It won't need much sugar because it has been forced.
Last year the 'scud' was placed over the clump on the left. Next year I'll be forcing the third clump. The 'outdoor' rhubarb isn't that far behind, but that stolen week or two (and the novelty of the first taste of the season) make it worth it's weight in gold, (which the supermarkets seem to have realised as they certainly charge a premium for it!)
Below is a view from inside the chamber:
I can't help wondering why "rhubarb rhubarb" has become such a derogatory phrase. Perhaps it dates back to the Victorian rhubarb craze and some people got fed up with rhubarb enthusiasts going on and on about their obsession. On that score you can count me in!
The funny thing is that I don't know what variety we have got. It was inherited with the plot. Every five years or so I dig up and divide one clump in autumn, planting out the crowns at the opposite end of the plot. It has gone from strength to strength. Thinking I had a later season variety (we can pick as late as August!) I decided to buy in a new variety to extend the growing season. Timperley Early, I thought. So I places a postal order and two bits of bark duly arrived through the letter box. I potted them up as instructed before planting out. One produced a single stalk but shrivelled and died when planted out. The other never showed any sign of life at all and just couldn't be coaxed into life. A waste of money. Sometimes it is worth going to a nursary to be assured of the viability of what you are buying and avoid this sort of disappointment. The cataloge shows you the mature plant whereas they are selling offsets. Subsequently I have read that although Timperly Early is good for forcing, it is also one of the latest growing varieties too! So probably I managed to order the exact same variety as I was already growing! Nowadays I've accepted that we've got the right variety for our location and our tastes. Mind you if I could find a supplier of the all green variety Linneas I might just be tempted....
There is something beautiful about rhubarb fantastic colours.ReplyDelete
What is forced? And why the container??ReplyDelete
Looks delish, Mal. Rhubarb rhubarb is what actors say when they've to make conversation in the background of a scene, hence rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb = gibberishReplyDelete
I sing 'rhubarb and custard' when trying to join in with Danish Christmas carols - it seems to suffice.ReplyDelete
I have moved my rhubarb this year so will probably not even be picking any, let alone forcing. I couldn't bring myself to pay £3 for four stalks in the supermarket yesterday, and that was on special offer!
We had such a big patch of rhubarb when I was a kid and my mother hardly ever did anything with it. A pie once in a while. But I would give a lot to be able to grow a patch here.ReplyDelete
We've had our first rhubarb but we don't force ours - do you find it weakens the plant?ReplyDelete
I know in the rhubarb forcing sheds near to us they use 2-3 year old roots that have never been harvested and say that the forcing process results in the death of the plant.
What do you do with your rhubarb? Over here i have pretty much only eaten it in pie, lots of sugar and often with strawberries. As a kid we'd go out in the back yard with a small baggie of sugar and pick a stalk to dip in it. That is pretty much the only way i ever eaten it.ReplyDelete
We had our first rhubarb - forced and 'normal' - this week, the second lot just now in a crumble. Strangely the forced rhubarb wasn't really ready any earlier than the normal stuff, although I could do with a bigger pot to put over it now!ReplyDelete
Just proves it's best to stick with what works for you. Decent crop as well.ReplyDelete
Really nice photos Mal...I love the sun shining on the yellow leaves. I didn't know they made plastic forcers, only having seen the clay ones which look very fine indeed but likely expensive. Forcing is not something we usually see over here in Nova Scotia re the rhubarb, but I have always wanted to try it. Is it really sweeter...didn't know that. Almost to beautiful to eat really, but I would...pretty darn fast))). Really enjoyed (and learned) you posting on this.ReplyDelete
My rhubarb is doing well in it's container that I planted it in earlier this season. There is a lot of rhubarb ready to be picked on our allotments and even some that is going to seed, seems such a waste and i hate waste so I might ask if I can have a few pickings before it's too late!!ReplyDelete
I have no idea what rhubarb I have but it isn't green. If I see any on our plot though I'll see if I can get you some.
Nice to know there's plenty of entusiasm for rhubarb. To answer a couple of points.ReplyDelete
The container keeps out the light, but also offers weather protection. A purist would say I'm only blanching my rhubarb rather than forcing it. The real forced rhubarb is unceremoniniously dug up, exposed to frost and then dragged indoors and warmed up in heated lightless sheds in an area known as the Yorkshire Rhubab Triangle. I just cheat nature a little bit by providing the big bucket to protect one plant at a time. Yes they do recover well after this (and they get a liberal amount of manure for their troubles) but the commercial onces are useless, not least because they have been uprooted. Kathy at Veg Heaven has a great picture of the inside of one of these sheds. I'll post a link once I've looked it out.
I've written an article about the rhubarb triangle on my website here and it has photos of inside the sheds too - just if you're interested.ReplyDelete
That's great Sue. You are a font of knowledge.ReplyDelete
And here's the blog entry I referred to:
I see it's called "rhubarb rhubarb" too! Subliminal plagiarism at work.
The first pickings of everything is always great.I suppose our appreciation is greater when we have'nt had something for a while. Here in north-west Ireland the first rhuarb is almost ready for picking. Rhubarb and ginger jam I think!ReplyDelete
Like you, we inherited our rhubarb with the plot. I has never occurred to me to think what variety it is.ReplyDelete
Just to update anyone who still strays this way My rhubarb triangle article is now hereReplyDelete