Is it too late to harvest rhubarb?

guysmom(z9CA)October 15, 2011

I haven't had time to deal with my rhubarb and was wondering if there comes a point when it is too old to use? I have never canned rhubarb before or even cooked with it. I live on the coast in Northern California. Any help would be appreciated.

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I cooked with some, and froze more, from my neighbors patch last's great. I've never canned it, I freeze it for pies, rhubarb crisp, never combining it with strawberries like you see so often :), luv just the rhubarb.

But, she was careful not to cut/pull all the stalks from this (third?) picking - apparently removing too many (left at least half) can be not so much hard on the tummy, but hard on the plant this late in the year. Z8b here, similar.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 5:02PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I think you need to cook a small amount and see. I have harvested rhubarb this late, but depending upon weather and amount of rainfall it can be more fibrous and tougher.

You never know without a little test batch.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 4:17PM
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Thanks for the help. I was wondering because I saw somewhere that rhubarb is poisonous if left too long. I knew the leaves were, but hadn't heard anything before about the stems. Our weather has been strange this year and everything is late. Can you believe we are harvesting blackberries now? Anyway, I took your suggestion and made some sauce with the rhubarb and it turned out just fine.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 4:35PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

There are still the himalayan berries here now, a little later than some years but I am not picking blackberries much past the end of our native small types....and those were a good three weeks later than usual. Long, cool Spring into early summer, delayed many things....raspberries, blueberries too.

My neighbor with the rhubarb interspaced many sun flowers in among her things and some along our shared fence for me to enjoy...some are finally fully blooming this week.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 5:24PM
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