In-Season Recipes: Tricks for Light, Fluffy Multi-Grain, Wild GrainPancakes

Griddlers, flapjacks, griddlecakes, hotcakes, latkes, crepes, pancakes: I love ’em all. Especially when they’re made with flavorful flour from wild and unusual grains or home-grown starchy vegetables. But, what I don’t love is the heavy, or gummy texture you tend to get with such ingredients. With years of experimenting, I’ve found a few “tricks” that get a light fluffy texture with all the added flavor and nutrition. 
And while these make delicious cakes, especially with real tree-sap syrup (Maples aren’t the only game in town, you know) and heaped with forest berries, what I really love is the convenience they represent to homesteaders and foragers who want to quickly convert the produce they grow and gather into easy, filling meals with minimal preparation and processing. On the homestead or farm, time is always at a premium, which is partly why, from my experience working on farms and with a farmers’ markets, the average farmer I’ve met probably eats more fast food and frozen meals and fewer fresh vegetables than the average American. 
The humble pancake is an “appropriate” culinary technology of the past that can be surprisingly versatile and provide an easy, quick meal “staple” that helps “solve’ the problem, getting more nutritious produce onto the table in time for dinner.
Through most of the growing season, a wide variety ingredients can be added to these pancakes. We’ve tried including wild grass seed, wild amaranth seed, cattail pollen, buckwheat and other home-grown grains, zucchini, squash, and flours made from a variety of roots including sunchokes and potatoes. Grated vegetables such as beets, parsnips, zucchini, and potatoes can also be added. All wild grasses produce edible seed and can add an interesting set of flavors. Large grained species can be finely ground in a coffee grinder. The best can add a fantastic “nutty” or floral flavor to pancakes.
Better still, pancakes make the perfect excuse for eating the various berries that start arriving in June and running through most of the summer.

So, before we get to a l recipe, the main “trick” involved is getting more air bubbles into the batter to lighten them up. This recipe uses egg whites whipped to a meringue, which capture air into the finished cakes. Any vegan product that can be similarly whipped can be used as a substitute. For a homegrown vegan approach, stay tuned, we’ll be experimenting soon on a recipe that uses boiled marshmallow root. Another alternative is to use carbonated water or other beverages. With really heavy cakes, I’ve sometimes used both meringue and carbonated water.  
So, here are a few base recipes. The key is experimentation. No single recipe is going to work with every single ingredient you can think of, but these should be a good starting place.

Recipe: multi-grain pancakes.
1 cup white wheat flour
1 cup whole grain non-wheat flour. (This could include buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, wild grass flour, root vegetable flour, or any other whole grains. This could also include 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup of grated or cooked vegetables such as squash or zucchini.)
1 t salt
2 t baking powder

4 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C milk (possibly more)
Oil or butter to cook with (no oil is added to the batter, as that tends to make the multi-grain cakes to heavy.)

Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add 1 C milk and vanilla and mix. Don’t over mix! Separate egg whites, adding the yolks to the mix and placing the whites into a second mixing bowl or beer glass.

Whisk until soft peeks form. 

Gently spoon this meringue into the batter making sure the air bubbles are well distributed:

This will be a thick batter. Add enough milk to get a batter that will spread out to your desired thickness.

Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add a pat of butter or vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the a pan. Butter or oil should sizzle and brown, but not smoke. Add batter and role around pan until you get the size pancake you want. Wait until edges are starting to firm up and look cooked, then flip the pancake. Serve hot with maple syrup and fresh berries!


Nature Art Patterns for Home and Landscape Design

(Bag End, from the LOTR movies)

Between your ears and behind your eyes you hold profound pattern-recognition software, the most powerful “computing” tool known to man, evolved to a high degree of effectiveness over massive spans of time.

And it’s purpose: to allow you to THRIVE.

(Will Worthington)

This refined equipment allowed your ancestors to seek and find places of prosperity and build beloved communities there. The patterns they saw spoke to them in visions and the thunderous voice of revelation: “you are home.”

(Rima Stains, one of my favorite artists:

This equipment behind our eyes and between our ears resonates when we near places where certain patterns converge, where the land is configured to catch life enhancing energies and provide us with safety, security, ample clean water, abundant food, connection to wild nature, growing fertility, and a large diverse population of our “wild” cousins, plants and “animals” to marvel at and share our lives with. And there are many more patterns that we can’t consciously understand or put into words but that we feel in our bones.

This voice still speaks to us, but we refuse to listen. 

