My Kingdom for Some Rhubarb

Reader Contribution by Erin Sheehan
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Moving this year just about did in our rhubarb. We carefully transplanted it and took good care to water and feed it after the transplant, but even so we couldn’t get much of a harvest from it this year. In year’s past we’ve relied heavily on our (now former) neighbor’s rhubarb patch. She has a very large patch and never seemed to use it all. She kindly shared with us and in return we gave her rhubarb wine and rhubarb jam. Leaving the neighborhood we’ve lost that connection and find ourselves scrambling for a rhubarb supply this year.

A close family friend provided us with nearly enough for what we’ll need for wine. What we did manage to harvest at home will just close the gap. But we don’t have any leftover for a pie, muffins or jam. Tragedy! I just used up the last package in the freezer of our 2014 stash to make some muffins. We have only one jar of jam left down in the canning cellar. It’s hard to believe we’re going to have to go a full year without rhubarb except in the form of wine.

Years ago just about every family had a rhubarb patch out back. Rhubarb is high in Vitamins C and K. Back when fresh fruit wasn’t commonly transported thousands of miles, having a rhubarb patch provided tasty spring fruit for people in northern climates, like us. Unfortunately, it appears that most of those rhubarb patches are long gone, to weeds or, more likely, turned into lawn.

I urge you, dear reader, to start your own rhubarb patch next spring. You can order plants from most seed companies. If you’re not sure what to do with it, just look around for pie and muffin recipes. You won’t be sorry!

Meanwhile, if anyone out there has some extra rhubarb you can spare, please let me know! I’ll pay the shipping.