Rhubarb Surprise!

Since I have no idea what has been planted in my yard in the past I've been hesitant to start planning my edible garden.  This has frustrated me, but sometimes I find something exciting that takes my frustration away.  One of those things just sprouted in the wild area of the yard!

I have rhubarb!  It was in an unmarked area, and I almost missed it, but because the red and the green were so vibrant, and because the sprouting leaf that you see here was was quite large (almost an inch) I saw it just as I was about to step right onto it.  I swerved, and thankfully avoided it.

Rhubarb can be used in so many ways.  Pies, jellies and ice cream recipes are a few examples.  They can also be used to enhance main dishes.  While the leaves are considered poisonous due to their high proportion of oxalic acid, the tart stems are a welcome treat.

Rhubarb is also quite healthy.  Nutritionally speaking, it has a nice amount of fiber and is low in calories.  It has an ample amount of Vitamins A, B, and C, tons of potassium, and a decent supply of calcium.  I should note, however, that most of the calcium in rhubarb doesn't get absorbed by our bodies.  Oh, well.  I guess I can't have everything...

People have said that rhubarb has cancer fighting properties, and that it lowers cholesterol.   It also may fight Alzheimer's Disease.  Furthermore, rhubarb root is used quite often as an ingredient in Chinese medicine.

With all of this you can see why I'm so excited about this surprise growth in the wild section of my yard!  This is one plant I'll definitely be nurturing.