While test driving a car I happened across this magical little rhubarb farm. I want to live here.
I spent some time out in the garden today. It’s been so nice lately, summer has truly arrived!
Last year, I bought a small rhubarb plant, in the hopes that this year I would be able to begin harvesting it for pie making.
Unfortunately, between the too small planter I had it in, the darkness on our Renton deck, and gardener error, that plant died. Slowly, but steadily, one leaf, then the other, turned brown, curled up, and fell off. I was devastated.
I wasn’t going to try again, until I had an actual in the ground place to put it, but….
I bought a new one anyway. I decided that in our new place here in Milton it was more likely to get the sun it needed, and I was more prepared to know how to care for it. The scary thing was though, about a month after I bought it (and planted in a large planter, with plenty of sun) it started showing signs that it wanted to do the same thing! I watched in horror as one leaf turned brown, curled, and fell off, all the while trying basic things like moving it to a better location and monitoring it’s water intake.
Once that first leaf fell off though, I knew I would have to take more pro active steps. So I Googled it.
I quickly found that other people were having the same problem! The solution? Nitrogen.
And the funny thing was, I possessed the solution all along, having purchased a package of blood meal at the beginning of the year.
Anyway, that’s all been about 2 or 3 weeks now. I’ve been watching the plant for any new signs of browning. I happy to report nothing of the sort, and in fact, today I found this new bud of a leaf beginning to grow! I’m so happy the blood meal worked. I did a little happy dance on the spot, before grabbing my camera. I will probably be applying it every few months, because apparently (thanks Google) rhubarb likes nitrogen very, very much. Perhaps even more than I like baking with rhubarb itself!
I don’t want to “leek” a good secret….but this farmer’s market was fantastic!
Even though Isaac and I had no need to visit a farmer’s market today, I wanted to go. I found two in the Seattle area, and while I originally wanted to hit both, I knew that one would likely satisfy my needs.
At the West Seattle farmer’s market the shops offer a great selection and variety of veggies, fruits, breads, cheese, meats, and other food-related items. For example, there were several shops that offered rhubarb, which is something I’ve been on the lookout for, during the past few weeks. I saw one place and thought, oh, I’d better get some this is probably the only shop to have it anymore! but then I saw another, and another! It was like Christmas.
I plan on going back next Sunday (or possibly to a different FM on Tuesday…), so I have some rhubarb on hand for the Rhubarb Festival at the Columbia City Farmer’s Market on May 16th. And then I will go back again next month in preparation for Rhubarb Days in Sumner on June 13th and 14th. …I’m hoping the Rhubarb will still be producing by then.
I bought a loaf of beautiful delicious sourdough bread. I couldn’t resist it, it was calling to me. I bought it from Tall Grass Bakery‘s booth.
And a few others:
I look forward to checking out other Puget Sound markets in the coming months. If anyone knows of a particularly awesome one (or ones), let me know!
Rhubarb is one of those foods most people don’t really think about.
It’s not really a fruit, so is it a vegetable? The leaves are poisonous, but the stems go great with strawberries in a variety of things; pie, cookies, crisp, etc. It looks like red celery, but it’s bitter. It’s one of the first vegetables to come each spring.
Over the last year, I have come to love rhubarb. The first pie I ever made was strawberry rhubarb, and it’s been a wild pie ride ever since! I have made an assortment of different types of pie, but I find that I always come back to this stalky red vegetable (yup, it’s a vegetable!).
I even bought myself my own rhubarb plant this year. I’m not sure if I’ll actually be able to use any of its shoots this summer season, and he’s going to have to live in a pot for now, but I have one! Some day I will be able to go outside and grab a couple of stalks anytime I want!
My love for rhubarb is why I was super excited to find fresh rhubarb for sale at a little home-owned honor box fruit stand next door to the Bay View State Park that Isaac and I camped at while in Mt Vernon. Whoever had set it up had rubber-banded stalks of rhubarb together with a note that said “Rhubarb stalks 3 for $1.” This alone was fantastic, since rhubarb is typically about $3.99 a pound at Fred Meyer. But add on top of the price that this rhubarb was super fresh, just picked, and most likely organically grown, I was literally a happy camper that night.
I haven’t made a pie in a couple of months (this is so sad to realize!). But it’s hard to make a full pie with just Isaac and myself to eat it. That’s a lot of pie for two people! (anyone in the greater Puget Sound area want some pie? I would love to make you some)
Anyway, so I brought my little rhubarb bouquet home, where I decided to turn it into rhubarb raspberry cookies (which I did today!) rather than pie. Granted, cookies aren’t healthier than pie, but at least they last longer and we won’t feel like we have to eat them all within two days (that might happen anyway…heh heh)!
Anyone have a rhubarb plant I could groom for you?