By now all the rhubarb plants are leafing out and starting to grow those wonderful red and green stalks that we all look forward to every spring. Such a wonderfully hardy and delicious prairie delight!
Here are some best practices when harvesting rhubarb:
1) Chose only the thicker stalks - these have the most flavor. Leave the thinner stalks for a future harvest. Leave at least 30% of the plant to continue growing.
2) Pull the stalk out of the plant. Do not cut the stalk - you will leave a short stem that may rot and damage the plant.
3) Rip or cut the leaf off the stalk. Drop the leaf beside the plant to provide weed protection, mulch and nutrients for the soil around the plant. (DON'T EAT the leaves, they are poisonous!)
4) Rinse stalks with water - they can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks in an open ziplock bag. Or chop and freeze stalks to bake with in the future.