Spring Fling Prize Packs!

FS prizes 1

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Fruit Share Manitoba would like to extend our thanks to the following Spring Fling prize pack sponsors (clockwise from top left):

Manitoba Canola Growers donated this backpack filled with recipes, cool cooking tools and a pretty snazzy apron.

The U of M Press jumped in with a great bundle of books, including Forest Prairie Edge by Merle Massie, Growing Resistance by Emily Eaton, and Winnipeg Beach by Dale Barbour.

Looking for a new do for this year’s fruit season? Salon POP has donated a complimentary cut, colour and follow up visit with Carrie and some Aveda hair products.

Why We Love Rhubarb (And You Should Too!)

It’s more versatile than you think!

Easy to grow, yet easy to overlook. Many people shy away from rhubarb due to its tartness and confusion over how to prepare it. Once picked, rhubarb is easily stored in the refrigerator or can be frozen for future use. Check out these simple recipes for some great ideas on how to use rhubarb:


Fruit Share Expanding to… Dauphin?

fresh appleGaetene is a resident of Dauphin, MB and has written a great piece that will be published in a number of local newspapers this week. She is looking in to the idea of starting a Fruit Share in Dauphin and the surrounding Parkland area. Way to go Gaetene!

Dauphin “Berry Patch” and Fruit Share Manitoba

A few times this past week, with anticipation and glee, I visited the “Berry Patch” garden in Dauphin. I took the opportunity to harvest a share of cherries, crab apples, delicious red currents and rhubarb. Still to come are the chokecherries, and already past their prime were the Saskatoon berries. Constructed and maintained by the “Dauphin in Bloom” program, this aptly named gem on the west side of the train station highlights some of the diverse, perennial food that grows in the region and offers it to be enjoyed by the residents and visitors of Dauphin alike. 

Rhubarb Meringue Dessert

Oh my god, this was sooo good.  It may have even surpassed our love for rhubarb crisp!

Rhubarb Meringue Dessert

I modified this recipe based on several versions in an old United Church cookbook.


1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup white flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter

2 tbsp white flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 cups chopped rhubarb
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

3 egg whites
5 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla


Combine flour and sugar.
Cut butter into small pieces and add to flour. Using a pastry blender mix in butter pieces until mixture is crumbly.
Pat into a 9×9 inch pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or just starting to brown.

Home made strawberry and rhubarb ice cream

rhubarb ice creamRhubarb is delicious warm. Served in a pie or dolloped over vanilla ice cream, the fruit seems to signal the start of spring. But, as the days get hotter, I’ve been looking for ways to get my rhubarb fix without the extra heat. Enter rhubarb ice cream.

I love home made ice cream because you can use only natural ingredients. You can get rid of ugly preservatives and artificial colours and enjoy something totally organic. This is my second batch, after making my first with only rhubarb. Now that cherries are in season, I’m looking forward to having a go with rhubarb and cherry ice cream! What, dear readers, are your favourite ice cream flavours and will you be making your own this summer?

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.


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


  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

Grow Your Own Rhubarb

We’ve been posting a lot about rhubarb so I’m sure there are some of you wondering how you can grow your own. Rhubarb is one of my favorite plants because it’s incredibly easy to grow. It’s important that, when you’re starting out, you pick a good plot because rhubarb will return each year.

rplantWe attempted to grow rhubarb in Australia but because of the plot we chose, our yields were pretty miserable. This time we got lucky and inherited rhubarb with the property and the previous owners picked a great spot in the corner of the garden in the shade. An established plant is roughly 2-3ft in diameter so when you’re ready to plant, choose a plot where the plant will have space to grow. You’ll need to dig a hole twice the size and depth of the rhubarb crown and fill with vegetable growing compost.

Rhubarb: What’s in it for me?

Let’s talk nutrition!

Rhubarb is made up of several key nutrients including potassium, vitamin C and calcium.

  • Potassium is a mineral that plays a role in blood pressure control, muscle growth, the nervous and digestive systems, kidney health, and brain function
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that keeps us healthy and protects our cells from damage
  • Calcium is a vital mineral that helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth

Rhubarb is made up of 95% water and is relatively low in calories in its natural state. One cup of rhubarb contains about 28 calories. As rhubarb is quite tart, it is not uncommon to add sugar to get that sweet taste. Adding sugar will however, increase the calorie content. Sometimes people opt to use artificial sweeteners to add sweetness without the calories.

