So, here it is. The first money-saving item of produce from my kitchen garden for 2015…
…just over a kilo of lovely, succulent rhubarb!
At the turn of the year, I decided I’d tally up my grow your own savings, so I could compare with a similar project I ran on my allotment in 2011. The parameters would be slightly different, especially where the year ran and ended.
I’ve decided to count anything sown or planted specifically to harvest during 2015. That includes my overwintered broad beans and chard as well as my fruit bushes.
Rather than a calendar year, it’s likely that I’ll go from about now to this time next year, incorporating the Winter veg that I’ll be sowing during Spring.
Although I haven’t precisely defined my parameters exactly yet or shared the size of my growing space, I couldn’t resist totting up what my rhubarb stalks were worth against those available in our big supermarkets.
At £5 a kilo in Britain’s largest supermarket, this makes my rhubarb pickings worth a tidy £5.10. With lots of young shoots popping up from my four crowns, I’ll be hoping for plenty more rhubarbey cash savings during Spring.
Perfect Money Saving Crop
From a money-saving point of view, rhubarb is a perfect crop to grow. They’re easy to divide and many a fellow plotholder will have freebies going spare if you ask around. I got mine from a friend’s back garden a couple of years ago, after his had grown out of control.
Rhubarb is virtually indestructible and a doddle to look after, and with just a little attention in Autumn, the crowns will produce year after year.
Manure Rhubarb For Chunky Sticks
However, interestingly many of my stalks are nowhere near as chunky as those coming off my mum’s allotment. Whereas I’ve rather lazily only fed my rhubarb with compost around February time, mum heaped a good bucket of well-rotted manure on each of her crowns at the beginning of the Winter.
Just goes to show that all the advice about heavily manuring rhubarb crowns before Winter is certainly worth following.
What To Do With the Harvest??
And what to do with my first harvest? There are a number of recipes I always turn to each year, including the delectable rhubarb crumble ice cream, but with my rhubarb loving friend Nathan coming back from Spain for a week, I’m going to treat him to a good old fashioned crumble. I find James Martin’s recipe a good one.
There’s also a cake sale at work on Monday, and this Good Food rhubarb and orange cake is quick, easy but delicious too. I reckon I’ll just about have time to knock one up before Poldark starts. 🙂