Joyce and Travis Miller of Falling Bark Farm Hickory Syrup

We are Travis and Joyce Miller of Clarke County, VA. Our retirement project, Falling Bark Farm® (formerly Wildwood’s Hickory Syrup), started out as 48 bottles of our Original Hickory Syrup at the local farmers’ market and has grown into an opportunity to share the fruits of our passion for wildcrafting from the nature of Virginia with the rest of the world. From delicious syrup derived from the bark of local hickory trees to locally-sourced raw honey, we are providing the best of what Mother Nature has to offer.

The Process

Hickory shag bark being harvested by Travis Miller of Falling Bark Farms Hickory Syrup

Photo courtesy of Our Terrain

We prefer to use bark from the shagbark hickory tree, which sheds naturally, so the tree is not harmed in any way. Though we don’t limit ourselves to that particular species, no trees are ever harmed when gathering the bark. We create a blend of our hickory barks, re-purposed bark from dead hickory trees, and bark that has been collected from hickory processing companies.

Once gathered, the bark is scrubbed clean, toasted to enhance the flavor, put through a proprietary extraction process, aged, and filtered, before introducing a minimally refined cane sugar—turbinado—to develop an exquisite taste enjoyed the world over. A hydrometer is used to ensure that the correct sugar-to-extract balance is maintained, providing a consistent flavor from bottle to bottle. Once we have achieved that perfect hickory syrup flavor, each batch is bottled and labeled, waiting either to be delivered to your home or to one of our great local providers.

Health Benefits

For centuries, Native Americans have used hickory bark extract for its healing properties, most notably as a treatment for arthritis. Hickory bark is the highest plant source of magnesium, which is an essential mineral for staying healthy and is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is a macro-mineral, which, unlike trace-minerals (e.g., iodine, copper, zinc, iron, etc.), is needed in large amounts by the body. Multiple health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.