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im sure some of you must know about this but for any one who doesnt read on...

in early march the forest is transforming back into the revitalising conditions of spring. it is in this period that it is an ideal time to easily collect the sap of the birch. it has many uses, you can boil it down into a suryp, drink it strait from the harvest, or make several hot beverages that are key to survival by simply raising your spirits.
what you do is locate a birch and with your knife, about 18 inches up from the ground, stab into the trunk on an upward angle. pound the hilt of the knife with your palm to drive it further into the tree.
next you take a sliver of wood a couple of inches long and a 1/4" thick, with both ends of the sliver tapered down like a wedge. simply insert the wedge into the slight gouge youve made and be sure to carefully place your bowl to catch every drip.

what i like to do is heat up the sap and then chop up a handfull of pine needles and toss em in. pine needles are a good source of vitamin c.
afterward i strain the needles out by pouring the mixture through a bundle of long grass and into my cup.

** every good woodsman is keen to not cause any un necissary damage to the forest he has come out to enjoy, be sure to not damage the birch too much, and after collection press the bark back into the tree with your thumb**
 

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Mountain Critter
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Around here I do this with the Box Elder trees. Usually in mid to late April when the days are warm, but the nights still near freezing. I have used the sap fresh, and also boiled it down for syrup and sugar. It's not quite as sweet as maple, but nearly, and you can get a pretty good quantity from two or three trees.
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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what you do is locate a birch and with your knife, about 18 inches up from the ground, stab into the trunk on an upward angle. pound the hilt of the knife with your palm to drive it further into the tree.
next you take a sliver of wood a couple of inches long and a 1/4" thick, with both ends of the sliver tapered down like a wedge. simply insert the wedge into the slight gouge youve made and be sure to carefully place your bowl to catch every drip.
Then you will like a Ray Mears video in which he does the same thing. Search Mears Birch Tea.
 

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what i like to do is heat up the sap and then chop up a handfull of pine needles and toss em in. pine needles are a good source of vitamin c.
afterward i strain the needles out by pouring the mixture through a bundle of long grass and into my cup.
**
Mmmm, sap tea. I love that minty flavor of birch. I mix in wild ginger root or for a nice relaxing tea a bit of vervain. I drink too much of it during boil down. I probably loose a good quart of syrup every year because of how much sap tea I drink.

This is an outdoor enterprise, however, because it can take close to 50 gallons of birch sap to make 1 gallon of birch syrup, depending on the sugar content of the particular tree and that particular year.

Thanks for sharing this topic. It remind me that even though we're going into winter, the sweet taste of spring will follow.

Tury
 

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Getting There!
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OT, but after being raised on sassafras tea my grandmom made I was surprised to read that it's actually toxic.

Know your plants! :)
 
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