Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Heart Perennials

I absolutely love perennials. They come up every year, needing nothing from me except an occasional divide or prune. Not many can survive the zone 4 winter, but those that can are treasures. I've been harvesting all week from two of my favorites. Rhubarb and Lilacs. Now, one could argue that Lilac isn't a perennial, it's a shrub, whatever. One could also argue you can't eat Lilacs so what do they have to do with food security. I say, who wants to live if you can't have lilac bouquets in the kitchen every spring. :-) Plus, they bloom right when I'm putting in my heat loving veggies, so it makes that all day chore a little nicer, as one large lilac near the garden can really smell lovely.
Rhubarb is one of those rare plants I get to enjoy that my relatives in the deep south actually can't grow. It needs the cold dormant period in order to come back up in the spring. So, yesterday I visited my 5 wild patches of rhubarb and harvested 268 grams of tasty tasty rhubarb. It immediately went in the freezer, as I add it to most of my fruit concoctions throughout the year. Strawberry-Rhubarb pie in July, Apple-Rhubarb sauce in the fall... Mmmmm. :-) I'm one of those people that like a bit of sour in almost everything. I'll probably get another good harvest in a few weeks. I divided some of the rhubarb patches last year; the three new patches are developing nicely but I probably won't harvest from them until next year.
One of these days I'll have asparagus, raspberries and some hardy kiwi to round out my perennials.

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