Dr. Appleseed's has gone organic!
After hundreds of hours of forms, documentation paperwork, training videos, filing requirements, and inspections we officially have a new line of CCOF certified organic elderberry goodness! This means that all the ingredients in our black elderberry extracts, syrups, and upcoming shrubs are certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers for soil quality, pest control, and weed control standards. With the focus on use of renewable resources, conservation of soil and water, and more strict limitations on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, we can ensure the commercially cultivated black elderberries are of the highest quality, always supporting our pollinators. Beyond the ingredients, it certifies that our production equipment, production practices, waste management, and cleaners comply with organic standards. Same hand-made batches, same love and care in every bottle, with compostable and upcycled shipping materials.
Rehabilitation and preservation of native habitat is still the keystone of our business so native wild blue elderberry harvest and plantings will continue, of course. As we discussed in a previous blog post, Fresh Elderberries: Wild and Organic -- the addition of organic black elderberry syrup, and shrub is our way to get more elderberry support to more people. As we’ve taken a step towards organic, we’ve also embraced small farmers, local crops, and seasonal harvests to bring exceptional ingredients into our new organic products. Dr. Morse, accustomed to foraging elderberries from the mountains, found the highest quality organic black elderberry to make pure extracts, shrubs with rosehips, and mulled elderberry syrup. UC Davis is conducting ongoing research on native blue elderberry as a hedgerow plant to improve pollinator habitat on commercial farms. According to their research “Restoring hedgerows, or other field edge plantings, to provide habitat for bees and other beneficial insects on farms is needed to sustain global food production in intensive agricultural systems.”
Local sourcing is a big deal for us. Even more than a way to ensure quality, for us it is about being community members, reducing shipping waste, fuel consumption, and supporting local jobs. At every step of growth, Dr. Morse attempts to find a way to implement sustainable and fair business practices for mother earth and her tenders (the pollinators, the people, all the creatures, and the watersheds.) We’re all connected, and we are holding this truth in our minds and our hearts, Dr. Appleseed’s is trying to tend creatures big and small while keeping the Earth and ecosystems at the center, encouraging pollinator plants and elderberry groves to be planted both for wild landscapes and organic agricultural landscapes. Since the beginning we have been direct planting native elderberry plants, a key pollinator and forage source. Going with the power of nature and planting bioregional native plants, like blue and American elderberry reduces the need for sprays and healthy plants mean healthy harvests and healthy soils.