This voice still speaks and these visions haunt our dreams, calling us “home” to a place we can no longer find. At best, we do our seeking on vacations where echoes of such places still exist. Our yearning for home has grown so great that we exaggerate the patterns in our “amusement parks,” movies and resorts. Fantasy art is our attempt to reconnect with the mysteries of nature, and so it is beautiful. But we’ve lost the ability to see our non-human animal cousins as beings as mystical, magical and wise as any fantasy “beast” or “monster.” The deer in my backyard seem every bit as enchanting as anything Hagrid would teach about at Hogwarts, complex, feeling, living beings with their own life-journeys and perspectives. What could they teach us? What would they think of our human way of life? How do their philosophies account for the inexplicable acts of their human cousins? 

(Telling the bees, Charles Napier Hemy)

They don’t need to speak English to communicate with us or connect with us as beings sharing this strange journey. We only have to start listening.

And even forests, rivers, wetlands and mountains speak to us if we can learn to listen. 

(Marie Stillman, Woman Reading)

If we start to listen again, we can turn this pattern recognition equipment to a new purpose: not to seek out new places because the ones we inhabit are lacking, but to transorm the places where we already live. We can build these patterns into our places so that they resonate with mysterious forces and life-enhancing energies, and more fully provide for our needs. We can use this pattern software to make our environments healthier and richer for all the beings around us. 

To start listening, we need to reconnect with this voice where it still speaks to us most strongly: in our fantasies and art. In our art, we are already on our way back “home.” Are there patterns even in these fantasies that can be applied in our lives? 

(More Beatrice Potter, the garden gate.)

These are a few images that I’ve recently felt call me home. I’ll start sharing more of these as I come across them. If you have your own, I hope you will share them. 

Orchard Quality Organic Fruit with No (ZERO!) Spraying ("No-spray" Permaculture Orchard)

Want high quality, organic fruit without spraying? Bagging works. Simple as that. 
To the left, is a peach, just pulled from a “wedding favor” bag (which you can see to the left) flawless and beautiful. Never once sprayed with anything. Let me tell you, it was delicious as it looks. 
To the right, a fruit that looks just like my buddy Jerry. Heh heh, just kiddin’ Jerry. From the same branch on the same tree, but not bagged. It’s almost impossible to find a piece that hasn’t been burrowed through or bitten into. No good for anything but scaring small children. 

(“Help meee.”)

For us, one of the big restrictions to growing fruit at home is that we will not spray poison in our living space. To us, it goes without saying that spraying POISON where you live is insanity. 
But what about “organic” sprays?”
Well, even “organic” sprays were out of the question in our Permaculture garden. First of all, even organic sprays are mostly biocides. That means they are poisons designed to harm living things. The risks may be considered “minimal,” but there are risks. “Risk” isn’t something I’m eager to put on my food. 
Those that aren’t biocides, such as copper and clay, are far from sustainable. Sprays, even the “green” ones made of betonite clay are highly processed and require energy-intensive mining, processessing and shipping. They leave the gardener reliant on distant, out of state, corporations for their food and add phantom “food miles” to our supposedly “local” produce. These sprays also come with “phantom costs” or “deferred costs” of environmental and social harm that aren’t figured into the price of a bottle of chemicals or powders. 
In this way, we are LITERALLY, and I mean LITERALLY, forcing our descendants to pay for our food for us. 
On top of that, organic spray schedules can be very complicated and time consuming. While “conventional” toxic sprays are simple, they kill anything and everything that would harm your fruit, “organic” sprays tend to be specific interruptions to the lifecycle of specific pests. Because of this, organic orchardists often spray multiple things at multiple times that are all different for each fruit they grow. Usually, these are dependant on careful observation in the orchard, and might require re-arranging our schedules to accomodate a “spraying window.” Adding such a complicated task to the work of my household does not seem to be a good way to “care” for my family. 
In other words, to me organic sprays simply fail the test of my Permaculture ethics: they do not “care” for the earth or people. 
Beyond that, those tradeoffs wouldn’t be worth the benefit. Even well-done organic care can have yields that are 1/4 of conventional, according to extension research. 
I suspect that these poor results are due to a basic flaw in the “spraying” strategy: sprays kill the allies that would help do our work for us. Research is just beginning to demonstrate what ecological and organic gardeners have been saying for generations: diversity is the most important tool we have in controlling pests and disease. A diverse, healthy soil ecology has been demonstrated to confer increased disease and pest resistance to plants, even allowing potatoes to grow successfully in soils contaminated by the devastating potato blight! 
But studies also show that as soon as you spray biocides, even organic ones, or chemical fertilizers in the garden, you cause a massive collapse of soil diversity. So when we begin to spray, we abandon our most important natural tool. (Sprays like “compost tea” which work by actually increasing biodiversity are an exception. We sometimes use “teas” including compost, comfrey, vermicompost, garlic, pepper, nettles, yarrow, chicory and a variety of other plants and herbs.) 
This is why at Lillie House most of our plantings are “wild” fruit, that require no spraying or protection. They are naturally disease and pest resistant, like paw paws, blackberries, and raspberries. Such fruit should be the “backbone” of any home orchard or garden. 
But everyone loves a perfect beautiful peach. 
Just look at it. Even we can’t resist that. So, with a little extra work, we can have “conventional” fruit too, without ever spraying. Best of both worlds.
The solution that has worked best for us is bagging. For the home grower, I recommend bagging for grapes, apples, european pears, plums, apricots, peaches and any of their relatives. 
In addition to yielding beautiful fruit, bagging nets the home-grower some additional harvests as well:
–Bagging saves time over a complicated spraying regimen. 
–It’s healthier. 
–It preserves the biodiversity of the garden. 
–It’s more sustainable, since bags can be reused and repurposed. 

