Michigan Sportsman Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,688 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a bunch of fresh Michigan rhubarb today. Until today, I wasn't aware that rhubarb was "forced" at this time of the year to provide a fresh product.
Always learned that Utica was once called the "Rhubarb Capitol of the World" because that area forced tons of the stuff back in the 20's & 30's.
The farmer had 11 more pallets of roots sitting outside waitng their turn to come inside and start growing.
Cooked it into a sauce, added some brown sugar topped with whipped cream.

Buy Michigan.

L & O
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,971 Posts
I got a bunch of fresh Michigan rhubarb today. Until today, I wasn't aware that rhubarb was "forced" at this time of the year to provide a fresh product.
Always learned that Utica was once called the "Rhubarb Capitol of the World" because that area forced tons of the stuff back in the 20's & 30's.
The farmer had 11 more pallets of roots sitting outside waitng their turn to come inside and start growing.
Cooked it into a sauce, added some brown sugar topped with whipped cream.

Buy Michigan.

L & O
Used to work at such a place back in the mid-late 60's.

It would grow out in the field all summer, then when frost hits all folage dies down. It is then plowed up exposing the root ball. We harvested then from the field and set them in orderly rows in the "hot house". Much like a greenhouse only the roof was covered. Ususally with wood then straw or soil. Then in mid winter the stove is started and heat filled the hot house to about 50-60 degrees. Soon the rhubarb would start to sprout and grow. The flavor is a bit more milder than while out in the field and also much paler in color (no sunshine). In the spring the root ball is split and put back in the field to grow for 2-3 years.

Many of the farms on the east side of M-53 off M-59 did this during the winter. A little added cash flow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,457 Posts
The plant is real easy to divide and cultivate. If you know of someone and are in good standing you might ask them if they wouldn't mind cutting a clump of the rhizomes in the spring. We have 5 clumps scattered around the yard, mostly make jam, but pie, too. Also, it's real easy to force the plant at home, just have to exposed the rhizomes to some freezing weather to end the yearly growing cycle and then bring them into the basement where they will start their new growing cycle. The plant won't look like a summer plant as far as leaves, but the petioles will be colorful and good table fare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,248 Posts
The plant is real easy to divide and cultivate. If you know of someone and are in good standing you might ask them if they wouldn't mind cutting a clump of the rhizomes in the spring. We have 5 clumps scattered around the yard, mostly make jam, but pie, too. Also, it's real easy to force the plant at home, just have to exposed the rhizomes to some freezing weather to end the yearly growing cycle and then bring them into the basement where they will start their new growing cycle. The plant won't look like a summer plant as far as leaves, but the petioles will be colorful and good table fare.
Rhubarb is easy to split and grow just give it sun and water. I split mine every two years and give away the extra's so others can enjoy. I always have people asking for some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Speaking of rhubarb.... am I the only one in michigan who enjoys eating it picked fresh, skinned, then salted. Nobody in my family enjoys it nor do I recall ever hearing anybody I have ever known talk about eating it fresh. I guess it's just me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,688 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Speaking of rhubarb.... am I the only one in michigan who enjoys eating it picked fresh, skinned, then salted. Nobody in my family enjoys it nor do I recall ever hearing anybody I have ever known talk about eating it fresh. I guess it's just me.
Not me for sure. Can you eat lemons with a little salt too ?

Firecracker,
Do you mean the rhubarb in your garden or did you dig up some roots last fall and are referring to fresh winter rhubarb ?

Buy Michigan products , buy American products whenever possible.

L & O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,997 Posts
Speaking of rhubarb.... am I the only one in michigan who enjoys eating it picked fresh, skinned, then salted. Nobody in my family enjoys it nor do I recall ever hearing anybody I have ever known talk about eating it fresh. I guess it's just me.
Just be careful doing that. A little bit here and there is ok, but dont eat a ton of it in one sitting. Raw Rhubarb has oxalic acid in it which can be harmfull in large amounts. The further you go up the stalk, the more concentrated it gets and the leaves are where it is really concentrated. When you cook plants containing oxalic acid it breaks it down and renders it harmless.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,794 Posts
We have some in the garden and make sauce with it but have never quite got the jam thing down. Some of the best Rhubarb jam I've ever had I get from the Amish folks on M-18/Bard Rd area just south of Houghton Lake. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,688 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just be careful doing that. A little bit here and there is ok, but dont eat a ton of it in one sitting. Raw Rhubarb has oxalic acid in it which can be harmfull in large amounts. The further you go up the stalk, the more concentrated it gets and the leaves are where it is really concentrated. When you cook plants containing oxalic acid it breaks it down and renders it harmless.
I just had to check this out for myself. I had never heard of anyone eating the rhubarb leaves and it is not a good idea to do so. I doubt that anyone could eat enough of the stalks raw to cause a problem.
www.rhubarbinfo.com/poison

Rhubarb wine is great....got someone a few years back in SW Michigan.

L & O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,688 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had the opportunity today to visit the facility where the rhubarb is forced during the winter/spring. A large truck was being loaded as we arrived after being picked and packed this morning.
Very interesting tour, they had lots more inside the polebarns in the plastic pallets sitting in the dark building with the temp kept around 55.
Fresh Michigan rhubarb shortcake tonight for dessert.

L & O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts
My rhubarb plants are growing already... Don't know how this snow will effect them though... I have 7 more plants in pots started in the greenhouse which I will transplant. It's a big seller at market.

Have a neighbor that runs a small greenhouse / seedling operation and they also do concrete casts and use the rhubarb leaves for texturing. They have a couple of plants that are mammoth. The stalks are as big around as my wrist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
my mom makes the best rhubarb jam ever. i will get her recipie and post it. will take a day thou.
 

·
Woods and Water Rat
Joined
·
24,248 Posts
Pies are always good, but anyone ever make a rhubarb cake?

tonight i'll post the recipe in the wild game/ other section in case anyone wants to try it
Heck yeah! My mom always grew it. Still may but she is keeping it a secret if she still is. The pies were good, but she made something like an upside-down rhubarb cake. The perfect combination of tangy and sweetness, man I miss that stuff.

This also reminds me of the currant jam she used to make, but that is for another thread...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,035 Posts
Rhubarb cake
1) batter
1/2 cup softened butter 4 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar 1+ cup milk
2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour pinch salt
2) rhubarb mix
4 cups rhubarb cut 1/2"pcs
1/2 cup sugar
3 oz pack of strawberry jelly (dry)
3) final topping
1/4 cup flour
3 tbls butter
1/2 cup sugar
---------------------
1) mix 8 batter ingredients as for cake. Should be stiff.
Smooth batter into 9x12 buttered sprayed cake pan
2) mix these 3 ingr. & place over batter
3)crush last 3 with back of spoon until mixed well
bake 350 for about 1 hr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,688 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
my mom makes the best rhubarb jam ever. i will get her recipie and post it. will take a day thou.
I would like to try that. If not posted by tomorrow, I think I will try to make it like strawberry jam. Should be close enough.
Think she would be interested in selling a couple of jars ?
I'm intersted in rhubarb wine if anyone knows where I could get that.

L & O
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top