Because elderberry is relatively easy to cultivate, and can tolerate short-term flooding and the variable precipitation predicted with climate change, it may represent a good crop for farmers and landowners for diversifying income. However, as a perennial crop that takes at least three years to get established, interested growers need good information to evaluate the prospective return on investment for their enterprise. That is where this project came in.
With its white flowers in the late spring, dark berries in summer, tolerance for a variety of conditions, and anti-oxidant and anti-viral properties, elderberry is enjoying a surge of interest.
Are elderberries the right enterprise for your farm?
We have created an Elderberry Financial Decision Support Tool (Excel file download) to help growers decide if an Elderberry Enterprise makes sense for them.
The UVM Elderberry Enterprise Financial Decision Tool is a spreadsheet in Excel (© Microsoft Corporation) designed to assist with evaluating the financial implications of establishment and management of elderberry. This model allows you to input your number of bushes planted, yield per bush, and income and expenses related to establishment, management, harvesting and marketing to determine your potential economic return for your given scenario.
The Elderberry Enterprise Financial Analysis tab has been formatted to provide a printable cash flow projection including a capital cost (establishment) budget that can be used as part of your business plan.
Download the Growing Elderberries Guide
Horticultural Information and Production Guides
- Growing and Marketing Elderberries in Missouri 2012 (PDF file on Missouri State Extension webpages)
- Elderberry: Botany, Horticulture, and Potential as a Food and Medicinal Crop (PDF file in the USDA National Agricultural Library digital collection)
- Le Sureau Du Canada: Guide de Production sous regie biologique (PDF file, in French)
- Elderberry Propagation (PDF file from Patrick Byers at University of Missouri Extension)
- Elderberry and Beyond: New Options for River Lands in the Northeast (PDF file from the Cornell Small Farms Program)
- University of Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower Webpages
- New England Small Fruit Management Guide: Managing Diseases, Insects and Weeds in Small Fruit Crops.
- Cornell University's Spotted Wing Drosophila
- Oregon State University Extension Protecting Garden Fruits from Spotted Wing Drosophila
Recent Elderberry Conference and Workshop Proceedings
2016 NOFA-VT Winter Conference Intensive Handouts
- Growing & Marketing Elderberry & Aronia (PDF download)
- The First International Symposium on Elderberry, Proceedings (link to PDF)
- NOFA-VT 2015 Case Study: Elderberry at Three Springs Farm (PDF download)
2016 Elderberry Cultivation Workshop
- Organic Practices for Elderberry Production, prepared by NOFA-VT and the Center for Sustainable Ag. (PDF download)
Interested in knowing more about the Center's work or do you have a question we haven't answered here? Contact us via email or 802-656-5459 and we'll do our best to help.