Which bags? 
The last couple of years, we used brown paper sandwich bags on a limited scale, stapled closed around the fruit. It seems like these would quickly turn to mush in the weather, but that was not the case. The results were good, though it looked a little like somebody threw a bunch of sandwiches at our garden. This year, we switched to Organza drawstring bags, the kind commonly called “wedding favor bags.” These are reusable, much easier to use and much more attractive. For small fruit such as apricots, plums, and small apples, I recommend these: 
Larger fruit require larger bags. These should work for most tree fruit and even small grape clusters. :
They’re even available in a multi-color set, for the festive garden:

Bagging fruit:
With Organza bags, bagging the fruit is easy. The main important thing is to get the bags on the fruit as early as possible after the fruit begins to form. This year, we waited about 3 weeks after fruit set to begin bagging our apricots, and we sure missed the apricot boat. Plum curculios had already laid their eggs on the forming fruit. We had to watch as hundreds of bagged fruit dropped from the tree, rotten and filled with weavils.  The dozen that made it were still beautiful and blemish free, though, thanks to their bags. 
To bag, simply identify the young fruit, slip the bag over the stem or branch tip and pull the drawstrings closed as tightly as possible without “popping” the fruit off the tree. Occasionally, a fruit will have a stem or branch arrangement that makes it difficult to bag. This makes bagging a good time to also thin the fruit. Fruit that won’t bag well can simply be removed from the tree, to put energy into the fruit that’s bagged. 
So, how many fruit can you bag in a season? That’s a good question. I’d guess I’d stop at several hundred, assuming they were spread out over a long window of time. We used this number as the “upper limit” for how many “intensive,” or “needy” fruit trees we would plant. 
Beyond this, we planted those “wild” fruits in very “extensive” systems similar to the ones they grow in naturally. For information on that, check out:
Designing an edible hedgerow:
(This post is part of a multi-post series on No-Spray home orcharding. More to come soon…)

Low Maintenance, Resilient "Food Forest:" A Case Study

There’s a stretch of bike path in McHenry Illinois where the wild has long been attempting to reassert herself. It’s a place where many come to forage on berries, wild fruits and vegetables, one I’ve written about many times as an “unofficial” community forest garden tended lightly by those who come to share in the harvest. 
And those who do harvest this site have much to share in. With almost no mainteance, the site produces a wide diversity of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, black raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, chokeberries, highbush cranberries, particularly nice wild grapes, elderberries,  black walnuts, hickory nuts, various wild greens, mushrooms, milkweed pods, harvestable wild grasses, wild onions, grape leaves, solomon’s seal, and probably many other things I’m missing. 

