Fireflies or lightning bugs – take your pick of the name – have interested me since childhood. I know many of you probably have memories of chasing fireflies in the early evening. It reminds me of time spent at my grandparents’ house literally over the hill from my childhood home.
Oklahoma’s Home-Grown Elderberry Experts
The workshop is full. To be put on a waiting list, call the Kerr Center at 918.647.9123.
One of the nation’s largest elderberry nurseries is located right here in Oklahoma, on Brent and Valerie Madding’s 360 OK Farm outside Webbers Falls. The couple raise and breed elderberry plants, filling orders ranging in size from single plants to thousands.
They also market dried berries and flowers, as well as teas made from those products. For four years now, they’ve developed their farm business, focusing on finding and improving elderberry varieties that perform best in Oklahoma.
On September 26, Brent Madding will share lessons from that experience at the Kerr Center’s elderberry workshop.
Madding will be joined by leaders in elderberry research and production from throughout the region. Their combined expertise will give workshop participants a leg up on diversifying into this promising crop.
In addition to technical and marketing presentations by regional specialists, the program will feature commercial elderberry growers – Madding from Oklahoma, and others from Arkansas – with very different approaches to production and marketing. These farmer presenters will provide examples of wholesale coop marketing, up-pick, value-added production, and nursery sales.
The workshop will cover variety selection, propagation, establishment, production, harvest, marketing, and uses for this perennial native plant. It includes both classroom presentations and a field tour of the Kerr Center’s elderberry plantings.