Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Dealing with Drosophila on Elderberries

Elderberry flowers

Elderberry flowers

September 19, 2019

If your elderberries dropped to the ground before the entire panicle of fruits was ripe, they may have been attacked by the spotted wing drosophila (SWD). In their new book, “Farming on the Wild Side,” Nancy and John Hayden of The Farm Between in northern Vermont discuss how they are addressing this pest. They have shifted to picking and selling elderberry flowers (for cordials and other products) as one alternative, and for fruits, they pick the ripe portions every few days to try to keep ahead of the pest. They have also planted several varieties of elderberries and try to harvest early-bearing varieties before SWD populations are too high.

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