Here on the homestead, we love St. Germain in our summer cocktails, but it sure is pricey. Why not make our own? That's reasonable, right? We could make our own elderflower liqueur AND harvest tasty berries that have more vitamin C than oranges!*

Well, we planted bare root elderberry starts two years ago, but apparently the deer work for the local liquor store. Sigh. Well, this year we are building a higher fence in hope that the plants will finally bush out and give us lots of flowers and berries to play around with. Before any of that is possible though, we had to clean out the mess that is the elderberry bed.

  See that long row of twisted up fencing and weeds? Yup, that's our elderberry bed.

See that long row of twisted up fencing and weeds? Yup, that's our elderberry bed.

  Fencing torn out. Weeds, random wood chunks, and other such nonsense raked out.

Fencing torn out. Weeds, random wood chunks, and other such nonsense raked out.

  Hauling the debris to the compost pile.

Hauling the debris to the compost pile.

  Our youngest gardener shoveling mulch into buckets destined for the bed.

Our youngest gardener shoveling mulch into buckets destined for the bed.

  All mulched up. Posts getting hammered into the (painfully) rock-filled ground.

All mulched up. Posts getting hammered into the (painfully) rock-filled ground.

  Now, we wait.

Now, we wait.

*11/18/14 LATE ADDITION: I wrote this post in the early spring and have since learned more about the health benefits of elderberries from a friend that knows A LOT about natural remedies (Thanks, Tory!). Now, my original post almost seems frivolous, focusing on the liqueur instead of what I now know to be great benefits of making a syrup with the berries themselves. I'm glad we have a big bed going, because I want my cake AND I want to eat drink it, too.

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