Rhubarb

Rhubarb - people seem to love it or hate it.   I enjoy rhubarb crisp, pie, jam, quick bread, cookies, and other desserts.  Rhubarb can be combined with strawberries or pie cherries in pie and jam.  Rhubarb/cherry pie I think is just as good as rhubarb/strawberry pie.  I would think rhubarb fruit leather would be tasty although I have never tried it.  Be sure to never eat the leaves since they are toxic.  Harvest by pulling on a stalk instead of cutting.  Then remove the leaves and compost them.  Rhubarb can be frozen or dried for later use.

Rhubarb is not just for growing out in your garden patch.  I have seen it grown as an ornamental by the front entrance and as a border in front of shrubs in an apartment complex. I have read that if properly fertilized you will not get flower stalks.  During the short time I have tried this it has worked.  I fertilize with straight compost placed around the base of the plants.   If you do get flower stalks cut or break them off right away.

Rhubarb is usually found in the spring in nurseries or by mailorder/internet.  You may also know someone who has a plant which needs dividing so they may be happy to give you a start.  Plant your rhubarb at the depth it was in the pot or in the ground.  I grow mine in 2 x 2 Square Foot Garden boxes.  If growing straight in the ground amend your soil with compost first.  Do not harvest rhubarb the first  year.  The second year you may harvest a few stalks. From then on you may harvest quite a bit being sure to leave several leaves and stalks to keep the plant strong.
Hardiness zone 5 - 9 or 2 - 9 depending who you ask.  It grows very well in various areas of Anchorage, Alaska
Rhubarb recipes
More rhubarb recipes

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