Do you ever wonder what happened to real food?

Do you even remember it?

You know, the kind that didn’t make you fat or lead to bad health.  The kind that was grown to actually nourish you. And taste good. 

The kind you were meant to eat. 

Hi. I’m Tess Hoke, founder of YardFood.  

I’m here to show you new places to find your groceries.

And new things to call your groceries.

And help you see why it matters to your life.

But before we get into all of that, let me just tip my hat to you. A fellow human being living life on planet earth. 

With dreams and goals not that much different than my own.

How do I know?

Because of our biology. 

Your dreams and goals, no matter where they originate, require one important thing from you. It’s a truth so well known it’s often overlooked. The goals you’ve set or the dreams you hold close to your heart can only happen if you take care of one little thing.


You must take care of your physical self.

To do that you must be careful about the things you put into it. Namely, your food.

Simple, right?

Think about it. Nobody wants to spend their time gimping around in a body that doesn’t feel well or work right. And that goes for our heads, too.  

We have to take care of our physical self in order to manifest our ideas about the world and the things we’d like to create and experience.

Which brings us back to YardFood. 

And those dreams of yours.

Follow me into the backyard and I’ll show you why YardFood is the holy grail. It’s the place where science and mystery come together. 

It’s the answer to what ails you. It’s the hope for what is yet to come.

Learn for yourself and then pay it forward. Share it with your friends, your family, the next generation. Change the world - we need it now more than ever.  

Maple Syrup From Your Backyard

First, a little behind the scenes….

Weeks ago I heard a radio spot on National Public Radio. 

It wasn't a spot about how to make maple syrup from your backyard. 

It was about a scientific study that measured the difference in life outcomes between people who held a hopeful outlook in life over those who took a more pessimistic view of reality. 

Now, I live in a place with long cold winters and plenty of time to think. So I thought about it.

Did having a positive attitude affect your life in a positive way? Were you more likely to live in a nice house or have a big bank account or beautiful children if you were optimistic about life? 

Would good things happen just because good thoughts were practiced? 

The study quantified lives, drew a graph and made its conclusion. 

There was no significant difference between the two groups. Positive people were no richer, had no less sadness or felt no less financial worry than their more negative counterparts. 

Their lives were statistically the same.

The only difference was...

Positive people had a positive attitude about it!

Winter will be wrapping up soon and I'm still thinking about that study.  Sure, positive thoughts matter. It's something I truly believe. But what does that have to do with maple syrup?

I like to hold a cartoon vision of life in my head. I’m riding in a yellow school bus down a winding road. Magical eyes allow me to see beyond the next corner. My super power lets me relay messages  back to the driver so he can adjust his course.

And of course, avoid disaster.

With spring on the horizon, my directives to the bus driver are simple and sweet. It’s time to sum up all the winter thoughts and put them to work in life. Positive or not. 

“Driver, its time to make backyard maple syrup!”

Where to find the sugar

Sugar maples are the traditional source of this late winter crop.  But many other varieties of maples and species of sycamore & birch offer a similar syrup for the table.

In my backyard, the sap is running in two mature Norway maples. With snow still at their base, they’re beginning to wake from a deep winter sleep. A sure sign is the bright yellow color tinting the tips of branches. Like a golden halo.

The conditions necessary for the running of sap happen in late winter. Look for night temperatures below freezing while the day temperatures rise above. 

How to tap trees

Tapping your trees is a simple task.  A small 5/8" hole is drilled into the trunk of each tree. A special tap for collecting the flowing liquid is then slipped into each hole.  The process can be completed by placing a bucket below the tap to capture the daily take.

For great visuals, check out the countless youtube videos on this topic. You’ll get the idea. 

The trees give freely for weeks, and simply ask that when done, the tap be removed so the wound can heal.

 Turn it into syrup 

The sap is a liquid that looks and tastes like water with about a 2% sugar content. At this point it needs to be cooked down to evaporate the majority of its moisture. This will reveal the golden syrup it contains!

Remember it takes a LOT of sap to make syrup. A good rule of thumb is 40 gallons of sap makes 1 gallon of the precious fluid. 

That might seem like a big effort for such a small return, but I will tell you this. The sheer amazement factor is worth the effort.  

Yes, you could slip down to the groovy market on the corner for a bottle of Premium Grade 100% pure organic maple syrup. But it wouldn’t be the same.

The simplicity of sweet

So I’m thinking about all the possible ways this new pantry ingredient could be used. The sweet in morning juice. The drip down Sunday pancakes. Or, if there’s any left by then, that special something in summer patio drinks.

Why YardFood

Let’s start at the beginning.  

Everybody has ideas about the way things are. It's called perspective, and it influences the way we think, see and act in the world. It’s what makes us unique and gives us our own fingerprint as we journey through life.

Then there are the things that have rules. Things like mathematics, biology & language, to mention a few. They have structure and a set of principles that are true no matter what your background or personal belief. They make up the foundation of everyday reality.

Interestingly, human hopes & dreams fall in this category of rules. Because no matter who you are, all dreams require one important thing and can’t come into being without it. 

It’s a truth so well known it’s commonly overlooked. 

No matter what your age, the goals you’ve set or the dreams you hold close to your heart can only happen if you take care of one little thing. 


And here’s where YardFood comes in.

Your body is the tool you use to create your life. Each bite of food you swallow becomes part of you. 

The part that makes your heart beat or your lungs breath. The part that connects the thoughts that zip around in your brain and ignite your passions. 

The part we call biology.

And guess what? Quality food is a requirement for happy biology. 

Put bad gas in your car’s tank and it will run rough and stop dead in its tracks. The same is true for you, too.  Literally.

Now to bring it home - a happy & healthy biology is essential for achievingyour deepest desires & dreams. 

Think about it.  In order to manifest your ideas about the world and the things you'd like to create and experience, you need a body to do it in.

A healthy one.  And you can’t be healthy if you're eating poor quality food.

And here's the deal. You're going to need to know the difference between poor and high quality food. Sign up to get YardFood updates and learn how to tell the difference!