Elderberry In New Zealand - Where You Can Find It And How To Harvest It
Elderberry is common in many parts of New Zealand. You may recognise elderberry trees around your area, whether in wild places or simply in your neighbour's backyard. They are much more common in the South Island and are considered a noxious weed.
We wild harvest elderberries from the Taieri plains, which are just on the outskirts of Dunedin and slightly more sheltered from the coastal conditions. This is a hot spot for wild elderberry trees! Harvesting elderberries is a time-consuming job - selectively picking, de-stemming, then processing and production but it is so worth it for the huge benefits this plant gives us.
The benefits of elderberry
When are elderberries ready to pick?
Typically, elderberry is ready to harvest in late New Zealand summer, and we often see an abundance of elderberry growing on the roadside. However, we never wild harvest close to roads as road pollution can contaminate the berries. But seeing all the berries is still pretty magical.
How to harvest elderberries
A great way to process elderberries is to rub a cluster of berries over a cooling rack. But if you only have a small amount of berries to process, then using your fingers or a fork to remove them is perfectly fine.