When the Garden Gives You Rhubarb, Make Lemonade
Written by: Patsy Lussier; Go Go Green Thumbs
With my current soil and climate, I can’t quite grow everything I would typically like to, yet there is still so much abundance possible with a little adaptation and resilience. I simply need to tap into my own creativity around how to interact with plants.
I utilize rhubarb a lot in my garden space for multiple reasons. First off, it just grows so well, it is also very easy to propagate. In the spring simply dig up a part of the root ball and transplant! I have done this over the last couple years and planted them every few feet on the perimeter of my garden patch. This serves a few functions, it keeps the grass at bay so it doesn’t creep into my veggie beds, and it is a great natural water harvester with its large leaves. As I harvest the rhubarb stems I place the discarded leaves around the bottom of the plants as a mulch, again to keep the grass down, and as a soil builder. As a plant itself it is so practical and beneficial for the whole system.
When it comes to harvest though, this plant is oh-so-abundant.
Rule of Green Thumbs: When harvesting your rhubarb make sure you break/pull the stems off, do not cut them.
By placing your thumb right at the base of the stem you can very easily twist to break and pull off the stems. This triggers a reaction within the plant to know to regrow! Then, you can utilize a knife to cut the leaf off.
Now how to utilize it in kitchen? There is the classic strawberry rhubarb jam. I personally enjoy a cobble but my ultimate favorite is rhubarb lemonade. I simmer a few stems in water, let it cool, add lemon juice, sugar and voila! Delicious and nutritious. So refreshing and I love the added flavor.
What are your favorite rhubarb recipes?
Go Go Green Thumbs!