Rhubarb – 10 interesting tid bits

Are you a rhubarb lover?  It seems some people love it and some people don’t.  I am  a lover.

three varieties of rhubarb

Not only is it a remarkably hardy, fast growing and low maintenance plant, but those tart stalks are incredibly tasty!  Rhubarb pie, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb oat bars, stewed rhubarb, rhubarb BBQ sauce (yes!), rhubarb slush, rhubarb fool, rhubarb muffins, rhubarb cake, rhubarb meringue dessert.  Wow, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

As we get ready to head into rhubarb season, have a look at this article on rhubarb written by Dorothy Dobbie in Ontario Home & Gardener Magazine.

Can’t wait!

WANTED – Rhubarb!

Reward? A tasty treat that can be used in jams, pies, cakes, crisps, and so much more!

Rhubarb is known as a cool season perennial plant that can survive the harsh Manitoba winters. Even with our late spring, rhubarb will soon be ready for picking, likely by the end of the month.


Keep an eye out for unharvested rhubarb in the coming weeks. If you spot unharvested rhubarb, why not knock on the door and see if the owner will allow you to pick a few stalks? Or, drop a Got Fruit? note in the mailbox to encourage them to sign up their rhubarb with Fruit Share. We have volunteers ready and eager to pick!

Dreaming of Fruit

Dreaming of Fruitfrozen fruit

By Hadass Eviatar

Hadass is a Winnipeg writer. She blogs at My Coat of Many Colours (link is http://hadasseviatar.com/blog/), where she muses on life, health and the joys of local food.

It’s the Winter That Wouldn’t Die. Below-normal temperatures, piles of snow everywhere. Talk of a big flood, again. But I’m dreaming of summer’s fruit.

The apple trees in my yard are still bare, still holding on to last year’s apples that didn’t get picked. I’m sure the birds who stayed here through the winter appreciated them. I need to figure out some way to get those apples – maybe I’ll strike a deal with my neighbour, whose yard they hang over so enticingly. It looks like the same tree is bearing two kinds of apple – I wonder who spliced them together so many years ago? The crab apples on my side made the most delightful applesauce last year, but I can’t wait to get my hands on those eating apples, so tantalisingly on the wrong side of the fence.

Steinbach’s First Pick!

A very generous neighbour asked Fruit Share to harvest his rhubarb. We were able to pick about 20lbs of rhubarb from his three plants.  1/3 went to Southeast Helping Hands, Steinbach’s local food bank. The donation was well received and will be available next week during the Foodbank’s pick-up day.

A great start to Steinbach’s first Fruit Share season!

Thank you!

Cai, helping to pick rhubarb.

The First Fruit of 2012

Here’s a look at the first batch of rhubarb shared with us for 2012.  Weighing in at 4lbs 4oz, this pre-picked bundle was shared with us by  home owners from the South Osborne area who have been donating their rhubarb since 2010.

I’ll be sharing this rhubarb, where I shared the very first batch back in 2010 – with the seniors of Fred Tipping Place.  The rest I’ll prepare for the  Dig In Manitoba Urban Fruit Harvesting workshop  on June 6 at the Riverview Community Centre.  Click here for workshop details and to register.

Last year we picked about 36 patches of rhubarb.  This year, let’s see if we can capture more untapped rhubarb throughout the city and in Steinbach.  Let no rhubarb be forgotten!

When to Harvest Rhubarb?

Not sure whether your rhubarb is ready to be picked?  No need to worry, Fruit Share is here to offer some helpful tips of when to harvest this tasty treat!

Rhubarb is perfect for our prairie gardens. This cool season perennial is winter hardy, drought tolerant and requires a cold dormant season to stimulate spring growth. It does not do well in extreme heat and will slow its growth considerably in the summer. It is typically the first fresh produce ready to harvest on the prairies, often starting as early as May or June.  This year, has been an ideal, early spring for rhubarb and I’m sure we’ll be harvesting in just a couple of weeks.