But the main harvest was the blackberries, mulberries, and black raspberries, which were plentiful and very delicious grown in this semi-shade. When would come here for berries, we’d easily fill up our own containers, and we’d very often see others foraging, too, some taking far more than we ever did.  
This site has long been in my mind as a model for edible forest gardens, since it perfectly demonstrates several important principles I seek to emulate in my designs. Many of these “principles” invoke the design of the historic, traditional “forest garden” systems  of temperate climates. In fact, since this site (and a few other “wild” systems like it) seemed more “successful” at providing usable space with high yields and very low-inputs than any planned “forest gardens” in my knowledge, it provided the theoretical basis (plant spacings, configuration, etc.) for our “low input” designs at Lillie House. 
So, lets look at this site and see what principles and patterns we can derive from it:
I. Designed and “hardscaped” for success. On the broadest scale, as seen from space, this “forest garden” represents a set of patterns of resilience, low maintenance and high productivity worth replicating. 
In this case, the most productive parts of our system lie in three “rows,” along a bike trail and a creek, set between two parking lots. In many ways, this replicates the pattern of “hedgerows,” a traditional forest garden system in Europe, that are often found along road ways. This pattern comes with a variety of benefits:
A. Light. This location and hardscaping mean that plant spacings are kept at a fairly open “row spacing,” allowing plenty of light to penetrate into the system This means that even under a dense canopy of trees there’s still enough light for plants like raspberries and blackberries to produce heavily. 
B. Access. Hardscaped access is maintained on both sides of the system, as well as along the trail down the middle. 
C. shelterbelt. This forest garden system provides a windbreak and shelterbelt that benefits the church to the east. It also provides shade along the sports fields and bike trail. 
D. Maintenance. In almost any garden situation, maintaining paths becomes one of the most intensive chores. In this system, the paths require very minimal care. Such paths could be designed to last decades in between maintenance inputs. 
E. Water access. In this case, deep-rooted trees and perennials have constant access to water through the creek. Even on dry sites, it might be possible to emulate this factor, giving plants access to natural water sources. 
II. “Stacked social functions.” This “forest garden” has a good chance at lasting a long, long time, since it is integrated in with social functions which are valued and protected. The integration of social functions protects uses like “forest gardening,” and ensures that valable plants won’t be removed to make room for social space later. The more social functions can be integrated the better. 

A. Sacred/ritual/ceremonial space. This side of the “forest garden” is bounded by an outdoor ritual space and a picnic area  used and maintained by the church. 
B. Recreational space: This “food forest” area is also used for a bike path, sports fields, baseball, soccer, and other recreational activities. 
C. Parking. Yes, even parking lots can provide value to a forest garden. Foragers need to park, too. If we’re going to use resources to maintain parking areas anyway, why not “double up” the impact of those investments to help produce food! Which brings us to:
III. The Principle of Incidental Maintenance. The best maintenance scheme for a food forest is no maintenance scheme. When we can plan food forests to be maintained incidentally, through other activities and uses, or by use alone, we come out way ahead. In this case, the “forest garden” is maintenaned prmarily by maintaining a set of parking and recreational uses. The most “energy intensive” maintenance is the mowing of the sports field, which would be done anyway. 

IV. North/south orientation. Again, this allows maximum light into the system. 

V. Multi-layered. Tall trees, shorter trees, bushes, perennial herbs, ground covers, root crops, vines and mushrooms all in one place. 

VI. Naturally Dense Spacings: While many modern planned “forest gardens” aim for the field spacings promoted by university extensions, when it comes to low maintenance I have learned that nothing beats naturally dense plantings. So long as light penetration is maintained through some means (such as integrated social space and incidental maintenance) plants in systems like this one remain naturally very productive despite natural tight plant densities. In reality, there is no available research to suggest that the “research based” plant spacings optimized for high-input monoculture cropping are transferable to low-input polyculture systems. However, we do have a whole history of low-input polyculture agriforest systems to learn from, such as the hedgerows and tapestry hedges of Europe, which are invariably planted in very tight naturally occurring spacings. 

VII. Planned for resilience. If the humans of planet earth all decided to shove off to neptune for a few hundred years, this particular “system” would almost certainly still be waiting for us when we got back, filled with fruits, nuts and vegetables. This is due to many of the features above, especially the long productive life of the hardscaping, which ensures the light penetration necessary to keep a productive, diverse understory. This is probably the most important feature of this system to learn from. It would actually take a large amount of energy over many years to destroy this system or even to make it less productive. As a point in fact, some government agency DID expend a fair bit of energy to reduce the productivity of the planting. When we visited this year, many trees (especially mulberries) and brambles had been removed. I don’t know why this was done. But I do know it was done in vain. Already the brambles were making a come-back and young trees were racing up to the canopy to replace the removed ones. Despite the energy and money spent to reduce the functionality of this food forest, next year, this system is likely to be as productive and dense as ever! 

