What is Rhubarb?
Is it only good in pies? What can you do with it? Is it healthy? How do you harvest it? Well, we got several of our employees to answer these questions and more! Check out what makes these plants so unique and delicious!
Rhubarb can be used for many things. Growing up I remember my grandma making tons of rhubarb pies for all the holidays and it being sweet but then sour at the same time. Then I found out what it looked like in the garden, and I was pretty surprised, but it was delicious.
This is going to date me, but in my family, we grew up on the Brady Bunch, and everybody knows there are pork chops and applesauce, but in our family, we always did pork chop and rhubarb sauce.
Rhubarb often ends up in the sweet category of foods like pies, cobbler, and ice cream, but also does really well in savory dishes like chicken and pork. It makes a great addition to different sauces, salsas, and jellies.
Let me tell you why I eat and grow rhubarb. I do it for three things, I do it for my bones, my brain, and my bowels. Rhubarb is really high in vitamin k and calcium, which is really good for your bones and helps prevent osteoarthritis. Number two, I eat it for my brain because it’s an anti-inflammatory, especially an anti-inflammatory for the brain which helps prevent Alzheimer’s but also keeps me focused and clear, especially for work. And lastly, for my bowels, it’s really high in fiber, so it’s really great for digestive health.
Harvesting rhubarb is super simple and easy. When you have a healthy plant that has a stock at least five inches or longer you’re simply going to reach the base of the stock, give a gentle twist and pull, then you have your rhubarb. Remember, it’s the stock we are harvesting, not the leaf. We’re not going to eat the leaf, but we are going to keep leaves on the plant so that it can continue to get what it needs from the sun to be healthy.
A general rule of thumb to follow is early in the season harvest two-thirds of the plant and leave one-third. And then towards the end of the season harvest one-third of the plant and leave two-thirds so that it will have enough leaves to be able to absorb what it needs from the sun to go back down into the bulb and keep it healthy all winter. Enjoy your rhubarb!
Watch as Bauman employees from Bauman’s Farm & Garden talks about rhubarb.