Hi Jeff and Boofer, I did harvest the bark off trees in the forest that surrounds us mostly from fallen trees and some from living trees. (it will not impact their health, I only took outer layers). I did not steam or boil the bark at all. my thinking is this: the bark is waterproof, was used for canoes by the people here before the Europeans and then by the early settlers too. I wasn't worried that it would leach a lot of tannins or whatever into the cheese because of that so chose not to boil. I ripen my cheeses in mini caves that are by nature devoid of the natural microbial profile that I might otherwise have were I ripening in a cave so I left the bark au naturale.
I would be happy to send some bark to you Boofer if you'd like. Just message me a mailing address. I sent some to Yoav and he made some way out there rare cheese for his first trial. I'll post a bark photo from my other computer. Do you have paper birch out in WA?
Thank you for the cheese tnbquilt! Tell your husband he's probably a very creative guy, just in an area in which he's not recognizing it. And I bet your quilts are beautiful!