Rhubarb & Waiting

strawberry rhubarb pieEvery year, the rhubarb is the first thing to really explode out of the garden. And it keeps growing all summer long-it even chokes out the bishop’s weed that grows all around it, but can’t survive under its massive leaves.

This year, on the first unofficial summer weekend (Memorial Day) it snowed in central Vermont. In fact, if your place was above 1600ft, you got 2-4 inches. Good thing we didn’t have the tomatoes and basil in the garden yet. But the rhubarb just didn’t care. It sent out more stalks, laughing at the frozen precipitation and the strawberries shivering down to their roots. But rhubarb, for all of its exuberance, is not one of my favorites in the garden. I don’t really like the way it tastes unless it is mixed in with other things. Rhubarb sauce for your ice cream is ok, I guess, but I could take a pass. Rhubarb jelly – good. Strawberry-rhubarb crisp, better, strawberry-rhubarb pie – now we are talking.  So here is the thing: why is it that the first substantial product out of the garden isn’t something that is really useful (at least to me) until when the strawberries arrive two months later? Is this Mother Nature’s cruel attempt to teach us about delayed gratification?

It seems this same forced delayed gratification applies to lots of things. A new, bigger screen tv, a faster computer, a new lawn mower and of course, new tractors too. (And by “new,” I don’t always mean the latest model year!)

I started working on the N-News with my uncle 28 years ago. I bought the magazine about 15 years ago. I recently realized that I have been running the magazine for longer than he did – and in all of that time, I only bought and sold one tractor (9N/2N combo mostly to help a neighbor move on) and bought the 861. I see a 2000 or 4000 in my future sometime, maybe even an offset – but I might have to wait another few years.

For now, I am happy the strawberries are here.

strawberry rhubarb pie

Jill puts the top on the strawberry rhubarb pie