It's Rhubarb Season!

It's Rhubarb Season!

When we bought our house several years ago, I discovered a grapevine, horseradish plants, and a rhubarb patch!  The rhubarb has continued to produce luscious fruit year after year without any help from me.  Every year as I harvest it, I am reminded of Deuteronomy 6:10-12.  It says when God brings you into the land He promised you filled with good things you did not provide, vineyards and (rhubarb patches) you did not plant, be careful that you do not forget the Lord did this for you.

Deuteronomy 10-12 When God, your God, ushers you into the land he promised through your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you, you’re going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn’t build, well-furnished houses you didn’t buy, come upon wells you didn’t dig, vineyards and olive orchards you didn’t plant. When you take it all in and settle down pleased and content, make sure you don’t forget how you got there—God brought you out of slavery in Egypt.

Amongst all the upkeep and repairs that come with owning a home, I don't want to forget and be grateful for what the Lord has given me!  I am to steward and enjoy this home until it is time to pass it along to someone else.  So, it is time to take care of that rhubarb patch!

 

rhubarb plant

Stewarding my rhubarb patch

According to Farmer's Almanac, a healthy plant will remain productive for 10 years or more. Here are their tips on keeping your patch healthy.

Overcrowding is a common problem with rhubarb and can lead to subpar growth. Dig and split rhubarb roots every 3 to 4 years. Divide when plants are dormant in early spring (or late fall). Divisions should have at least one large bud on them. 

  • Mulch generously with a heavy layer of straw to retain moisture and discourage weeds.
  • Water your plant well and consistently. Rhubarb needs sufficient moisture, especially during the hot, dry days of summer. 
  • Remove seed stalks as soon as they appear, as they will only drain energy from the plant that could otherwise be used for producing stalks or roots.
  • Each spring, apply a light sprinkling of a fertilizer (10-10-10) when the ground is thawing or has just thawed. 
  • In the fall, remove all plant debris. Once your ground freezes, it’s best to cover rhubarb with 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch, preferably well-rotted compost. By adding nitrogen to the soil, you’re preparing the rhubarb plants for a good spring season.
cutting rhubarb

Enjoying the rhubarb from my patch.

IMPORTANT!!!  The stalks are the only edible part of the rhubarb plant. These have a rich, tart flavor when cooked.  Rhubarb leaves are toxic, so be sure that they are not ingested.

  • Harvest stalks when 12 to 18 inches long and at least 3/4 inches in diameter. If the stalks become thin, stop harvesting; this means the plant’s food reserves are low.
  • Grab the base of the stalk and pull it away from the plant with a gentle twist, or cut the stalk at the base with a sharp knife. To prevent the spread of disease, be sure to sanitize the knife before cutting. Discard the leaves.
  • Always leave at least 2 stalks per plant to ensure continued production.
  • Store cut rhubarb in a covered container or tightly wrap stalks in plastic and refrigerate. Rhubarb will keep fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
  • To freeze: cut rhubarb stalks into pieces, place them in a covered container or zip-type plastic bag, and put them in the freezer. Frozen rhubarb will last about a year.

Rhubarb Lemonade

 Favorite recipes.

 

I tried this for the first time this year and we loved it.  So refreshing and pretty!  I liked it poured over crushed ice.  To make it extra special, dip the rim of your glass in sugar.

 Rhubarb Lemonade

 

 ******************************************************************************************

This cobbler recipe is a batter poured over the sugared fruit.  Fast and easy, my favorite kind of summer dessert.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Rhubarb Cobbler*******************************************************************************************My final recipe of the day is a Rhubarb Jam. The tartness of the rhubarb is mellowed by the warm flavor of vanilla.  It deserves a place of honor on your breakfast table or charcuterie board. A jar of this makes an awesome gift too.

Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

******************************************************************************************As you can tell, my delightful life includes rhubarb. It is a reminder of the blessings I have received from the Lord that I did not plant.

 

Do you have a favorite rhubarb recipe?  I'd love to hear about it!

 

 PDF for my Vanilla Rhubarb Jam labels are available here.  It is for Avery 2 1/2" round labels, #22830. 

 

 

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