Sunday, March 6, 2016

Maple Sap Americano's at Gimme Coffee this Week!

MECKLENBURG, NY - One of the oldest forms of forest farming comes in the tapping of tree sap for delicious and nutritious products that arrive as the seasons change (thaw) from winter to spring.

Tree saps have long been viewed as a spring tonic by many cultures around the globe. Tree saps are loaded with minerals, nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants, phenolic compounds, and more.

In Korea specifically, there is a long history of sap consumption and most comes from the Acer mono, a maple which is called gorosoe, meaning “the tree that is good for the bones” in Korean. This is likely due to the high mineral content in sap, most notably calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

There are even places in Korea where people can take weekend retreats, visiting the mountains and consuming as much as 5 gallons of sap per day while sitting on heated floors with conditions similar to a sauna. The idea is to detox the bad stuff and unclog the body from a long winter. In Korean markets, Maple Sap usually sells for $5 – $10/gallon. (See this 2009 New York Times article on the topic)
Recently in North America, the so-called “functional beverage” industry has taken off, in part because consumer are becoming more aware of the health problems associated with sugary sodas and drinks, and are seeking alternatives. Just a few years ago, no one had heard of coconut water, but now its a mainstay at stores around the continent. Maple water, which is minimally processed and packaged, is now beginning to show up on the shelves with names like “sweet water” and “vertical water.” The purity of the product, along with it being hyper-local and sustainable to produce, separates it from coconut and vitamin waters commonly available on the market today.

Wellspring Forest Farm & School is excited to announce the availability of Maple Water from our forest to consumers in the Finger Lakes region as we enter March, the traditional month where sap flows the most in New York.

You can try our maple water in several ways:

-- Visit a Gimme! Coffee location in Ithaca or Trumansburg for their special “Maple Sap Americano” drink, available for a limited time beginning March 7th. The coffee wizards brew some of the best coffee around, and when we dropped off some sap for them they said “We especially like how it simultaneously softens the cup, and amplifies the tastes of the specific coffee.” Give it a try!

-- Visit the farm for our Maple Weekend & Farmers Market event in partnership with the NYS Maple Producers Association on March 19th and 20. We will have sap to try and bottled sap for sale! Other activities include live music, wood-fired pizzas, a farmers market on Saturday, and workshops on making maple syrup and cultivating mushrooms on Sunday. See our facebook event page for more info.

And, if you needed more reasons to try it, here are the top 5 reasons to drink maple water:

1. Its the cleanest water you will ever drink. Maple water is filtered through the cellular tissue of a tree, which acts like a big water filter. It comes out essentially sterile and we’ve worked with Cornell Food Safety to determine the process to keep it clean, crisp, and refreshing.

2. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Several studies from Korea have cited the potential benefits of maple sap consumption in lab settings for treating osteoporosis, hypertension, and even curing hangovers. Most analysis has been done on the basic content of the maple sap, which has over 50 vitamins and minerals, and also a number of probiotics similar to those found in yogurts and other dairy products.

3. It tastes amazing! The flavor is subtly sweet with hints of vanilla, almond, and caramel. Sap can be drank straight or used in cooking or to make tea or coffee.

4. It connects you to the winter-spring thaw. The season for sap flow is a short window between late January and into March. The sap content, taste, and volume varies each week, as winter changes to spring. The flow of sap is nature’s thermometer, telling a story of one of the most dynamic times of the year.

5. It supports sustainable forest farming and farmers. We have been tapping trees for over a decade and continually strive to use the latest technology and methods to ensure tree health as we harvest this amazing tonic. Supporting farmers buy purchasing local sap and syrup means you are helping farmers utilize their woods, which means that forests are likely to be kept and not cut.