Selling Rhubarb

innisfail(3a)May 31, 2007

Just wondering if anyone sells rhubarb at farmers market or from home .

How do you price it, by weight by the stalk ?

What is it worth if anything .

I have many plants , which I enjoy growing ( yet I am not the biggest fan of eating rhubarb )

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kydaylilylady(z6 KY)

Few people sell it down here mainly because it's so hard to get a stand going! I've planted three years in a row and I think finally I "might" have eight plants make it this spring(out of the 24 planted.) It doesn't like our hot humid summers and I think my soil that tends to be on the clay side doesn't suit as well either.

The folks that do sell usually sell by the bunch which usually consists of 4 or more stalks. I think for 4-6 stalks of the red they usually get $3-4 per bunch.

Janet

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 8:26AM
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alaskancyclist_hotmail_com

In Anchorage, AK, I have a South sun spot with 5 crowns of Rhubarb that are up in April. The neighbors yard across the street looks like winter in February. In late March last year we dug up 5 crowns from the huge crowns and planted them at our retirement farm in Chickaloon, AK. Those freshly planted grew fast and strong, just like the ones in Anchorage. I made Rhubarb Crisp, Cobbler, freeze it and have given it away. This year I'm going to sell it. I'm expanding my Rhubarb growth from 5 at the farm to fit in a 20x3 patch this spring.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:58PM
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elrem2002(z5NY)

Better be careful putting that rhubarb out to sell. My wife and I got married in January 1965. We bought an old wreck of a house with less than two acres. That spring we found out we had a few clumps of rhubarb. My wife put a few bunches of the stuff out on a little table by the roadside and it sold right away. I think she got 25 cents a bunch.

Then she put some bunches of wild flowers and other flowers that were growing around the house. They sold fast too. By fall she was putting out little bunches of dryed grass for 10 cents per bunch.

That winter we made bigger plans. We sent away for some vegetable and flower seeds and gladiolus bulbs. That summer, July 1966, I quit my job and neither my wife nor I have had a job since.

The next year we had the neighbor plow up some of his land across the road and we planted more.

A few years later people wanted to buy some of the plants we were setting out so I built my first little greenhouse in addition to the coldframes we had. It was just a 20X28' aframe made out of 2X4s, but I was pretty proud of it.

Then I built another little greenhouse. Bought some more land next to ours, and after digging a large pond to get some fill dirt and buying a lot of gravel I started building larger greenhouses. We have five. Three 27X96 and two 18X120'.

We still use the two little ones. I raised them up so they have higher sides. Also built another 25X28' fiberglass greenhouse.

So it has been 46 years in this business. We still live in the only house we've ever had. Have a nice little farm and nursery. Made a nice little living all these years. Never borrowed any money except the mortgage. Been going to a farmers market for 34 years. Had 11 employees last year. We have one daughter who manages the nursery in the summer.

I've made a long long long story very short. Just wanted to let you know what might happen if you start selling that rhubarb.

To answer your question at the big market were I go they sell rhubarb by the bunch. Probably 4 or 5 stalks per bunch for 2.00 to 2.50 per bunch.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 11:29PM
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herbalbetty

What a great story elrem!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 6:53PM
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myfamilysfarm

Elrem, your story makes me happy that I started growing and selling at my farmers market. I might need to print it off and read it during the tough times at market.

I sell my rhubarb by the pound instead of bunching. It seems like everyone has 'their' idea of the perfect stems. By selling by the pound, they can choose their own. It takes the customer alittle more time, but they're happy (and that's what counts, ok?). I'm thinking about offering it both ways and see which sells out first.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 7:08PM
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mumsofthree(5)

That is a fantastic story!

We moved into our home a year and a half ago, and last spring realized we had a 20ft row of rhubarb growing beside one of our shops. My aunt was looking for rhubarb and I let her come take mine. She did all the work herself, teaching me how as she went along... and also advised me it was time to divide the plants.

When she was done she handed me $200. I tried to refuse and she went on about what a wonderful deal she got and told me it would be at least twice as much if she bought it somewhere else.

SO, when it comes to dividing the plants... how should I approach this if I still want to sell a bit this year? Any chance I can harvest and then divide? Everything I have read says to do it early. But nothing tells me why not to wait until it has been harvested? Could I possibly divide it in the fall?

Thanks for any help :)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:40PM
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elrem2002(z5NY)

Hi Mum,

I'm an old man and could tell lots of stories. I came from a messed up broken family in the hills of Pennsylvania. My mother believed everybody should be working. My first job , at age five, was pulling weeds for a neighbor. When I was 12 I was "farmed out", sent away to live and work for a farmer.

This farmer grew all kinds of produce including rhubarb. They had several rows that were probably about 400 feet long. Seemed like a mile long then when we were pulling it. We bunched it up into small bunches then tied 12 bunches up into a bigger bundle. We stacked those big bundles on the truck like firewood and it was hauled to the city and sold at a wholesale market.

When harvest was done for the season we would dig up one or two rows, divide the plants and set out a couple new rows.

So to answer your question, yes, rhubarb can be divided right after harvest. In my old Rhodale gardening book it also says for the time to divide " spring, after harvest".If you Google the subject you'll find early spring or fall as the best time.

Your 20 foot row of rhubarb is quite a lot. Have you considered dividing just part of the row, then the rest the next year or two? It wouldn't be such a big job. Also the year after dividing and transplanting you won't get as much production. If you don't do the whole patch you will still have some in full production.

You may be suprised how big and fat some rhubarb roots can be, but they usually aren't too hard to dig. Any piece with a pink eye or a growing shoot will grow. If you want a bigger clump faster plant those with 3 or 4 shoots. If you have perennial weeds in the old clumps like grass, bindweed thistle etc. carefully make sure you get all those roots out of your new divisions before planting into your new row.

In our nursery we buy in rhubarb roots to pot up and sell.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 9:38PM
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