Step 3: Break out the core wood
The wood is delightfully easy to remove. Starting at the thick end of one of the halves, snap off inch-long section of wood. To avoid peeling, pull up one end, then the other, until the strip is removed. Discard these. (You may notice that each half splits again into two quarters -- this is natural.)
For the purposes of this instructable, you'll only need to remove the wood from both halves of a single stalk. A 4-foot stalk may reduce to a 2-foot cord, but you can always add more to it later.
Using a 3-foot stalk (after discarding the top), this step took 6 minutes.