2013 Harvest Stats Reflection – by Dayna K.

The 2013 harvest was an interesting one. Due to a late spring, the rhubarb crop was considerably smaller than usual, with only 13 harvest requests. Volunteers were eager to pick, however, and we filled all of the requests and picked 275 pounds of rhubarb from backyards across the city.

Spring turned to summer and with it, a variety of “special fruit” picks, which filled up very fast! Homeowners requested picks of apricots, cherries, chokecherries, plums, raspberries, and a u-pick farm even donated the last of their strawberries for our pickers!

Orange Rhubarb Butter

Orange Rhubarb Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 2x500 mL jars or 4x250 mL jars.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups orange juice

Instructions

  1. Combine rhubarb, sugar and orange juice in a large heavy pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Reduce heat to low and let it gently bubble, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  3. If it is sticking to the bottom of the pot, reduce heat.
  4. Continue cooking like this for at least one hour, until the butter has reduced in volume and has turned a deep rosy colour.

Harvesting Rhubarb

We are gearing up for harvesting season! With the recent rain and warmer temperatures, rhubarb will soon be ripe, if it isn’t already! Picking rhubarb is a very simple process, however there are few tips to keep in mind:

–Before you start–

  • Remember, only the stalks of the plant are edible!
  • Refrain from picking stalks if this is the first year of planting the rhubarb
  • Rhubarb can be harvested about every 4 to 5 weeks, or about 3 times a season
  • Rhubarb growth may be affected by lack of water, poor drainage, high temperatures and frost

–What to look for–

  • Stalks should be about 10-20 inches long 
  • The length and thickness of the stalk can vary according to weather conditions and the variety of the plant