Growers

Welcome Growers 

As a part of the River Hills Harvest family of growers, you can be assured of maximum support for your efforts, and answers to your questions. Our collaboration with University Extension Research folks keeps us up-to-date on the latest ways to be successful growing elderberries. We host mentoring workshops, an annual beginner's workshop and the Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop, so you can get together and learn, from the experts and from each other. Thanks for being a part of our team.

NEW Grow Elderberries
Online Courses
Available October 30th, 2021
WWW.GROWELDERBERRIES.COM

Now Taking Pre-Orders for Cuttings

pre orders for cuttings are now open on our shop page
cuttings will ship beginning in January 2022 through mid-April

Grower Resources
Products and Announcements

Online Grower Classes

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Growing, Harvesting, Processing & Marketing!

Learn to grow American Elderberries from Terry Durham - a successful Elderberry entrepreneur!

Terry Durham has been growing, teaching and sharing the joy of elderberries for over two decades. Terry is owner of River Hills Harvest, an elderberry brand which takes elderberries and turns them into a line of products. Through the River Hills Harvest brand Terry aggregates elderberries from growers across the Midwest. River Hills Harvest products are made from 100% Pure Premium Elderberry Juice. Terry supports local farmers and processors to grow the American elderberry industry. Terry is an educator and often speaks at Mother Earth News Fairs and many other conferences in the U.S.

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Grow A Profitable Farm

Grow a profitable business growing American Elderberries. Build a business and livelihood around American Elderberry production. Begin yielding considerably within the first few years.

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With Regenerative Practices

Increase the biodiversity of your farm, create wildlife habitat, increase beneficial pollinators, slow run-off, build soil and create the health and wealth you have been looking for.

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Creating Healthy Communities

Elderberry is a highly medicinal and beneficial plant. When grown locally this plant can bring health to people and the planet.

Grower Products

T.E.D

Terry's

Elderberry Destemmer




Phone Orders Only

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RESOURCES FOR NEW GROWERS

The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry

 has authored a guide to growing and marketing elderberries in Missouri 

The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry

 has developed a tool to assist with elderberry establishment and management decisions 

Grower FAQ

Where do Elderberries grow?


Elderberry has the widest range of all small fruits in North America. It is known to grow from northern Quebec, Canada to South America. Elderberry is native to eastern North America. The American elderberry, Sambucus canadensis, typically grows in riparian areas as a bush. European elderberry, Sambucus nigra, typically grows as a small tree.




How big will my elderberry bushes get? How long will they live?


Elderberries will grow to be 10 feet tall in northern regions and as tall as 15 feet in southern regions of the United States. Longevity records for canadensis have not been kept long enough to know for certain, but the European elderberry plant can live 25 years. It is believed canadensis lifespan will be similar in length.




What types of soil and locations are best for elderberry plantings?


Elderberry prefers a heavy soil that is high in organic material, with an ideal pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Plants prefer ample moisture and can thrive even under poor drainage conditions. Bottomland is ideal, but adequately irrigated uplands also sustain elderberries. The plants can sustain short periods of flooding. The plants can grow in swamps and bogs, and do well in transition zones between wetlands and upland areas. Production will be maximized in areas that receive full sun.




How are elderberries reproduced?


Elderberries can be grown from seeds, cuttings, suckers, or rhizomes, but the easiest plantings are established with dormant hardwood cuttings and will produce a crop in the second year. Plantings established from seed will take 3-4 years to produce a crop.




Can I propagate my own elderberries?


Yes, from dormant hardwood cuttings. It is best to take cuttings from plants that are at least two years old. Cuttings should be six-to- eight inches long and contain three-to- five buds each.




When should I plant elderberries?


Place cuttings in growing medium in late January or February to be ready to plant in spring. Plants may be set in ground from early spring to June, but late plantings will have little growth the first year. A single cultivar will give good pollination for adequate production. Pollination usually occurs by wind while insects play a minor role. Browsing by deer can decrease production significantly. Birds and small animals are also attracted to the elderberry fruit. In Missouri, full flowering occurs in mid-June. Production will increase rapidly the first three years.





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Planting Instructions

For thorough instructions on the planting, care, and keeping of elderberry plants checkout our Planting Instructions document

Video - Presentations - Articles

An elderberry wine making class

from the University of Missouri

From The University of Missouri Extension - CAFNER

"Elderberry: A Rapidly Growing Specialty

 Crop in the U.S. Midwest"

From North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education

Elderberry Research & Production

by Patrick Byers & Andrew Thomas

Growing & Marketing Elderberries in Missouri

by Patrick Byers, Andrew Thomas, Mihaela Cernusca, Larry Godsey & Michael Gold

Preserve It Fresh, Preserve It Safe

Adapted from the University of MO Extension & University of KY Cooperative Extension Services

Elderflower Production and Cyanide Concern

by Andrew Thomas

Elderberry Showcase

by Linda Geist

Elderberry Rust Defoliating Plants

University of Missouri Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Department

Plant Bugs Damaging Elderberries

University of Missouri Integrated Pest Management

From The Midwest Elderberry Cooperative Page:

The Little Berry That Could

by Christopher J Patton

Why Elderberries, Why Now

by Katie Reneker

How to Sell a Growing Elderberry Harvest

by Christopher J Patton