All Will has to do is take the bulldozer out and install three culverts along with cutting ditches on both sides of our mile plus driveway, and — ta da! — it rains two inches and keeps at it. I’ve never been a fan of mud bogging but now, in order to get out to the mailbox or go to town, that’s what our little Edge and I do, through quarter mile stretches of slime as the soil is mostly clay with a rock bottom. Before it was bumpy and had potholes. Now it’s mostly smooth. I think… But you should see us going along carefully, trying to get up on the high ridges and not slide into the ruts so the belly will drag. I’m sure it’ll be fine if it ever dries out so it can be graded. But right now? Oh my!

Will putting in a culvert, carrying runoff water from one ditch to the other. The mosquitoes were terrible so he’s spraying!

I’m thinking we’ll have a good harvest of fruit. Although the wild plums are done blooming and that bloom was less than normal, our apples, cherries, and domestic plums are outdoing themselves, just covered in blooms with no frost in sight. The Glass Gem popcorn I planted inside is coming up very well and the first flat is already 3 inches tall. I’ve got it out on the back deck so it will get lots of sun and weather as the greenhouse is full. I did take a friend more than two flats of tomatoes and peppers as she can’t start plants inside since she has no room. You’d think that would make more room, but the plants are growing so fast, I can’t even see empty spots.

This is our Glass Gem popcorn, started early to ensure we get plenty of viable, mature seed.

Today I’m going out to the garden and pulling a big arm load of rhubarb stalks so I can put up some rhubarb sauce. Holy cow, I can’t get over hot big those plants are! Our old plant has stalks nearly as big as my wrist. And, no, they aren’t tough a bit!

We now have seven mature rhubarb plants and I’m getting ready to make lots of rhubarb sauce!

I love rhubarb all ways, pies, crisps, as a filling for coffee cake, over ice cream, as a filling between layers of cakes, and just plain in a bowl. It’s always our first fruit and so appreciated. No wonders pioneers always carried a root or two of “pie plant” with them to their new homesteads. (Remember, guys, rhubarb leaves are toxic so don’t feed them to your livestock or family!) — Jackie

27 COMMENTS

  1. I love rhubarb. I set out two plants last year and one died. The one that lived this spring started having leaves die. We did get a heavy frost after the leaves were out so I’m hoping it will live. I put another out this spring, so hopefully I will get a good stand.we have been having a lot of rain here. Thankful that I don’t have a mile long drive:)

    • Frost doesn’t bother rhubarb. Remember rhubarb LOVES rotted manure. I put about six inches deep manure around ours every fall and boy does it jump in the spring!

  2. Your forests are beautiful, Jackie. Is rhubarb a southern food? My mother-in-law loved those old-fashioned vegetables: rhubarb, rutabaga, and turnip. Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, my mom never introduced me to any of those, so I don’t eat them. My mother-in-law used to let me have a taste of her rhubarb-strawberry jam. It’s an acquired taste.

    • Rhubarb is not a fan of heat and humidity so it seldom does well in the south. There are all sorts of rhubarb recipes and some aren’t so wonderful. If you can get hold of some rhubarb, try making some rhubarb crisp and I think you’ll be sold.

  3. I made a delicious orange/rhubarb crisp this morning to go with morning coffee because I was able to finally get about two cups rhubarb from my plant. I will try to plant another plant if I can find a spot to put it. Rhubarb is sweet-tart and quite a treat! I do hope to get more off of my existing plant :)

    • This fall, add a good ring of rotted manure around your plant. I’ll guarantee you’ll get bigger stalks and more of them next year. I get two cups from one stalk and that’s not even a real big one, either. Orange/rhubarb crisp sounds WONDERFUL. I’ll try that soon!

  4. When I cut the leaves odd and the bottom part I stuff them under the plant for composting and retaining moisture. I get really great rhubarb this way.

    • and me!
      one thing, the past 2 years I have had a deer eat my rhubarb, stalks, leaves and all right down to the ground in both spring and fall. I put out a trail cam so I know it was deer. I have had to fence my patch of 5 huge plants so we can get some.
      I also mail rhubarb to my daughter in Texas as she can not grow any there and it is hard to find in the stores. I line a good size Priority Mail box with a large plastic bag and fill it on Monday morning and catch the mail man so it goes that day. She gets it 2 days later and it is still good.

  5. Our rhubarb here in western NY did very well this year, too! I have been working on rejuvenating the patch the last 4 years or so, and the work is paying off. The original plants came from my great grandparents’ so I have sentimental attachment to the patch.

  6. i was just telling one of my daughters that I have never seen my rhubarb so big. I am getting ready to start doing something with it. I planted some strawberries in the fall and can’t wait to mix them with the rhubarb. They usually start off my canning season. I will happily take some of your rain here in Ct.

    • We were real glad to get it, even though it sure made our driveway a mess. Now our hayfields are growing as well as the pasture grass.

  7. Our plums and apples were full of blossoms as well, 300 miles west of you. But two upcoming nights of 32 degree lows, argh!!

    • We got 28 last night with more cold tonight and Friday night. Our fruit trees are about done blooming but the blueberries are in full bloom. That doesn’t bode well.

  8. Victoria is an old rhubarb variety and like all the old varieties is very sour and needs a lot of sugar for most folks to eat it. There is a modern variety called Starkrimson from Stark Brothers that can be eaten raw or cooked with very little to no sugar. It is productive and the stalks can be large. Crimson Cherry is also a modern, productive and less sour variety. Less sugar is better for you and makes a more economical end product.

  9. My plums outdid themselves this year. Got enough for 2 more days of fresh eating.

    You can send some of that rain down here. We’ve had 1/2″ in the last month. Costs a fortune to water.

  10. I have some of your Victoria rhubarb, also. It’s as amazing as you say. I harvested leaves all summer. As for rain, send some our way. We’re very dry, but it sure beats the last 3 years of cold, wet, seed-rotting weather. I love watching your plants grow. May the whole season go well for you.

    • When I was a kid, I just pulled a stalk and munched it down. Yep, it’s sour so you don’t eat it raw in a bowl. I usually cook it down into a sauce and make crisps, pies or bars with ours. You can sweeten it with honey and drizzle it over ice cream, too.

  11. I made your rhubarb bars(with the coconut topping), and we shared with the neighbor, he said it was the best dessert he had in a long time. I have to agree, pretty good!!

    • All of those recipes in my book are family favorites. Growing most of our own food, we eat like kings! I can’t imagine eating only processed store-bought foods!

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