First of, rhubarb jam is easy to make and delicious to eat, however it requires a long time to cook in order to get all the water out of it. Everything is a question of personal taste, of course, but for most people, it also requires a lot of sugar.
|On the left, rhubarb and strawberry syrup with a jam of similar makings. On the right, rhubarb syrup and a glass of rhubarb soda (from last year, a mix of half syrup, half mineral water).|
We can harvest the stalks of a two year old plant, if that plant was a cutting from another. The usual wisdom is not to harvest more than two thirds of the stalks, but a second harvest is doable around September. These plants will be at the top of their game for the next 5 to 10 years. After that, harvest may dwindle but rhubarb plants can still produce at the robust age of 50 years, sometimes even a century according to Wikipedia!
A mature rhubarb plant (around 3 years old) can produce flowering stalks. It is said that older varieties have a stronger tendancy to do this compared to recent varieties.
It's possible to produce plants from seeds, but according to some sources, it's apparently harder under our latitudes. There's plenty of informations on the net for folks who want to try this. Of course, the plants started this way will be too small for a first harvest on the second year.
|A flowering stalk in seed.|
|The small and new leaves of a rhubarb plant growing in April!|