Yesterday I was lucky enough to harvested a bounty of fresh elderberries at a family friends house. The only way that I have seen or handled elderberries in my years as an herbalist has been dried, sourced from elsewhere. The dark juice stained my fingers a beautiful deep purple....my mind filled with excitement in anticipation of making some fresh elderberry syrup! Two summers ago in Iowa visiting my Grandpa's old farm I discovered multiple beautiful towering elderberry shrubs (more like trees!). They were bursting with white, delicate, sweetly scented elderflower umbels. Both the elderberry and elderflower are excellent for staying healthy and fighting off the flu virus. Coming up in November at the "Elderberries for Health and Cocktails" class, attendees will learn more about the health benefits of elderberries and will sample various forms of elderflower and elderberry....just not the ripe raw berries, since certain species of elderberry are toxic. Don't worry though, cooking them destroys the compound that makes them inedible in the raw form. Cheers to the elder!