elderberries in bloom

the compost pile doesn’t smell good at all. a giant mass of rotten clementines that is buried deep inside of it is constantly emitting its fetid juice.  combine this with the pockets of putrid brew waste and you have a pretty funky smell.  we have learned a lot about working with brew waste in the less than a year we have been picking it up from the brewery, and one of the most important lessons is that you have to mix it really well with leaves or other carbon sources.  if you don’t mix it well it just sits and stinks.  too bad we have a whole lot we didn’t mix well that now we have to uncover and mix, and has been sitting and rotting.

as though i knew how stinky the compost pile would be – we had the great foresight to plant flowers on the berm which have great smells – starting with the roses which are just finishing up and are setting nice hips, and now starting with the elder flowers which are starting to smell absolutely amazing.  it helps to cover up the smell, like a giant incense stick.

elder flowers

elder is better known for its berries – which are certainly awesome – but the elder flowers are also useful.  i’ve got some big plans for the elder flowers this year – fried flowers, elder flower infused mead, and elder cordial.  of course the only thing better in my mind than cultivated food is wild food, and while out on a walk of the neighborhood last night i found a stand of wild elder flowers that i was able to gather from.  i’ll keep you posted.  though posts maybe a while as i need to get a new camera – as mine finally died.  if anyone could recommend a good camera that would be very helpful.

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