VIII. Maintenance-Free Plantings. One thing that seperates this “food forest” from most planned gardens, is that the naturally-occurring, “wild” plants require no maintenance. No one has to spray, weed, or fertilize to get high-quality fruit from this “forest.” Meanwhile, we rarely stop to pick apples, pears, or plums from the multitude of planted fruit trees around town. If they haven’t been sprayed into oblivion (orchards typically spray multiple times a month!) or otherwise maintained, then the fruit will usually be riddled with bugs and disease. Now, there are some great uses for buggy fruit! But, with all the perfect, beautiful “spray-free” fruit out there that requires no “cleaning” or processessing, even avid foragers like us will rarely bother with “wild” apples. Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have an apple tree in your forest garden, just that if you do, expect to “work” to get clean fruit. And if you balance those “intensive” choices with lots of fruit that will perform well without additional work, you’ll probably be a lot happier for it. 

Of course, with a little thought and work this unofficial “food forest” could be improved and expanded to become an amazing “official” forest garden. More public uses could be integrated in and a greater diversity of food plants included. But, in the other direction, there are many things that our official “food forests” could learn from naturally evolved, resilient systems like this one.  


Reviving the Gift Economy

(As a reminder, we will be having a free tour this Sunday at 9:00 AM, with a focus on “Water Wise Forest Gardening.” For information, please see

When we’re two or three years old, the very first thing we are taught is to give. In our families, we are shown how to give. We learn that when we receive something that we really cherish and we really care about, that it is the first thing we should give up, because our community is to be cherished on that level. Our people and our land is be cherished on that level. And if we don’t know how to give like that, we are poor. We are in poverty. We might hoard all the things that we think our family or our business needs, but we are poor.

~Jeanette Armstrong, explaining the gift economy of her tribe, the Sylix People of Brittish Colombia 
Kim and I have recently been letting people know that we would like to do more Permaculture consultation and design work, as well as possibly taking on some project management and installation jobs. Almost immediately, folks started getting in touch with us because they want to do something and Permaculture lets them actively engage in building a better world, by starting right outside their front door. It is inspiring to meet people who want to start taking responsibility for meeting their needs in more ethical ways by reconnecting and cooperating with nature. It’s a true privilege to help them out when I can. 

One thing we can all do to build a saner, kinder world is give more. I’m convinced of that. 
Climate change, soil depletion, poverty, oppression, war, environmental degredation, ecosystem collapse, mass extinctions, unemployment, cancer, heart disease–none of these are problems. 

It’s vitally important that we understand that. These are all symptoms of one underlying problem: the exploitive system we use to meet our needs is broken and it’s literally killing us. 

But we can’t help but feed and support this broken system every day simply by meeting our needs through it. This system causes us to do harm each time we buy shoes, or drive to the grocery store. And this system is a “hungry ghost,” with an endless appitite, demanding more and more of us each year. 
This system devours the things we used to do for each other freely, simply because we were human and we could, and it replaces these “gifts” with “goods and services.” Rapidly, the daily acts that used to make up our culture are converted into “economic transactions” and added to the “formal economy,” where they feed the beast, and cause us to do eachother violence. 
So whenever we find ways to meet our needs outside this formal economy we starve the beast, and strike right to the heart of the true problem, through a garden, or by collecting rain water, by exchanging services with a neighbor, or by generously receiving a gift. And while the beast grows ever weaker and less able to meet our needs, in these ways we can build a new, healthy economy together, right underneath the old failing one. 
At Lillie House we have begun, very clumsily, to open ourselves to the spirit of giving freely when we’re able, and to accept trades and exchanges whenever possible. For me, this seems especially important to information and basic consultation. If I honestly believe I’ve learned information that can change your life, improve your health and make you happier–and I do believe this–then what kind of jerk would I be to withhold that from people who couldn’t afford to pay me? So, along with our friend PJ, we have made our classes and tours free for anyone to attend, and we give out a large amount of free information and advice at these. Plants and seeds are made available for trade or suggested donation, but are often given freely as well. 
We are happy to accept gifts or donations from people who would like to support these free educational opportunities or express their gratitude for what they’ve learned.  
You’ll notice that there are also no “ads” or subscriptions on this blog. It has been a great pleasure to learn that there are folks actually reading it and valuing it. And to everyone who’s reached out to encourage me in my writing here, I’m deeply grateful. 
And to continue this experiment, right now we’re happily giving free “consultations” when possible. This is a sevice that similarly experienced Permaculture Designers typically charge between $120-175/hour for. But it seems sad that we must charge eachother these days just for the chance to meet, connect and have a conversation. Again, if this is a service you value and would like to support, or you would like to show your gratitude, it would be very kind of you, and helpful for us to receive a gift, donation or exchange. 
Or perhaps you will “pay it forward” and do your part to revive the our local “gift economy.” 
We were told by my mother, my grandmother, my aunts, my uncles, that giving is the only way to be human, that if you don’t know that giving is essential to survival, then you don’t know how to be human yet. 

