Surprise Rhubarb!


“So what else are you going to plant in your garden?” a friend of ours asked this spring after I had shown her the peas and lettuce that we had planted.

“Well, I definitely want to do some potatoes. I think carrots would be good too. Oh, and I really want to do rhubarb,” I replied.

“Oh, rhubarb is great! Do you know where you are going to get your transplants from?” she asked.

Hmmm… You see, I hadn’t realized that you don’t just plant rhubarb directly from seed. Apparently, you actually have to take the root of a plant that is already thriving and then transplant it into your garden. Then, the really disappointing thing is that you can’t eat the stems of the plant that year. You have to wait two to three years to harvest the rhubarb for eating. If you don’t, you are likely to simply kill off the plant. I was quite saddened to hear this, I had been dreaming of strawberry rhubarb pies ever since I thought about planting rhubarb.

A few weeks later, the same friend came over on a gorgeous sunny evening. We walked around the yard looking at all the different plants.

“Wow, look at your rhubarb!” she said excitedly.

“What?” I asked increduously.

You see, I hadn’t actually planted any rhubarb yet. Things had been busy and it just hadn’t happened yet. At first I thought my friend was just pulling my leg. But then I looked at where she was pointing, and lo and behold we had over 20 rhubarb plants!

They were hidden underneath some trees, so I had never really noticed them, but on closer examination they were definitely rhubarb.

I ran and told Kyle, “Come look! We have rhubarb!” I then dragged him out to show him which ones they were.

“Oh, well that’s good to know. I won’t take the Weed Whip to those,” he said.

Thrilled, I started dreaming of all the dishes I could make with the rhubarb: strawberry rhubarb pie, sour cream rhubarb pie, rhubarb cake, rhubarb chicken, etc. Yum, yum!

Erika Written by:

One Comment

  1. sarah
    July 27, 2013

    I always thought rhubarb was an edible weed growing in our yard my whole childhood. It wasn’t until college that I saw it for sale in the produce section that I was shocked people actually paid for it!

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