Elderflower lemonade arrives at the Farmers Market


July 29, 2022

Gail Olson

Darla Van Heerde first clips the flower heads and removes the florets from the elderberry stems. Next, she steeps the flowers and squeezes a lot of fresh lemons to make her popular elderflower lemonade.

People who shop regularly at farmers markets know there is a seasonal rhythm to local produce. Rhubarb and spring radishes are best in June. Cucumbers, garlic scapes, peas and strawberries arrive in July. And so does Darla Van Heerde's elderflower lemonade and non-alcoholic cordial.

Darla Van Heerde is also known as "Pants Mary," in honor of the Esko woman who once owned her land and apparently decided that 19th-century dresses were not convenient for logging and farm work. Darla continued Mary's farming tradition and also improved the landscape by turning a drainage channel into a wildlif...

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