Obtain rhubarb plants and plant roots a couple of inches beneath the soil spacing them about three feet apart in well drained soil. This is a perennial, which is to say, once established it will come back each year. During the first year, do not remove flower stalks, and donít plan to harvest the first year—the plant will thank you next year. In following years remove the flower stalks as soon as they appear. You may begin harvesting the rhubarb in the second year (generally beginning in early June) by cutting the leaf stems at the ground or pulling them out. You can cut them all at once or take them as you need them. They will become tough after about a month. Before winter sets in, remove all the remaining stalks and cover the base with a leaves or mulch for the winter.
Look for brightly colored stalks. The more slender, the more tender. Wrap it in plastic and put in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Wash the stalks under running water and remove all roots and leaves; peel off the outer strings of the stalk if you care to. Use as called for in recipes.
NOTE: Do NOT eat leaves, they contain toxic levels of oxalic acid.
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