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Rhubarb is not a vegetable nor is it a fruit. It is simply a plant. A form of vegetation is all. But it is in fact a plant we eat. I personally never tried eating it until I reached the ripe age of 30. Joe and I stumbled among some at a farmers market and decided to try making a pie with it. 7 cups of sugar later and a runny liquidy mess, the pie was awful!A few weeks later Joe’s Aunt invited us over and served us some Strawberry Rhubarb pie for desert. One bite was all it took. It was absolutely delicious!

When we bought our property we were lucky enough to inherit some very well established rhubarb plants in the existing garden. Last year I was able to harvest a bunch of it and I made a few more attempts at some pies and froze the rest. ruhbarb1

Here are a few things I’ve learned about this “plant”:

  1. Leaves are poisonous!! DO NOT EAT THEM! Tear them off and compost or leave them to rot in your garden. They have toxins in them that shut down your kidneys. You do have to eat quite a bit of it but why risk it.
  2. Red vs. Green is just simply a fashion statement. Contrary to what people think, the two versions of the plant taste the same. The red plant is not any sweeter than the green one.
  3. Dietary aid? Yup, rhubarb can have a laxative effect on some…
  4. If your plant survives a frost, Discard any stalks that look damaged or are flimsy and rubbery. When it frosts the toxins from the leaves can seep back down into the stalks making them unsafe to eat. Wait for new growth before harvesting for consumption.

Happy Harvesting!