For a couple of weeks a year, just before the buds start sprouting, it is possible to gather birch sap. Here in Sjögetorp it is usually in the end of march. This year later as the winter has been so long and cold. In the south of Sweden it might be too late already, in the north it might be too early. Test by making a cut with a sharp knife and see if it starts dripping…
The sap gets pressed up by root pressure and tastes much like water, but little sweet and “woody”.
It is full of healthy minerals and sugars. In former days it was the years earliest source of fresh minerals and vitamins and it gave a tired body new strength.
A big birch easily gives about 10 liters a day. Don´t forget to carefully plug the hole you drilled when you are done for the year. It stops the tree from bleeding and no harming spores of fungi can get into the tree. You can use the same tree for many years.
Put some tape around the top of the container: the ants and other insects love the sap because of its sweetness – but we don´t really want them in there :)