A native crop in Oklahoma is getting a renewed purpose through the vision of one farmer. Brent Madding of Webbers Falls is taking native elderberry plants and making the most of them on his farm. He recently discussed the benefits of elderberries with visitors (above) at his display at Ag Day in the Oklahoma state capitol rotunda.
Elderberries have graced the land around his community for many years. Madding researched the plants and their benefits and has become an expert on the elderberry bushes as well as the elderflower. Elderberries have many reported health benefits including being antioxidants which help lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and help with coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections.
Madding, along with his wife, Valerie, is continually researching potential markets for the berries and their value-added products. He named his place the 360 OK Farms to denote his life coming full circle from leaving the family farm at a young age to returning to it in retirement. Madding's passion is education regarding elderberries. You can tour 360 OK Farms by making an appointment. The farm features more than 7,000 plants as well as a nursery where visitors can purchase elderberry plants. The crop is typically harvested in August each year. The farm currently offers several products including dried elderberries, dried elderflower and a tea blend of the two.
To schedule a tour or for more information about 360 OK Farms, visit www.360okfarms.com
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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