elderberry, elderflower, and everything in between
Brian, we have the Yorks, very easy to pick. Two very good methods are knocking them off on the sides of a bucket OR putting a baking cooling rack over the top of a bucket and scraping the berries over the wire rack gently, if you do either of these gently you will leave the unripe berries still attached to the stems. Its much faster then a comb or hand picking and a lot less stems than freezing them and knocking them off. The washer wheels would smush the ripe berries and pull the green ones off.
We even got videos to help at out farms website at http://www.oatmealjack.com/Elderberries/Elderberries.html.
I have a York elderberry. The berries a immeasurably larger than Adams or those generally found in the wild. They are not quite as black in color. What might be a problem for mechanical harvesting is they are more delicate than other varieties. They crush easier and bleed more during destemming. Aside from that, for the home gardener, I highly recommend York. One bush produced nearly a full paper grocery bag of berries in year 4 after planting. with no fertilizing after planting, no watering and no weeding.
We have Yorks to, they pop right off when ripe using the baking screen, float off the unripe berries and little twigs that make it through the screen and off you go with clean cool berries. CC