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Old 09-12-2016, 08:10 AM   #1
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Rhubarb, how do you know when it is ready to harvest.

Got some Rhubarb growing in the garden
Plants are about 3 years old
I never cooked or harvested it before , so Im just curious how and when to harvest the stalks ??

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Old 09-12-2016, 09:00 AM   #2
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When the rhubarb is young and tender, so in the start of the season.
Where I live the rhubarb are only harvested between May and midsummer, after that they are to hard and woody to eat and if they have flowered, yet again to hard and woody. But that is the type we have , Victoria, very sensitive to blooming. Remember to harvest only 3/4 of your rhubarb ( yours i 3 years old it can handle it), so there are some leafs left, that way you can get more rhubarb. Also pull it off all the way down, dont cut it off, that can lead to root rot .
You can try your rhubarb even now if you want to, it might just taste woody and remember dont eat the leafs!
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:19 AM   #3
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In Yorkshire, England, they cultivate Rhubarb in dark wooden sheds with a level of light the equivalent of candlelight. It's tender and tasty and juicy when you harvest it. There are a number of sites on the web on the topic 'Cultivating forced rhubarb in Yorkshire' well worth reading. I remember it as a child, when it was just baked in the oven in a dish with a lid on, and sugar. We used to make rhubarb crumbles. A crumble is where you make a 'crumb' like you would for making shortcrust pastry, without the liquid or eggs. You've brought some good memories back!

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Old 09-12-2016, 10:21 AM   #4
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The leaves are very easy to pull. Just pull straight out and the stalk should come completely away from the plant.

Further to CakePoet's comment about not eating the green leafy part... she says that not because it is unpleasant but because it is toxic.

Just rinse your stems, cut into 1 or 2" pieces, dump them in a pot, put them on the stove at medium heat, no water is really necessary there will probably be enough left from rinsing but if not just a bare minimum of water. Once it is starting to soften, add sugar to taste.

Yummy on ice cream or custard or just by itself. hmmm rhubarb compote... still have some frozen in the freezer, think I will have to make some now. I also have a couple of recipes with rhubarb in cake, if anyone is interested.

I mostly freeze my rhubarb in 2 cup increments. No need to defrost for recipes.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:00 AM   #5
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Rhubarb, how do you know when it is ready to harvest.

I wouldn't bother harvesting rhubarb past July. I have my own tiny patch, and my divorced neighbor gave me access to his big patch since he doesn't use it anymore. He gets a jar of my rhubarb sauce. You can wear the leaves as a hat! Yes, the leaves are toxic. I just sit on a bench outside and break the leaves off, then throw them in the woods after selecting one for my hat.

I make rhubarb tea, just boil rhubarb and water, no sugar needed. Strain and keep in a pitcher in the fridge. I also make rhubarb sauce, little or no water, a bit of sugar or agave syrup. No strawberries for me, I'm a rhubarb purist. I also chop and freeze it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:13 AM   #6
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Looks like Im waiting till next year, but I'm looking forward to it. I was afraid to pick to early in the season, as I thought I may kill the plant. Wish I posted this back then.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:55 AM   #7
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Ginger goes well with rhubarb. My grandmother used to make rhubarb and ginger jam. Oh, and strawberry and rhubarb jam too if there weren't enough strawberries to make jam on their own. Sorry the recipes are lost in the mists of time but you could "Google".

Rhubard makes a good sauce with mackerel too, if you can't lay your hands on any gooseberries.

Insidentally, when picking it, pull it, don't cut. (I have no experience of this but my uncle who a gardener by trade told me to do it)
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:49 PM   #8
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My Mother LOVES Rhubarb!
I suppose it depends on your area and when to harvest.
My Green Grocer told me when there's no more (or very little)
green left on the stalk is when is good to go.
Tender, not woody. He told me that they cut theirs down in April and May.
Here's what I do with my haul:
https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedes...heres-rhubarb/
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:26 PM   #9
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Larry; your plant is 3 years old, that is when you can harvest 3/4 of the plant.

I do rhubarb cordial, rhubarb toffee, rhubarb melt, rhubarb pie, rhubarb chutney, when my neighbors give them in June. This June, there as huge bug infestation on most rhubarbs in this village so we got very little.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:55 PM   #10
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Also note that there are many different types of rhubarb. Some get traditionally red but many others only have a little red on them. I would say my plants are more green than red but somehow the pink/red colour still comes thru when cooked.

If it doesn't I have no problem with adding a tiny drop of food colouring.
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