Well it looks like most of a year has gone by since my last post. Like the old yankee who won’t fix his roof in the rain and says it doesn’t leak when it’s sunny, I don’t get around to writing very often. But it’s been on my mind. Sometimes I look up from my work and see plants thriving all around me and I think “This is amazing! I’ve got to share this with someone.”
Right now I’m most enamored with rhubarb. It makes me think of my grandparents who had a farm in western New York. Their rhubarb patch was in the tall grass across the road from the house. It was never weeded or fussed over. My dad tells me that every spring my grandpa would park his manure spreader beside the patch and just empty it out and then every so often he’d run a plow through to divide the root clumps. When I first got my plants I fussed over them. I weeded them ever so thoroughly. I just wouldn’t leave them alone, and when the next spring came around almost a third of them didn’t come up again. Turns out rhubarb likes neglect. You can treat it rough but give it some space. My grandpa used to stew his rhubarb with a little sugar and maybe serve them with biscuits, or maybe just in a bowl with a spoon!
When we were first dreaming up our berry patch I thought a lot about my grandparents. Their’s was a dairy farm, but there were lots of berries around. Us kids would go up into the woods and pick blackberries or pick the gooseberries that grew along the lane between the hay fields and the pastures. I believed my grandma when she told me her tongue was so rough because she ate so many gooseberries. A visit to the farm was fun and delicious. Perhaps the best sweet that we ever got at the farm was grandpa’s rhubarb upside down cake. Check out the recipe here