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Thread: Strawberry Rhubarb and harvesting question

  1. #1
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    Question Strawberry Rhubarb and harvesting question

    My rhubarb plant has perked up since the temperatures have finally cooled off.
    My neighbor claims that you cannot harvest rhubarb after 1st week of July because it becomes poisonous...I've never heard this...
    anyone out there an avid gardener who would know??

    Thanks
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  2. #2
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    http://www.aboutproduce.com/PRODUCE/....asp?C=Rhubarb

    I found this, but there is no mention about harvesting.
    *Susan*

    "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

    A.A. Milne

  3. #3
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    Seems a bit odd since the growing season for rhubarb is April to September!

    Back with more info...Seems that the leaves contain Oxalic Acid that can be poisonous. There are tips to prevent this from being a problem:

    Precautions for rhubarb gardening
    *Trim leaves from stalk immediately.
    *Don't use stalks from frost bitten plants.
    *Wash the stalks well.
    *Children should be taught to eat only the rhubarb stalks, preferably under supervision

    For even more info than you ever imagined:

    http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  4. #4
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    I used to have a rhubarb plant, and I harvested the stalks until there were no more, probably in August. I think it is a wives' tale that the stalks are poisonous. The leaves are, however, because of the oxalic acid. I kept hoping the slugs and the deer would eat the leaves, but no such luck.

    Sami
    Don't give up, Moses was once a basket case.

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone!!
    I will harvest tomorrow
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  6. #6
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    rhubarb

    I was aware that rhubarb leaves are toxic and that you must cook the stems, but I have never heard that it is poisonous after a certain date. To my knowledge it just gets very tough and fiberous and not very good. To be sure I sent an email to a local organic farmer who runs a CSA in my area, I will let you know when I hear back from her.

    Lisa

  7. #7
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    Re: rhubarb

    Originally posted by Lrimerman
    I was aware that rhubarb leaves are toxic and that you must cook the stems
    When we were kids, we used to eat the stems raw, dipped in sugar !

    Maybe that's why I turned out the way I did....

  8. #8
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    It is just fine to harvest your rhubarb as late in the year as you can. However, it doesn't hurt to leave some of the last growth on the plant to collect sunlight and store energy for next year. I didn't think there was anything wrong with eating the stalks raw either - we always did as kids and I sometimes still do.
    Anne

  9. #9
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    Another who has eaten raw stalks, and will continue to do so, and lived to tell

    I wish I had perky rhubarb, or any kind of rhubarb for that matter, in my yard... some day...

    em

  10. #10
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    Here is what Diane said, she is a master gardener who operates a CSA.

    "Oh MY Goodness!!! NO rhubarb does not become poisonous after July 1st! I am amazed sometimes what people dream up! I was told this spring that raw asparagus was poisonous also. Do people lay in bed at night thinking up these things?? How in the world would rhubarb be able to tell what date it is? I have picked rhubarb and ate it in August before. You are correct about the leaves, they contain oxalic acid."

  11. #11
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    If raw asparagus is poisonous, I would have been done for a long time ago since I serve it raw with dips. That has to be an old wives tale.

    Sami
    Don't give up, Moses was once a basket case.

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