maplesapwildfoodismLet’s face it.  While sugar is probably the easiest substance to acquire in the grocery store, it’s much harder to find in nature.

Sure — green plants are continually producing carbohydrates that eventually make their way up and through and over and across the entire food chain… but come on.  Let’s be real.  It’s February!  Sugar has been out of stock for months.

Nature’s interesting, ya know, and perhaps somewhat of a tease.  We’re bombarded with a cornucopia of fruits and their sugars in the autumn months — including paw paws, apples, grapes, and wild cranberries — then we’re seemingly stripped of anything sweet until spring.  What gives?

Well, I’ll tell you what gives.  Nature.  And Nature gives a powerful lesson.  Take a break once in a while, Nature says.  From all things ambrosial.  You’ll be alright.

And then I suppose Nature feels bad for us… taking away our favorite treats when we enjoy them most.  (Valentine’s Day without sugar, are you kidding me?)  And so Nature relents and offers more sugar during a pretty strange season — late winter, aka “the season of sap flow.”

During this special season, many trees are offering sugary sap for a limited time.  If you plan it perfectly, and with the right tools, you can gain access to wild sugar directly from your landscape.

Before you get started, you ought to know which trees offer sugary sap in high enough concentrations to make your efforts worthwhile.  And I’ve got that first step covered for you.  If you’re interested in learning how to properly identify various maple and birch trees in order to extract sugar from your own backyard, check out the brand new video!