Rhubarb Project- Spring Update

Hello Folks,

I know that I have a lot of new readers since last year and given how many post I have, I know that I can not assume that folks read back onto other longer term projects..

The “Farmgal” Rhubarb project started last year..  for the first time ever, I allowed my rhubarb to go to seed, and just like Grandma told me. Yes, it does impact the amount of rhubarb harvested in the end for sure.. I would never do as many plants as I did that year but as I wanted the best of the best.. I let 28 plants go to seed and then I culled till I have the very best left, I wanted as much crossing of the genes as possible to go into the seeds themselves.

Here is the full post that covered it in photos..

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When they first came out with their first two leaves, not that much difference was noticed yet..

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But then things started to change.. I had to go for 50 to 60 of the wee ones with their first set of true leaves into potting them up, I ended up with a selection of 20 and then they needed to start to grow, I was still trying to find and pot up clear differences in stem color, and or thickness and so forth..

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Below is a great selection of the three main things I am looking at at the moment.. on the far left, green with big stalks.. in the middle.. smaller, but thick but many stalks, and on the right.. red stalks right into red veining in to the leaves themselves..

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For sure my reddest plant of all them that made it to this stage in the culling..

I am looking at ideally culling to the point that I have a new row of 12 that I will be growing out to the two or three year mark for full testing and then culling down to my top five  at that point..

I have a ton of rhubarb seeds left over so If I want to do so, I am easily start many more plants and repeat the process until I get what I am looking for..

Locally, the number one kind of rhubarb plant you can find is Canada Ruby Red.. so many kinds of rhubarb available in the world, and in the stores, we can find one kind.. I personally have three at the farm, plus the Chinese medical that is grown for its root mainly..

I am looking forward to working towards creating more plants from a different gene base here on the farm.. I saw in the newspaper this week that Ontario local rhubarb is available in the stores  for 5 dollars a pound. that’s about five or six ten inch stalks give or take..

Which means that one large well treated rhubarb plant can easily produce 75 dollars worth of store bought rhubarb and I have currently 38 plants scatter around the farm gardens.

While I understand that rhubarb must be grown as a annual in the warmer states for anyone that has enough of cold in the winter for rhubarb to rest in winter, then it becomes a easy plant to grow and care for.

rhubarb and dumpings

Do you grow rhubarb? What is your favorite way to use it?

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6 Responses to Rhubarb Project- Spring Update

  1. Interesting post! Thanks. My favourite way to use rhubarb is either fresh, hot rhubarb over vanilla ice cream or a rhubarb crisp (so easy to make with frozen rhubarb). Both are just delicious. My third favourite way to use rhubarb is to give it to everyone who wants some. Rhubarb seems quite expensive in the grocery stores, especially in the city, so people at work who don’t have their own gardens are quite delighted with some rhubarb.

  2. valbjerke says:

    I turn most of mine into juice – rhubarb strawberry, or rhubarb blueberry…… It seems to be appreciated best that way around here 🙂

  3. I made rhubarb syrup the other day. Makes a very refreshing drink when mixed with club soda.

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