Aug 28

Exploring the Yarrow Elderberry Farm

Just a few minutes outside of the heart of Yarrow on the winding Vedder Mountain Road you’ll find the Jensen’s beautiful property lined with holly plants, fig trees, pear-apple trees and, most importantly, elderberry trees. The Yarrow Elderberry Farm stretches one-acre with rows of elderberry trees, maintained by its passionate, friendly and personable owners, Henning and Jan Jensen.

The property has been in the family since ­­­­1994 but it wasn’t until 19 years ago that the Jensen’s decided to clear out the front acre to turn it into an elderberry farm, dedicated to growing elderflowers in the spring and elderberries in the summer. With so many other berries already being produced by other farmers in the Fraser Valley, Henning was looking for something truly unique to grow; he’s one of only three elderberry farmers in British Columbia!

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Elderberries were not foreign to Henning, as he used to forage for them as a child when he lived in Denmark. Elderberries are more commonly used in Europe to help fight colds and flus, since they are extremely high in antioxidants. Henning mentioned that when he was younger, if there was any sign of a cold or even a sniffle, his mother would turn to elderberry juice to help fight it off. Elderflowers and berries are common in Europe, Eastern Canada and the US where people may have bushes in their yards or can find them wild. Similar to how we in the Fraser Valley pick blackberries!

Henning does the majority of the maintenance of the elderberry farm keeping the trees small and accessible for easier picking. Jan makes homemade jellies, jams and tonics for the family and manages the administrative side of the business. Together they welcome their customers with open arms and smiling faces. Their farm is a popular u-pick destination for families looking for something a little different, and they noted that they have had many repeat customers over the years.

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In May and June the Jensen’s trees are lined with stunning white elderflowers, but these delicate flowers are more than just beauty: they are well known for their flavor! Elderflowers are often used to make cordials, and as flavor in beers, liqueurs, baking, icings, jams, jellies and so much more. They offer a crisp, palate-cleansing finish while still adding a delicate floral taste. The elderflowers grown by the Jensen’s in Yarrow are used by Strange Fellows Brewing, Field House Brewing, Odd Society Spirits, Frostbite Syrups and more. In fact, we’ve put together a cocktail recipe for you to try using Frostbite Syrups and will be sharing the recipe soon! Follow along on our social channels as we continue to share more about the Yarrow Elderberry Farm.

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Elderberries come mid-August through September and hang in black bunches throughout the trees. They have a tarte flavor with their main use being for the health benefits and antioxidants. They are often used as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms. Elderberries can be made into syrups, juices, fruit soups, tonics, wine and even gummy bears! The Jensen’s themselves don’t sell ready made products, but sell to small businesses in the Fraser Valley, Vancouver and Squamish who make products available for purchase.

You can find more information on Yarrow Elderberries on their website, or by simply stopping by for u-pick elderflowers in May and June or u-pick elderberries from mid-August to September, or until they have all been picked.