Grow your own



Spring has sprung, and so has the rhubarb in my garden! Rhubarb is such an easy fruit to grow. 
It's unbelievably low maintenance and arrives all by it's self every spring. 
We have a huge, well established patch in our garden so we give alot away to friends and family, as there is too much to use ourselves. 
Now's the time to take your first of many cuttings, we get about three a year from May to September. I'll of course be baking in the following few weeks to come so watch out for some recipes using this yummy versatile fruit. 

If you want to have a go and growing your own fruit & veg rhubarb is the perfect fruit to start with. Here's my top tips on growing your own..

I'd recommend getting a young plant or crown rather than seeds from your local garden centre. Plant in the autumn and leave for a year to establish the plant. Your patience will pay off I promise! Allow a large area for the rhubarb to grow as when it becomes established it really does need alot of space.

In the following May your plant should be ready to harvest, the beautiful red stalks and large leaves will spring up the moment you turn your back. Cut the rhubarb at the base with a knife and cut the leaves off as these are poisonous. Cut back any limp stalks and allow the rhubarb to start growing again ready for the next harvest in July.

After the growing season cut back the rhubarb the the crown (base) in the autumn or winter. 
Removing any leaves, stalks. The rhubarb will be dorment during winter, so it really is a feast and famine situation. However it freezes really well, so even if you have too much during the summer you can bake it all and freeze any extra you have.

I always roast mine as it brings the sweetness out of the rhubarb. Chop it into 3-4cm pieces, put in to a baking tray with a couple of spoonfuls of sugar add a splash of water and a teaspoon of ginger and bake at 200oC for 15-20mins.

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