“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure” takes on a new meaning when applied to Minnesota’s abundant forest resources and diverse cultural traditions. When discussing Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) with landowners and forest resource users, I like to pose the question: “Do you really know what’s in your woods?” While this is not a case of trash versus treasure, it certainly puts a new twist on a familiar NTFP, Maple Syrup. In South Korea the maple tree is called Gorosoe. This article from the New York Time’s International Herald Tribune details the South Korean custom of drinking Maple Sap (not syrup) to cleanse the body. Thirst is kept up with salty fish and snacks…I think we could manage that here! The sap sells for $6-7 per gallon!! Sounds like a sweet deal, pun intended, when you consider the fact that it takes roughly 45 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of Maple Syrup. (Maple Leaf photo, Jurveston, CC 2.0)
For more information on nontimber forest products (NTFPs):
- University of Minnesota Extension: Dave Wilsey (dwilsey [at] umn.edu) or Julie Miedtke (miedt001 [at] umn.edu).
- Careful harvest brochure. (M. Demchik, J. Miedtke, K. Preece, and J. Zasada)
- Nontimber forest products and implications for forest managers. 2002. M.Reichenbach, J.Krantz, and K. Preece. University of Minnesota Extension.
- Nontimber forest products in the United States (book). 2002. E.T. Jones, R.J. McLain, and J. Weingard. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence.
- Plants used by the Great Lakes Ojibwa. (book). 1993. J.E. Meeker, J.E. Elias, and J.A. Heim. Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), Duluth.