Spring is finally here — 6 Comments

  1. gen,

    What a great old recipe. Thanks so much for sending it in so we can all give it a try.

  2. Pyro,

    Sometimes you can do rhubarb in warmer climates by growing it in the semi-shade. I know it’s a challenge. I sure wish I could grow peaches….. Sigh.

  3. Pyro – rhubarb can be grown in hot and humid areas but it takes extra care, thought and work. Rhubarb is picky about soil and water. The soil has to be free draining and high fertility (lots of compost) and the amended area has to be wide. Soil has to be kept moist but not soggy. It would need morning sun for a few hours, then mostly shade the rest of the day. You may need to treat for powdery and downy mildew – there are lots of food friendly products for that – and you may need to use a dilute liquid fertilizer regularly. Cut seed stalks off as soon as they sprout or the rhubarb will stop producing. If your soil stays more cool than your air temperature, try growing it in a trench (with good drainage) or above ground in a large diameter concrete pipe that you can water down outside to provide evaporative cooling. If it is very warm year round where you live and you want it to be perennial you may have to dig the roots in fall and freeze or refrigerate them for a few months, then replant. Rhubarb can be grown as an annual if you want to spend the money on plants, or from seed if you have the time to do it. It can also be grown in a mostly compost filled container that you could move to a cool, shady place. Plants and seeds even of the same variety (unless cloned) are not identical, so if you try and it doesn’t work get another plant or more seed and try again. I grow a lot of things that shouldn’t live or produce where I am, and often it has taken more than one attempt to get the food I want. If you want rhubarb, think of ways to provide the growing conditions it needs and don’t give up.

  4. Miss Jackie, my friends know I love to get/read old cookbooks. I was just given an old Woman’s Club recipe book from 1929. There was a Rhubarb Relish recipe, and I thought you or others might like to see it.
    I can’t tell you who or where it was published, because the original owner cut and glued newspaper or magazine recipes all over areas not covered by the recipes in the book.

    Rhubarb Relish

    Take one quart of rhubarb cut into one inch pieces, one quart of onions, one pint of vinegar, one and one/half lbs of brown sugar, one teaspoon cinnamon, salt, alspice(sic) and black pepper. (one teaspoon each?)
    Boil until fairly thick, and bottle. Will keep sealed or covered with paraffine(sic)
    Mrs. Mate A. Leaming / (the lady whose recipe this is attributed to in the book)

    I know that if you wanted to can this, you would need to increase the amounts, and that you would need to either water bath or pressure can to meet todays standards, but this recipe sounded delicious to me.

  5. So envious of your rhubarb. It just won’t grow in my area – too hot and humid. Bet you are happy to see the last of the snow! Just started some of the beans I bought from you. I’m very pleased with how many were in the package. Much better than commercial packages. Thanks again for starting a seed business.

  6. Isn’t this just a wonderful time of year? Even though there is so much to do it just refreshes our souls to get out again! Thank you for taking the time to share with us! Cindy