Birch Tapping Update   2 comments

Image result for image of birch sapI had a few requests to update our progress on tapping birch trees. The sap finally started running last week and Brad put in all the taps and 20 collection buckets on Monday. He had three trees that didn’t produce anything – two of those are now giving trickles. That’s evidence that they are in colder or drier soils than the others. They just may be late producers. He also has three trees that are producing 3-4 gallons of sap a day. Apparently, this isn’t miraculous, but it is rare.  We’re taken between 16-19 gallons every day.

Birch sap looks like water and tastes like fruit-infused water.  There is a very light floral taste sort of like green birch leaves smell. Members of the cooperative say they make coffee and drink the sap. They really tout the health benefits, so Brad has been doing it too. On Tuesday, he gave me an 8-ounce glass of it.  He seemed curiously animated that night, full of overblown ideas and optimism. I had a couple of creative ideas for my latest novel, so I wanted to write, but he kept popping in to tell me this latest “great idea”. I sort of wanted to put duct tape over his mouth. I also needed to pee twice as often and in twice the volume of normal. I had gas too.

Image result for image of birch sapThe next morning, my toothpaste tasted like birch. So did my toast, my coffee, my lunch, and my dinner … and my lips. I drank two water bottles in the afternoon and the tap water tasted like birch. Still had the eliminatory effects and even my sweat tasted like birch. Brad, who is drinking a great deal more than I am (alcoholics, even in recovery, don’t have a normal on-off switch like other people) reported the same thing. That lasted about 40 hours and was becoming distressing. On Thursday, my toothpaste, coffee and drinking water tasted like birch, but food (well, the curry leftover from the night before that had tasted like birch) was starting to taste normal again. I didn’t drink any birch water on Wednesday and I drank a coffee cup each (about 4 ounces) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Everything now tastes normal again. This is similar to what I’ve heard from people who have used coconut water for cleansing, so I think it was probably fine. I might try an 8 ounce glass today.

I’m hungrier than normal and I seem to have more energy (but that could just be the effects of spring). Last night, I sweated a ton even though I’d showered, so I had to shower this morning, which is unusual for me. So, I do think it’s probably doing somethng. It’s really high in Vitamin C, the research says.

And we’ve now given 45 gallons of birch sap to the cooperative and Brad has made some great contacts for the future.

I’ll let you know how it’s going next week as birch sap harvest goes for 2-3 weeks.


Posted April 30, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Alaska

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2 responses to “Birch Tapping Update

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  1. Do you use the same type of spigots as you do for maple sap collection?
    I’ve been drinking the maple sap the way you have been drinking the birch sap. Similar benefits or side effects – what ever your choice of words are. As I mentioned before, I’m going to have to try this next spring. Too late in the season here in southern Ontario.


    • I’ve never tapped maple trees (there are only hybrid Manchurian maples in Alaska – imported), but when you buy them at the local hardware store, they say “maple taps”, so I think they work for both trees. Our taps come from OneTree Cooperative and they look just like what is at the hardware store.


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