Friday, May 22, 2009


Yesterday I picked a nice bunch of rhubarb, beets and one tomato. We have really enjoyed eating the rhubarb and I would count the experiment as a great success. We can only grow it as an annual in central Texas but I am really surprised how it achieved such a size, from seed, after 8 months. Two of the plants have wilted but the third is still producing. I noticed the price of fresh rhubarb in the store the other day was $6.99 lb. It was nice and pink but even though this variety, Victoria, is green it seems to be less astringent than most. Growing up we used to force rhubarb in the early spring, by putting a cover over the top. This would result in tender pink stalks. I did try that early on but the stalks grew long and lanky, probably because there wasn't sufficient root to hold the stalks up.
Beets have produced well this year and I make use of the tops and roots. We shall be having pasta with sauteed beets, basil pesto and parmesan tomorrow. Tonight the roasted beets will accompany a pork pozole, which has become a favorite. It has tomatillos in the recipe so I need to grow those next year.

The tomato is a mystery variety. Bought as Viva Italia, it was mislabeled.  No matter, the fruits are delicious and an early ripener. I have already picked 4. None of my other tomatoes are anywhere near ripening.


  1. Your crop looks so inviting, Lancashire Rose. What time is dinner?! I've never had luck with beets, but I might have to try them again. When did you plant yours? My Mom grew rhubarb when I was a young child and I loved eating it right out of the garden (you know how kids love sour things sometimes). Now I prefer it in pie!

  2. I have not had much luck with rhubarb here. I got a small Victoria Rhubarb plant last fall from The Natural Gardener. I have harvested four stalks...and have just read it does better from seed here. I can see where it would take a row or two to make a cobbler...sigh...I was invisioning a huge harvest.

  3. What a great bounty! and rhubarb? I had no idea that that would grow here! We used to eat loads of it when I was a kid, mmm rhubarb crumble! with a ton of sugar and some clotted cream!

  4. The rhubarb is amazing! I am SO going to try and grow this come fall. I love me some rhubarb pie and didn't think I could grow rhubarb down here. I just have to give it a shot!

  5. I wonder if the tomato is just something like Early Girl which ripens so much faster. It looks about that size? I have just gotten my first two tomatoes off of my Juliet plant a a few cherries from the school garden.

  6. The vegetables are going good here as well. I grow beets as well, even looks like the same variety, the old Detroit Red and Dark Detroit.

    I hate the miss labeling of plants. I've bought three Nectarine trees that ended up being peaches. One is the best peach I've ever seen and I would love to have another but can't as I don't know the variety because it was supposed to be a Nectarine.

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  8. MR- If you want to try growing it again I would start from seed. I do remember seeing plants at HD in the fall. That was the first time I had ever seen them. I might try one of those next year just to compare.
    ESP- Rhubarb crumble was exactly what we had. No clotted cream though. What my H would really like is lashings of custard!
    Lee18- Just remember grow as an annual.
    Bonnie- You may be right. I have never grown that one sticking to celebrity and homestead. They do better in my soil. I planted Juliette last year but was not impressed. I have a volunteer coming up so we'll see what that one does this year.
    Bob-Sometimes you get a nice surprise. Wish I had other fruits. Just the pom and a fig,
    Carrol-Do you have a blog. Can't link to it?

  9. Your beets look marvelous and how amazing to see that planting rhubarb as an annual really works, Jenny!

    I understand it's the only way to grow it here, but rhubarb as a seeded crop doesn't have the emotional resonance of going out back to pull stalks from enormous passalong clumps of Pie Plant that have been handed down through a family.

    Only the pom & the fig? What about those fabulous lemons? Don't they count as fruit?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose