Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The First Harvest!

The harvesting has begun on the Little Farm and we only have about 10% of the garden planted! Yep, I went out and cut rhubarb today. It's washed and waiting for me transform into muffins or crisp or dice it and stick in the freezer to help feed us next winter. Truth be told, we harvest rhubarb all summer and most of this first rhubarb never makes it to the freezer.

The photo above looks a bit odd. I meant to take it earlier in the day, but today just got away from me and I had to take it after the sun was going down. Rhubarb is not meant to be photographed with flash!

Rhubarb is always the first thing we get out of our garden. A good piece of rhubarb crisp is a sure sign of spring. That fresh, tart taste is just blissful! The Young'uns love to dip a stalk in sugar and crunch away. Add some sweet strawberries to your rhubarb and you've got the makings of a pie to die for! Isn't it amazing that God planned it all out to have rhubarb and strawberries ready at the same time?

The best part of growing rhubarb is that, really, you don't have to do anything to it, except harvest it. Once you put that plant in the ground, it just takes off. In fact, after a few years, you'll need to split it up and move some to another spot in your garden or give it away to another rhubarb lover. It just keeps producing! We've given away parts of our rhubarb plants to at least 15 people over the years. Want some rhubarb - start asking around. Someone will be able to divide their plant and give some to you. They'll probably be happy to get a bit of their garden back.

The only part of the rhubarb plant to be eaten are the ruby red and green stalks. Do NOT eat the leaves. They contain some mildly poisonous substances. We do throw the leaves in our compost pile, however.

Interesting Little Farm Fact: In the "First Four Years" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Laura talks about forgetting to add sugar to a pie she was making for threshers at her home. The pie was made from pie plant. Guess what pie plant is? Rhubarb! That would be one sour pie!

Photos of what this first rhubarb turns into will be coming! Yeah Spring!
(An aside...please read the "The Little House" books to your kids! They will love them! We've read them aloud twice so far over the years. Such great language, history, family examples and more in each book. My boys enjoyed them all - especially "Farmer Boy".)


  1. If you want to split your plant this year, let me know. I would love to take some off your hands. I have wanted to plant rhubarb but have never been able to find it. OK, I wasn't looking really hard...but anyway. (-:

  2. Julie - ask me early next spring. From what I know about splitting rhubarb it needs to be done in early spring.