~Jeanette Armstrong


For more information on the importance of reviving the “gift economy,” including the “indigenous perspective” quoted above, check out:
For the essay by Jeanette Armstrong, go to:

Plant Profile: Cornelian Cherry, Cornus Mas

If you like to pucker, then you’ll want to get acquainted with the sweet-tart flavor Cornelian Cherries. 
The Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Cornus Mas, is a native of west asia and carries an ancient culinary pedigree, being pickled as “olives,” used as gourmet floral-scented preserves, and even as the orginial sweet-tart “sorbet” in Persia. “Floral, complex, intriguing, distinctive, rich, unequaled” are often found in the long strings of adjectives writers use in describing the flavor of the cooked fruit, when sweetened or added to alcohol. 

In the Great Lakes landscape, (it’s hardy throughout the Great Lakes Region) it grows to a large, showy shrub (12′ x 12′.) The spring flowers are small, yellow and attractive and the summer foliage is a nearly waxy beautiful green. 
There are already some excellent resources for Cornus Mas online, including profiles at Plants For a Future and Mother Earth News, but after recently finding this beauty in “the wild,” I’d like to add my own recommendation that this would be an excellent addition to the Permaculture landscape or forest garden. 

This was a shrub we passed over when planning our landscape at Lillie House, based on its reputaion for hogging space and the rather lack-luster recommendations we had read elsewhere. But one taste of the fruit grown in S.W. Michigan was enough to instantly correct that mistake. 

What’s more impressive is that in S.W. Michigan it’s tough to get real “cherries” without spraying and fighting off birds, but the Cornelian fruit was large, overwhelmingly “clean,” (no bugs or diseases) very abundant, and apparently productive over a fairly long harvest period, making it ideal for a home landscape. This is a true example of a “no spray,” no maintenance fruit bush which will produce a high-quality fruit. With its edible seed, spring flowers, dense habit and fruit, it’s also recommended as a wildlife planting, making it a multi-funtional plant in the Permaculture garden. 
The fruit we found, grown on serveral bushes, was quite variable, but tasted similar to the cherries it’s named after. By most accounts the fruit is too sour to eat fresh, but I enjoy the “sour patch kids” tartness and the ripest berries are actually quite sweet, similar to a plum. I ate dozens out of hand while picking. 

The drawbacks are primarily related to picking, packaging and processing. While ideal for the home grower who wants daily fruit in their freetime, for commercial picking, the long ripening period would require many days in the field hand-picking. The wood is reportedly very brittle and easily damaged during picking. Ripe fruit seems to easily fall from the bush. Underripe fruit is astrigent and very sour. Once picked, the fruit does not keep and must be used immediately, so commercial shipping isn’t an option. The fruit has a large pit and from most accounts is usually “clingstone” making it difficult to remove without destroying the fruit. 
So, overall, the bush takes up a fair bit of room, and processing takes some time and energy, but since the Cornelian Cherry will fruit with no spraying, fertlizing or other maintenance, it seems that a little extra work on the processing side would be well worthwhile. At least on the home scale. Difficult processing would seem a barrier to its value in commercial production, so I wouldn’t recommend it for that purpose without further study. 
In the Great Lakes Landscape, Cornus Mas could be a versitle, multi-purposed plant. At this site in Kalamazoo, it was found growing both in a thicket-like multi-species hedgerow and as a specimen in a sunny location, reflecting two of its common uses. In both locations the bushes were fruitful and the fruit tasty. The shadier fruit was probably sweeter, while the sunnier fruit larger. It reportedly grows in quite deep shade as an understory bush, but is probably less productive in that situation. It is also reported to coppice well, one of the reasons it became a common hedgerow plant in the UK. 
I would like to observe the species at other sites in the Great Lakes region, but the growing situations observed at this park would verify its reputation for a strong likelihood of success in a hedgerow, in a forest edge, as the canopy of a small food forest, or in the understory of larger trees with a fairly open-canopy. 
Recommended Resources:
Mother Earth News: