Good for making syrup and smoking, this bark is surprisingly fragrant and will impart unique, woodsy flavors to your food. To make the syrup, simmer the bark in a large pot of water for several minutes. Avoid boiling the bark as it will bring out an unpleasant bitterness. Once the tea is dark and fragrant, remove the bark, add sugar and boil until a syrup-like texture is achieved (or until it reaches 219 degrees F). Use the bark in place of hickory chips for smoking meats, cheeses, salts, etc...
Outer bark pieces from the Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) that have been scrubbed, oven-toasted, and chunked up. Shagbark Hickories
have loose and shaggy bark that naturally splits away from the tree in layers. When harvesting, the bark is taken sparingly from each tree- with several trees being visited to lessen the impact of its collection. Done this way, the tree is left alive with multiple intact layers of bark remaining.
NatureCraft Farm provides a taste of what the Midwestern-wild has to offer. Whether it is from the wooded slopes, fertile river bottoms, or the restored prairies there is a number of delicious species to choose from. Sustainability and land stewardship are at the front of my mind and always influence my foraging decisions. Increasing natives while managing invasive species is my primary mission. Help me help the land by removing invasive species and introducing them to your kitchen!
My foraging story started twelve years ago when I received a Peterson field guide on wild edible plants of the central and eastern US. As a young boy I was fascinated by all the plants and their illustrations. Dandelions gained a magical quality once I learned they could be made into coffee, tea, and even wine. Shepard's purse was no longer a random weed- but instead a snack that could be found along the garden's edge. My love for nature has only grown, and since then I have branched into eating several more species, especially those in the fungal kingdom, and continue to learn about nature's bounty.
Along with wild foods I will occasionally have heirloom produce to sell. Flour corn, eggplant, peppers, and other odds and ends can be expected.
-So join me in appreciating the wild and cultivated foods of the Midwest!