Stalking the Wild Rhubarb

When I bought my first house in Somerville, Massachusetts, as a young career woman, I was delighted to have a small space for a garden. 

When spring came I got out and dug up the poor earth, enriched it with peat, manure, and fertilizer, planted seeds and seedlings, and eagerly awaited the results.

Near my carefully-tended small plot I saw a variety of weeds and wondered what to do with them. Fortunately, a friend of mine pointed out that those “weeds” were actually raspberry plants!

The previous owner of the house had written into our purchase-and-sale agreement that she would dig up and take away the raspberry bushes, a rather unusual stipulation. But raspberries being what they are, they didn’t all leave, to my delight. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Cookie Cutter figures
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Cookie Cutter figures

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that hidden among the raspberries was one rhubarb plant! I don’t know where it came from or why there was only one, but I tended it carefully and each year got enough rhubarb for one strawberry rhubarb pie.

(One year I also made an old fashioned rhubarb custard pie, a recipe from my Aunt Alice’s friend Betty Palmer. It’s sort of funny looking, but very rich and tasty.)

I love rhubarb season!

Now I’m fortunate enough to live near a great local farm that grows amazing strawberries, and I look forward to June, knowing that I can make the best strawberry rhubarb pie with fresh local fruit from just down the road.