Birch sap cooperative meeting planned
The OneTree Alaska program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will host a meeting March 27 for individuals interested in tapping birch trees and forming a birch sap cooperative.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the OneTree STEM to STEAM Studio in the former Lola Tilly Commons kitchen on the UAF campus. The OneTree Alaska program processes birch sap with different types of evaporators as part of research assessing various methods and the quality of the product.
OneTree Alaska program coordinator Nicole Dunham said the structure of the cooperative will depend on what participants want. The OneTree program will lend buckets and taps to be used by members of the cooperative, who will bring their sap to the facility in exchange for birch syrup. The program wishes also to extend knowledge about syrup processing, and volunteers are needed for multiple tasks. Participants may tap anywhere from one to 100 trees.
Community volunteers and elementary and middle school students regularly participate in the annual sap collection process in April and May. Volunteers and staff collected more than 2,200 gallons of birch sap in 2016.
The birch sap season lasts anywhere from 10 days to three weeks in mid-April to early May. Equipment may be checked out from OneTree from noon to 5 p.m. April 5-7. To arrange another time or for more information, call 907-474-5517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. OneTree Alaska is a research and educational outreach program affiliated with the School of Natural Resources and Extension.