Did you guess a fruit? Guess what, rhubarb is a vegetable, even though it is commonly used in pies, muffins, sauces and desserts.
As kids we use to go out to the garden, pick a stalk of rhubarb, and see who could finish eating their stalk first (just the thought of this makes me pucker-up). We even tried sprinkling salt on the stalk, eee-ow! If you’ve tried this before, you know rhubarb’s pucker power.
If you are a new gardener looking for an easy-to-grow plant, rhubarb is the plant for you. It is one of the first edibles to appear in the garden and when fully developed, it has big, heart-shaped leaves with red or green-tinted stalks.
To grow rhubarb, simply purchase a crown from your local nursery (3-4 should be plenty for a family of 4), plant it in early spring and water it throughout the growing season. Harvest your rhubarb when stalks are 12 to 18 inches long.
Grab the base of the stalk and twist as you pull up. Leave at least 2 stalks per plant to ensure continued production.
After the rhubarb leaves die down in the fall, simply cover the rhubarb crown with straw or compost. Check out our book Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World ® for more growing tips under “How does your garden grow…?” and some of our delicious recipes using this fruit-like “vegetable.” Click here to find some rhubarb recipes on our blog.
As I close this blog out, I think I just came up with a new contest for my grandchildren. They always want me to taste some extreme sour candy they have brought (to see grandma’s face pucker-up), but boy do I have a surprise for them. Raw rhubarb or sour candy? I think I at least win in the nutrient content department!