This month, Sugar Maple sap is being collected all over the continental northeast, but other types of maples have sap equally edible, if not always as sweet. Two years ago, I decided to try tapping the old Norway Maple who lives in my backyard. Over just two weeks, I gathered several gallons of sap from a single tap (most days between 1/2 and 1 gallon). I boiled some of it down to syrup, just to experience the whole process, but much of it I enjoyed straight as a drink, or as the base for soups and teas.
Last Tuesday, after realizing I'd probably missed the very start of the sap running season, I drilled a new hole, and quickly set up a glass bottle for collection. In the first 6 hours, 1/3 of a gallon had collected. The next day was not as warm, but with more hours on the tap the gallon bottle was half full by day's end.
If you have access to a large enough maple, it may not be too late to gather your own (assuming you are reading this in late winter). Drinking the sap (or tree blood as I sometimes call it) of a particular maple tree will connect you in a sweet, lasting way.