When we bought our house almost ten years ago (has it been that long?!), I knew one of the first things I wanted to do was plant a garden. Growing up, my mom always had a huge garden, and I wanted my kids to have similar memories, as well as understand where our food comes from.
That first summer, we had a jungle of potted plants, and it was awesome.
The next summer, we expanded our garden into the actual ground. And I soon realized that I wanted to add rhubarb to our garden.
Rhubarb is a perennial. What that means is that it keeps coming up year after year. Anytime I can plant something once and have it continue to come back and give delicious fruit – that is a plus in my gardening book!
We had some friends separating out her rhubarb plants, and she graciously gave us three plants to put in our garden. They didn’t produce much that first year, but all the years since it has given us tons of rhubarb!
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but is typically treated as a fruit. The stalks are red and green, and tart as anything, but they make some amazing desserts and baked goods. My brother and I used to cut the stalks and dip them in sugar to eat raw, which my kids also love to do.
Rhubarb is also the first edible thing that grows in my garden – besides the dandelions.
This week I decided I wanted to cut some rhubarb and make something. I had intended to make a rhubarb custard pie which is my favorite, but I didn’t have the energy to make a pie crust, so instead I made rhubarb crisp.
It was absolutely delicious! I may have made extra crisp to go on the top, but that is totally OK, right?!
I was a little overzealous in the rhubarb cutting, and have about 6 cups of extra cut up rhubarb, so today I will be getting to that pie, and most likely making a rhubarb coffee cake as well.
Once the initial desire of sweet and tart rhubarb treats is over, I will start canning the rhubarb. It is super easy, chop, add some sugar, put in a boiling water bath canner, and save for the middle of winter when you want a taste of spring!
As long as I stay ahead of the seed stalks (cutting those as soon as I see them), the rhubarb will continue to produce delicious, tart stalks right through July.
Have you ever had rhubarb before? Do you grow it in your garden?