When I first started Dr. Appleseed's Elderberry Extracts 5 years ago, everything from picking to packing was done by myself, and exclusively sold at farmer's markets. My mission was to improve the wild populations of native pollinator plants while making the highest quality elderberry immune support supplement available. So much has changed since then, but the mission stays the same.
Now we've got multiple long-term team members. We're stocked in markets, herb stores, and private practices. We've got an ever growing set of products, and people all over seem to be paying more attention to elderberry as something worthy of their time and money. To ensure we're continually making good on our mission we've been developing relationships with farmers in California and Oregon to provide fresh organic berries for our newer products. This is really exciting!
Not only are we partnering with organic farmers to grow black elderberry for us, we've linked up with farmers participating in a UC Davis study on blue elderberry check out the studies here. There are farms in the Sacramento valley that have planted native pollinator hedgerows to bring beneficial insects to their fields and provide habitat for them. We’ve been able to harvest from those new pollinator corridors. It doesn't stop there though! We're currently in the middle of the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) application process to have certified organic elderberry syrups. CCOF is the oldest organic certification body in the US. Check out their website here.
Are the wild products organic? This is a common question. Our wild products, harvested by hand from properties across the west coast, are not actively managed by humans and are not certified organic. We make sure that none of the areas we harvest from have been sprayed or treated with any type of pesticide, and develop relationships with the land owners.
We do all of this in order to continue growing our wild populations of native elderberry, teach classes to keep the knowledge alive, and keep making the best elderberry products available for purchase. If you want to stay up-to-date on everything we've got going on, join our mailing list here.