Collection of birch sap is almost over in the Homiel region. Many Belarusians, despite the danger of getting a fine, collected birch sap “at their own peril and risk.” One of such collectors told Belsat.eu, how and why they do it.
“The juice is very beneficial, it washes off the slags accumulated during the fall, winter,” says Alyaksandr, “especially it is good for cleansing the kidneys. In addition, it is rich in microelements. In summer, when it’s hot, it’s more useful to drink birch sap than water. I collect juice not for the sake of economy, because in Belarus many forestries harvest juice, and it is possible to buy the juice for 10 -20 kopecks per liter. But, if you live near the forest, you want to collect it yourself. “
According to Alyaksandr, this year the juice harvest season was rather short due to the fact that the snow remaining for a long time, and then it suddenly became warm. In total, the birch sap collection perion lasted about three weeks.
The Homiel man believes that the collection of sap does not harm the tree if the technology is maintained: do not make a hole too wide in the tree and, of course, clean up the metal objects and bottles after collection. “We need to make a small hole, for example, with a narrow chisel,” Alyaksandr explained. – You do not need a large area of bare wood, just a centimeter by a centimeter. The birch then heals faster. It is harmful, when people make large holes, they leave various metal pieces in the tree, do not remove the plastic bottles after them. I, for example, after the end of the collection, take away my bottles, if the hole is big in the bark — I close it with moss “.
Residents of Belarus can preserve birch sap for their personal needs free of charge. But, for this it is necessary to get a training on technology and places of collecting of juice in the forestry. Otherwise, you can get a fine for unauthorized collection of birch sap — from 490 to 1,225 BYN.
In Belarus, all forestries that have birches harvest juice. Last year, 15.5 tons of beverage was sold, of which 13.5 thousand contracts were concluded with the processing enterprises of the republic, and 2 thousand tons were sold to the population. Some of the birch sap was also exported.
Larysa Shchyrakova, belsat.eu