How to Harvest Rhubarb for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

May 26, 2011 | 11:05 am

Five years ago I planted rhubarb so that today I could enjoy a fresh rhubarb strawberry pie – one of my favorites! During the first three years, I sparingly harvested a few stalks, enough to satisfy my taste buds. To establish the perennial rhubarb plant it’s important to allow the crown and roots to grow without heavy harvesting.

Most of us, who love rhubarb, grew up gnawing on it. As a child, my family benefited from the generosity of our neighbor and her two rhubarb plants. For those of you in the southern states, rhubarb may be foreign to you as it grows best in cooler climates. My rhubarb responded well to a spring application of a 10-10-10 fertilizer. A 10-10-10 fertilizer contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium. All three of these are essential nutrients for plant growth and development. I sprinkled about one cup in a circle around the plant.

Rhubarb has a distinct sour taste that leaves me craving for more. Its tart taste complements the sweetness of strawberries. I planted a strawberry bed this year, so it will be a few more years before I can brag about a fresh rhubarb strawberry pie grown in my backyard.

My kids like to gnaw on a rhubarb stalk as they play in the back yard. Cheers to me for growing a healthy snack. To ensure the longevity and health of the plant, I taught them the proper method of harvesting, as you can see in this short video.

(Feedreaders: Click through to watch the video)

To make the rhubarb strawberry pie, I cut nine stalks of rhubarb. When cooking with rhubarb, only use the stalks. The leaves contain oxalate which is poisonous. As you can see, my rhubarb variety is green. Rhubarb can also be red or pink. I will harvest the rest of the stalks and freeze them for future pies.

If reading this blog starts the craving for the tart, sweet combination of a rhubarb strawberry pie, try our favorite recipe.

Rhubarb Strawberry Pie Recipe

4 C Rhubarb (about 9 stalks)
3 C Strawberries
1 1/3 C Sugar
1/3 + 1/4 C Flour
2 T + 1 ½ Tsp Quick Cooking Tapioca
½ Tsp Grated Orange Grind
½ Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Nutmeg

Bake 425 F for 40-50 minutes.

Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!