A little experiment that shouldn't hurt anyone... I put the debarked willow sticks in a jar with daphnia. Whatever comes out of the sticks, should be a food source for the daphnia... I dried the sticks for a few days but they're still fresh. Super lightweight and buoyant right now; they would jump out of the jar without the weight of the smaller jar. So far, the daphnia (which are food for guppies) seem happy with it, swimming around the sticks and maybe even nipping at them. Maybe I'll make another jar with the mulberry sticks, to compare.
Anne, I was thinking of getting a cold hardy bamboo for the "food forest" zone in my garden, but I was worried that it would get out of control. I'm now thinking of using reed... I saw a beautiful aquarium with reed sticks as ornament.