April 2011

Happy Easter Week-end Everyone,

As usual, really warm April temperatures from a few weeks ago fooled us easily, as last week in Ontario felt like October with the rain, the cold, high winds and more snow. Surely this will be the end of it.

Rhubarb Flavored Coffee

20 Java masters competed recently in the northeast regional competition of the United States Barista championships. One barista in particular, Mike Jones, had 15 minutes to present an espresso, a cappucino and signature espresso based drink. For that one, he added honey foam and a rhubarb infusion to a two bean coffee.

He said that rhubarb really highlights the taste of red fruit in espressos.

The coffees are graded on flavor, presentation, acidity, and where the beans are farmed from.

German Wholesale Markets report rhubarb price lowest in nine years

Selling prices have decreased on the german market for rhubarb.

This isn't a result of a shortage of demand, but more because of the larger supply. This happens yearly, but in 9 years this has been the lowest.There is great demand from the trade and from the retail chains.

Budget Cuts in Agricultural Research

A 20 million dollar budget cut to the Algricultural Research Service in Alaska will cost jobs and valuable services.

This unit researches to prevent outbreaks of insects, promotes disease resistance in a variety of crops, and catalogues to preserve many varieties of high value sub-artic plants such as peonies and rhubarb.

It's quite a blow and millions will be lost in projects. Officials are hoping that there will be reprieve in order to restore the work being done to be better at producing and sustaining crops in Alaska.

Tip - Your rhubarb requires good drainage. This has been my mistake more than once. Poorly drained and wet soil can contribute to "small" rhubarb and it being spindly. Make sure your rhubarb is in a well-drained location.

We welcome any special tips for growing rhubarb you might have that you would care to share! Please feel to do so at Rhubarb Expertise

What are you serving for Easter dinner?

There are recipes on the site for lamb with rhubarb, adding rhubarb to your turkey dressing and ham recipes using rhubarb as a delicious glaze. Check them out.

This is one more recipe from Chef Duthie of New Zealand, which pairs rhubarb and honey with pork fillets.

Rhubarb and Pork Fillets

2 pork fillets trimmed

juice of one lemon

10 marinated chopped sundried tomatoes

4 strips bacon

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tblsp. honey

2 cups rhubarb chopped

6 1/2 ounces veg stock

2 tsp. creme fraiche

Heat oven to 375 F

Slice a pocket into the pork fillets

rub in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper

fill pocket with sundried tomatoes

wrap bacon around the fillets; place into a roasting pan;
drizzle with olive oil, roast 30 minutes

Rhubarb Sauce:

Melt honey in a pan, low heat. Toss rhubarb gently and add to the roasting pan with pork for THE LAST 8 MINUTES OF roasting.

Transfer rhubarb and pork to a plate.

Put roasting pan on stove (medium heat) and add vegetable stock. Scrape down pan for the juices, let bubble a few minutes and add creme fraiche. Whisk until well dissolved.

Drizzle pork and rhubarb with sauce.

This goes well served on a bed of spinach.

Villagers in Wrenthorpe near Wakefield, home of the infamous Rhubarb Triangle and home of the Festival of Food and Rhubarb, are not happy.

They are worried that some of the land used to grow rhubarb will soon be designated as land for housing instead by the Wakefield Council.

This agricultural land brings much needed visitors and income to the area and they don't want their rhubarb buried under housing development. The Wrenthorpe Action Group has started a petition and is hopeful that others will join in with their objections.

Until next time,




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