Generations of Rhubarb

Ben Morrill

My Family have had rhubarb plants on our property for as long as we have lived there, and long before. My great Grandmother who lived until 100 years old planted them over 20 years ago. Rhubarb is a vegetable similar to celery that is used with fruit to create deserts like rhubarb pie. The plant can be harvested from anywhere between  8-10 weeks after it has grown for three years. The growth conditions for the vegetable is colder conditions. How thin the rhubarb is can show if the plant needs more nutrients.


The thing that I didn’t realize about the rhubarb plant that is still in my backyard is that many people in my community actually benefit off of the plant in my backyard. Many people in my town know we have the plants and will get rhubarb from my mother to make pie and cakes. With the readings that we have in Garden Memoir class I have a new eye for noticing this community aspect that the plants bring. Our plant allows others to receive a fresh vegetable that you can’t buy at all grocery stores. My parents told me that even my great Grandmother use to let people pick rhubarb from her plants when she was raising my father’s parents.


Community gardening is an amazing thing, just a few plants can allow many people to enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits strait from the garden. It cost my Mom and Great Grandmother almost nothing to have this plant. I am not the biggest fan of rhubarb but my family loves it. I am glad that my Great Grandmother chose to be apart of community gardening and that my parents deiced to keep it going.

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Growing at home

I was first experienced to Gardening and producing fresh food was with my Grandmother. She lives in a small town outside of Chicago and my entire life has had a beautiful backyard covered with flowers, fruits and vegetables. I was able to grow up in a place with little fresh produce and see what it takes to grow and cook your own food from an early age. My Grandmother would used all of the fresh food she had grown and incorporate them into our dinners. She would also incorporate eggs and meat from chickens that she raises in the same space and the plants. Learning to handle chickens and their eggs was something my Grandmother taught my brother and I.

Moving from Chicago to New Hampshire has opened me up to the beauty of fresh food. Farms are not something that you tend to see in the city of Chicago. Most food is eaten at restaurants or served in a take out bag. When my family moved to New Hampshire my parents began to cook more fresh meals with some vegetables coming from a small garden that me and my father were able to create in our backyard. This was a great experience that took me and my father about six hours. We decided to grow things such as green beans, rhubarb, tomatoes and cucumbers. These vegetables became apart of our meals, the fresh vegetables were noticeable better than ones bought at a grocery store.

The biggest difference to me is the mass amount of farmers markets that are available in New Hampshire compared to Chicago. Apart from having a small garden farmers markets and small farms  are a one of the main ways my family’s buys fresh fruits and vegetables. A fantastic farm in Meredith New Hampshire called Moulton Farms has made it easily available for my family to purchase produce.