting to bloom, making it an especailly bright day to harvest. The funny part was that we were feeling like we needed to get back to the farm to get more work done and convinced ourselves we needed some more wild time in the woods. As we drove through this open area we discovered the elder ready to be harvested. It was quiet a productive afternoon!

We are honored to have these wonderful monarch catepillars munch their ways on our milkweed plants. A few weeks later we were watching them pollinate all the beautiful flowers blooming on the farm. There have been thousands of butterflies, bees, birds and more insects visit us and it is magical to be surrounded by them all and the powerful plants we have grown.