Monday, May 28, 2012

Rhubarb Envy

I'm spending this memorial weekend at my grandma's house on the shore of Lake Superior.  It's a gorgeous area, even if it is a wee bit too chilly for me, being from the desert southwest and all.  She has an ocean view, apple trees in her yard, and wildlife galore surrounding her.  In a word, heaven.

She also has rhubarb...

And I'm green with envy!!!

Remember my excitement over finding rhubarb in the wild area of my backyard?  Since that discovery, I had taken to nuturing the rhubarb, removing any wildflowers that threatened it, and ensuring that the soil remained moist. 

Then... I went to my old home in the desert.  I came back to this:

My husband is not to blame for this.  My rhubarb's death had nothing to do with his care.  Rather, the black walnut trees are victorious in round one of our battle.  Rhubarb is very sensitive to black walnut's phytotoxin, and this is exactly the way the phytotoxin kills the plants around it.  The plants start out well, sprouting in perfect health.  They grow as though nothing is wrong. 

Then, one day you walk outside and discover that the plant is dead.

My grandma's yard, on the other hand, is free of black walnut trees.  My rhubarb actually started out growing at a faster rate than hers, and I had bigger leaves than hers did.  What do hers look like now, you ask?

Big difference.  Understand where my jealousy comes from?

The good news is that she has a lot of rhubarb.  This isn't her only bed of it, either.  I'll have the perfect chance to cut some, dice it, and take it home.  I'll be happy to store bags of rhubarb in my freezer!

Another benefit?  Since the leaves are so huge, I can set my own fashion trend!

So what do you think?  It's so me, right?

Ha ha!

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