By Hans Hansen

It’s a bit early to tap birch or harvest violets but that time is not far away. I had an idea of combining the hues and flavors of birch and violets in a syrup, that I have not tried but don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.

This came to me while I was musing on birch and violet as guild companions, and reading food preparation recipe articles pertaining to both. There’s a definite overlap of culinary attributes and ecological function here. Why not combine the two in one syrup recipe (wine or beer, for that matter)? Instead of making violet syrup with refined sugar, why not use birch syrup (I’m assuming it’s already made).

You’ll have to extrapolate here, I only have an idea at this point, no recipe. If you have frozen dried violets (from last year), I’m thinking it is possible to slip a violet infusion in at the final stage of the birch syrup making process (no boiling, simmer only in the birch syrup making process). This recipe hints at violet wine (violet-birch wine/beer), even violet mineral water, which I like the idea of.

Note that the mention of mineral water comes up as a description of birch sap when you read about (or hear about) the descriptions of birch sap. Tree root systems draw moisture and trace nutrients from the mineral layer of soil, therefore, I believe it’s an apt description. Nutrients to feed a plant, or tree, are draw through the roots when it takes in moisture. The water imbibed by a deep rooted perennial, such as a tree, is likely to contain a higher concentration of native minerals than that of an annual crop whose roots remain focused in the topmost layers of soil. Just musing a bit here on possibilities…. The recipe link

A video demonstrating how to tap and collect River Birch sap for making birch syrup. It’s easy to do, there are simpler techniques (substitute food grade rubber tubing instead of a lathed wood spout). Just check out the other videos on the same YouTube page.