P80929KThere were barely enough blue elderberries left this late in the season for the blue elderberry jelly that should have won the blue ribbon at the Harvest Festival. It’s a long story.
After the main supplier of blue elderberries was removed to widen the driveway that it was next to many years ago, I started collecting blue elderberries from other wild shrubs on roadsides about town. At the time, the berries were very abundant. No one else was collecting them, and the doves did not come down to eat them until later in the season.
A friend eventually asked me why I was collecting the berries. I informed him that they could be used just like the black elderberries that grow wild in Eastern North American and Europe. He decided to make wine and booze with them, and payed others for whatever they could harvest. The berries were much more scarce the following season, not because they had been any less prolific, but because others were collecting them as quickly as they ripened. They became comparably scarce elsewhere as well, seemingly since the blue elderberry jelly started winning second place annually at the Harvest Festival. https://tonytomeo.com/2017/10/01/blue-ribbon/
This year, the elderberries were collected faster than I could get them. Even the berries at work that were out of reach of those collecting berries closer to town were taken by the doves who arrived early, and could not get enough to eat around town. Some of my friends insisted that they could find berries for me, but by the time I asked one of the them to do so, it was just too late in the season. She found barely enough for the two half pints of jelly needed to enter into the competition at the Harvest Festival. I was pleased with that much. It would have been all that I needed for my blue ribbon. However . . .
The Jelly and Jam Competition at the Santa Cruz Mountains Harvest Festival was canceled for this year!
That too is a long story. There are not enough entries to make it worth the bother. A few years ago, there were only seven entries, and five were mine (which makes my ‘temporary’ lack of a blue ribbon even more embarrassing)! The competition will resume next year, and it will get more publicity. The Santa Cruz Mountains Harvest Festival is happening right now (until 6:30 this evening), but without the Jelly and Jam Competition.
For now, I made only one pint of elderberry syrup.


15 thoughts on “Not Enough Blue

    1. My elderberry jelly is always just plain elderberry. However, because it lacks pectin, and I need to add pectin concentrate from other fruit. I have considered mixing elderberry with crabapple or quince. I never learned to cook, and do not know what flavors go together, so would need to consult with someone who knows of such things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think cheer would be good never because of cost. I think I use apple, grape, I would delete about a cup of elderberry and added most any fruit in it place. Still need the pectin. We enjoy the jelly.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is not for pancakes. It is medicinal. One of my colleagues believes that it is an excellent remedy for colds and such. It seems to me that a table spoon full of elderberry syrup is no better than toast with a generous two table spoon fulls of jelly on it. He likes the syrup though. I will not argue. I am pleased that he likes it. I would probably sweeten herbal tea with it when I get sick.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on Tony Tomeo and commented:

    This is the second year that I will not compete in the Jam & Jelly Competition of the Santa Cruz Mountains Harvest Festival. The Festival was canceled last years because of the ‘situation’. I simply do not have enough time for it this year.


    1. I should be pleased that more people are discovering the elderberries. I really should grow more here or in my own gardens. There are probably plenty here if I cultivated them better.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s