Here is a photo of a few of our new Elderberry bush cuttings. We're expanding!
We are so encouraged by everyone's feedback on Elderberry Apple Shots, we are planting more. They are very small right now, but they grow quickly -- like weeds really.
We had the option to BUY more berries from someone else. Ship them in, pop a few pallets in the freezer, done. Most food processors do this. It's an economical move, it saves time, it is a more comfortable job. Growing things means working in the rain, in the snow, in the heat, and straining oneself in general. And growing is a low-paying job. Why do it if it's not necessary?
We feel strongly that growing is THE PLACE TO BE. Without growing all, or most, or some of our ingredients, we are rootless and un-informed. We definitely don't make as much of a profit by growing our ingredients (like I said, growing things doesn't pay much), but we make a HIGH quality product. We KNOW what is inside that bottle like no one else. We've picked the bugs off the bushes, we've fixed the tractor when it's pouring rain, we've trudged through 3' high snow drifts. We take all the regulatory classes, we document every step of the way for the inspectors, we taste and taste and make sure our quality is the best. Contracting these jobs out to other companies might be smart economically, but it's not for us.
And sure, we don't drive the trucks to deliver these to your door, and we can't be experts in absolutely everything, but we feel that growing is important. So we're growing more.