Oklahoma couple develop elderberry-based wine business in Muskogee County

MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Oklahoma. – Brent Madding spends his retirement years building a business based on elderberries.

“What we are growing here is a species of elderberry called the American Black Elder – Sambucus Canadensis.”

Raised in southern Muskogee County, Brent left that part of the state at the age of 18.

“In 1976, I ran away to get away from it all,” Brent says.

However, 11 years ago, he wanted to return to the land that has belonged to his family for generations.

“It means my life has come full circle,” he says. “360 degrees.”

Brent and his wife Valerie now run 360 Farms with a focus on the health benefits of elderberries. Used for centuries in Europe but forgotten here in the United States Hippocrates, the father of medicine, called elderberries “nature’s medicine cabinet”.

Photos: Oklahoma couple grow elderberry-based wine business in Muskogee County

“(They’re) extremely high in vitamins and minerals, but the main thing that a lot of people are looking for are antioxidant levels,” Brent explains.

Brent said some of the best are from Oklahoma.

“The genetic diversity of elderberries in Oklahoma is enormous,” he says. “We have some of the best varieties that exist here in the wild.”

2 Oklahoma News

Brent Madding and his wife Valerie run 360 Farms with a focus on the health benefits of elderberries and recently started their own wine business.

360 Farms makes and sells teas, tonics, vinegars, soap, and skin care products at a rural store outside of Webbers Falls and online. All the products are based on elderberry and elderflower which, according to Valérie, are good for the skin.

“I had grown up with my grandmother using different herbs as remedies for problems that might arise with us children,” she says.

Three years ago, they got bigger and launched The Elderberry Wine Company, their largest business to date.

“We have elderberry wine, elderberry wine, then we have a sweet rosé which is a combination of both elderberry and elderflower”, explains Valérie.

The three different wines have three different tastes.

“[The elderberry wine is] something between a port and a cabernet, ”she says.

“The rosé is really fruity and pleasant.”

Screenshot 03-08-21 at 4:10 p.m.png

2 Oklahoma News

Brent Madding and his wife Valerie run 360 Farms with a focus on the health benefits of elderberries and recently started their own wine business.

There is also the Elderflower wine.

“It must be said that it’s a bit like a dessert wine. It’s really super sweet,” she says.

Even though 360 Farms enlists other local farmers to help them grow elderberries, limited availability and resources limit capacity to around 600 cases of wine per year.

“[I’m often asked] what do you use as harvesting material? And my answer is always this: my left hand and my right hand, ”Brent said.

It’s a lot of work, but these two Oklahoma residents living their dreams in rural Muskogee County are positively Oklahoma.

“I started this with the idea that this would be my retirement,” Brent said. “And I have never worked so hard in my whole life!”


Want positive news in your email every Friday? SIGN UP for our Positively Oklahoma newsletter.

For More Positively Oklahoma Stories Visit Our Website

Join our Positively Oklahoma Facebook group to submit your photos of great things you see across the state.


Source link

Comments are closed.