Nutrients, which the tree loses during the collection of sap, account for only a small fraction of the entire stock, so the process has little effect on the growth of an adult tree. The tree can easily refill any moisture lost during sap collection in spring, as the soil has abundant moisture. This special drink is known as kasemahl — you might be lucky to find it bottled for sale at local markets.
Picking wild herbs
Estonians have been using plants for food for as long as we can remember. Spring brings an abundance of vitamin-rich green shoots, especially good for those without much chance to bask in the sunlight during the long winter. Read on and re-evaluate what you can snack on!
Nettles are one of the first herbs to sprout in the spring, and Estonian folk medicine has come up with uses for all parts of this wonder plant. Nettle contains calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin C and has been shown to soothe inflammation, strengthen the blood, and relieve fatigue. Besides physical properties, nettle was believed by ancient Estonians to protect spiritually. It was thrown into the fire to shield a house from lightning and added to bath water to break spells cast on the bather.
Wild garlic can be found already at the end of April. Thanks to its intense flavor, wild garlic banishes harmful microbes from the body and aids digestion. Did you know that springtime wild garlic contains 15–20 times more vitamin C than lemons? Wild garlic is great in salads, soups, herbal butter, and pesto. However, keep in mind that wild garlic is under protection and should, therefore, be acquired for either personal use only or from the market, shops, or friends who grow it in their garden.
Rhubarb contains vitamin K, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, vitamin C and carotene, organic acids malic, citric, and oxalic acid, flavonoid compounds, and others in moderation. Despite its strong taste, rhubarb contains up to 93% water and is also high in fiber. Young shoots taste the best, and rhubarb is most commonly used in cakes, jams, and juice. Rhubarb is also good for salads and marinades because it makes the meat soft and juicy. Strawberry-rhubarb sparkling wine and several other dry rhubarb wines have become popular among diners recently.
Dandelions have been a valued medicine since ancient times. In folk medicine, dandelion is used to detox and energize the body. The plant cleanses the blood, reduces cholesterol, and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by diluting the blood. You can make a salad from its flowers and leaves. Dandelion flower buds can be pickled like a cucumber using a variety of cucumber pickling recipes. The leaves of dandelion are collected for preservation at the beginning of the plant's flowering period in mid-May. The leaves are placed in a thin layer of paper or cloth for drying in a room with a good draft and away from direct sunlight.