|COLLECTING SAP (NOTE THE SKI POLE)|
|YELLOW BIRCH SAP CAN BE ADDED TO THE MIX|
I went out to Andy and Judy's sugar bush to collect sap yesterday afternoon. There is still a lot of snow in the woods, making snowshoes and a ski pole necessary. The snow is soft, like sand or sugar, and it is tough slogging. The sap is not flowing very fast, and it is becoming a long, hard season. Today's sunshine may speed things up. For more information on maple sugaring and past sugaring seasons, use the Blog search engine.
There are a few yellow birch (Betula lutea) growing in among the maples. Both are climax species, which grow up in the shade of other trees. Birch trees of most species have spring sap flows as do maples, and the sap can be made into syrup as well, and although I don't think it as desirable, it has a slightly minty flavor which is rather refreshing. In northern Europe a beer is made from the sap of the native white birch (Betula alba)), but I have never tasted any.