This past weekend, I hauled compost from the recycling center across the road. (I make my own but not enough for this space. It's best for pots.) I got four banana boxes from the supermarket and made, I think‚ 10 trips. Round trip was less than a mile and it was backbreaking work at 90+ degrees, but it enabled me to get some greens seeds in. One favorite is Cracoviensis, aka asparagus lettuce in some circles. The leaves grow in a swirl around a relatively thick stalk, which, to me, is the best part. As it reaches more than two feet, pluck the leaves for salad. Then, when the plant seems spent (it has 47-day maturity), cut it down, peel the stalk, and cook it (steam is quick and easy). It's wonderfully milder than its namesake.
On a sour note, my three-week-old rhubarb failed to thrive... so I returned it and got a new plant. Fortunately, my garden neighbor has a very happy plant (it's practically a bush already!) and she generously invited me to take a couple of stalks. That means apple rhubarb crunch tonight and rhubarb and strawberries later in the week, who knows how now—so many of these rhubarb recipes sound soooo good!
What is your favorite way to have rhubarb? How's your garden progressing?
Janice Stillman joined the Almanac as editor in 2000. When she is not working the words, she enjoys peddling a bicycle, growing things to eat, cooking, and handcrafts (especially knitting because needles and yarn can be taken anywhere).