Three Experiences That Made Our First Year Special

Carmel Berry Company is now 1 year old! We’ve had a busy and successful year, which included a unique blend of milestones, which involved learning, planting, growing, and giving back. It involved a lot of work in the field, at farmer’s markets, and in the kitchen!

The Corner of My Kitchen

Under the Cottage Food Act, I hold a permit to produce all of Carmel Berry Co’s products in my home kitchen.  I love this for many reasons, but one of the most personal reasons is that I get to cook and create next to the wall shown in this photo. Those wooden gadgets...

In the beginning….there were only little sticks!

Two years ago we started our elderberry patch with hardwood cuttings.  In the photo below, you see my littlest helper, pushing these little twigs into the soil.  The next photo shows just how big they’ve grown (that’s my other helper working on the fence).  So much...

Why Elderberries?

Why elderberries?  That is the question that we hear the most when describing what our company produces!  The answer lies in preschool germs.  When our children were toddlers, we seemed to catch every cold that came through.  Sick of being sick and dedicated to...

Three Experiences That Made Our First Year Special

Carmel Berry Company is now 1 year old!  We’ve had a busy and successful year full of learning, planting, growing, and giving back.  It involved a lot of work in the field and in the kitchen!

Yep, this was a busy, hands-on year — building our knowledge, skills and production levels.  Here is a sampling of our accomplishments by our first birthday:

Katie graduated from an Organic Farming Program through Alba Agriculture and Land-based training Association.  She learned so much and is incredibly grateful for her excellent mentors and fellow farming students.  We grew our own elderberries and flowers, wild-harvested even more, and sourced the rest from a small farm in Missouri (pictured below).  Ben built a net system to keep the birds away and a de-stemming apparatus for the elderberries.  Katie handed out lots of samples, built partnerships with local farmers to begin growing elderberries, and introduced Carmel Berry Company’s products into restaurants and boutique stores in California.  In addition, we shared our love of gardening with our kids and tried to make our business as sustainable as possible.  And when the wild fires grew larger in California, we got personally involved — visiting and supporting the firefighters and helping our neighbors. Now through December, Carmel Berry Company is donating a portion of all sales to the Community Foundation’s Soberanes Fire Fund.


Here are 3 memorable experiences from this year:

  1. Planting everything from purple green beans to purple onions while studying organic agriculture.

  2. Meeting and swapping trade tips, inspiration, and recipes with other elderberry lovers and growers, while attending an Elderberry Conference on a small elderberry farm in Missouri (photo below).  We even sourced elderberries from this farm for use in our Elderberry Syrup.

  3. Being part of our community — from supporting our fellow local businesses to rallying with our community during the  wild fire.

    And we are thrilled to share with you that…

Mini Bottles are now on the shelves!

Perfect for carry-on luggage, stocking stuffers, 

and gifts for hosts and friends!  

We are so very grateful for your support, your enthusiasm, and your encouragement!  We hope to bring you products of the highest quality for many years to come.

To your health and happiness!

Katie and Ben

Get even more ideas!

We’ll send you easy recipes, health tips, and more

elderberry resources that we only share in email!

Yes, please!

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