Produce Pick: A Different Side of Rhubarb

(Photo: E.G. Richter Farm INC.)

Most folks think of rhubarb as a warm weather phenomenon, and they’re not exactly wrong. Rhubarb as it grows in the wild is a spring crop, so why do we have it in Provisions—a store that prides itself on seasonality—weeks before spring even officially begins? 

As it turns out, hothouse rhubarb is a delicacy we’re lucky to get. EG Richter Family Farm in Puyallup, WA, just outside of Seattle, commits to the backbreaking work it takes to make it happen. The plants spend two summers outdoors storing energy, after which Richter’s farmers dig up root systems that can weigh a hundred pounds. Once it’s re-planted in dark, 55°F hothouses, things get going in a hurry. Tricked into spring growth, the rhubarb grows so fast that farmers swear they can hear it popping, and the darkness means the rhubarbs retain a prized crimson color, with yellow leaves. They’re even more tender than traditional field rhubarb! 

Whether you’re itching to make early rhubarb pie, or just want to try Tim Richter’s favorite sour snack of rhubarb stalks with sugar, you’re going to want to hurry in and grab some of this remarkable rhubarb before it’s gone!

Need it delivered, as a precaution or otherwise? We offer same-day gloved home delivery in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill and by van delivery elsewhere. If an item is unavailable online, call us at (718) 233-2700 and we’ll make it happen for you. 

Carla Bueno-SandersProduce Pick: A Different Side of Rhubarb