We often look at harvesting as autumn pass time. Laying down goods for winter.
To me this is a lot less important in the temperate location I live as there is regular growth in all but the worst of mid winter and even then greens are available, but there are times during the whole year when a particular food comes around.
Some like asparagus are enjoyed as part of the cycle some like mushrooms are both enjoyed and stored for the rest of the year.
Elderflowers are one of these. They are only around for a short period of time but to me they are well worth putting down a store of for as long as they last.
I have a number of sources but there is one in our court that I get to and hit pretty hard in the flower season knowing that this will impact on the berries I get. I do this as my experience is that this one tree is flogged by the birds and few elderberries are left for me to pick. My source of elderberries is up country and well worth the trip to collect them when I need to get them.
Elder has some great properties. The flowers and berries when properly prepared have antiviral properties and this year I had elderberry syrup each day over winter and avoided the usual bout of illness.
So the first batch of the season went straight into the dryer. Elderflower fresh or dried with a little honey makes a great tea and if you are feeling a bit like something is coming on it is seems to help to avoid it turning into something serious. This will keep me going till the berries are out and I can make up a new batch of elderberry syrup.
The second batch I will pick tomorrow morning and make 4 -5 litres of elderflower cordial. Then onto the good stuff the champagne J
All through the season this year I will really be focusing in on these little harvests getting the larder ready and keeping things stocked. Each year I try to get a bit further off the stupid go round and this is great example of that.
Elder flowers are also easy to find in most places so start to have a look around and learn to identify them from a good resource. Start to work out where your own larder and medicine cabinet are to be found before you actually need them.
Good luck foraging.