[Market-farming] Berries

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Wed Nov 2 07:57:20 EDT 2016


OSU Extension here in Ohio have been pushing all “Super Berries.”  Have you made it to any of their field nights down at Piketon?

We are moving towards value added with a huge chink of our farm which means vinegar and wine.  We’ve been planting elderberries like mad as they are polar vortex proof and about as simple as it come in terms of management other than netting.

We are planting them and pawpaws along the bottom of our slopes where the frost sits.  We have put in about 450 grapevines and we terminate each row of grapes right about he frost sump created by the slopes of the property.  Below this line go the elderberries capped off by a single pawpaw (transplanted 2-year bare-root stock so it can take full sun and grow like full-sized apple trees).

Till now we simply harvested our wild-elderberries (about 3 acres total) but started just harvesting flowers only fro brewers and chefs as the we fought too much with mother nature to pull in a decent crop.

Each year we mow them back.  Fruit grows on 1st year growth (unless you are sourcing European cultivars).  Our goal is wine and vinegar.  We’ve made both from elderberry and are happy with the results.


We are only into year two of raising cultivated elderberry.  Looking at our plot right it does’ look like much: 24 short rows of 8 plants each.  We will start netting year-three.  Nothing but light weight not on T-posts.  Each T-post is capped with three way PVC union to allow the net to slide over.  Remove net and the end of season, bushing plants the shrubs don’t get any higher that 6-7’.

Elderberry is one of the perfect berries for Ohio I think.

Don’t know squat about blackberries.  I think Goji Berries are a fad and look to be a pain in terms of harvest and growth (I could be wrong).  

I am considering black currants.  Anyone have thoughts on currants?

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

A Chefs’ Collaborative Member 

(513) 967-1106
rstewart at zoomtown.com

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