without a definite route

death by weed whacker

on May 21, 2010

last spring, i fulfilled a life long dream and successfully planted a rhubarb plant, whom i named ruby and loved and watered and protected from the kids.

jasper in front of ruby may 2009

i tried planting bulbs years ago, but they never took. i don’t have naturally green thumbs, but i do have a love for pies. and crisps. and jam. so the opportunity to plant a strong year-old plant was perfect. the nice ladies at the farmer’s market told me not to touch her all summer then harvest lightly this spring then “take all she offers” the following spring.

a couple weeks ago, i harvested enough of ruby’s stalks for a delicious pie. i was content to let her hang out the rest of the summer, photosynthesizing to her heart’s content. then she would die for winter, come back in the spring and be baked in 1,000 different and exciting ways. 

buzz loves ruby's 1st pie

my love for rhubarb goes beyond the yumminess. there is also a strong emotional attachment from memories of pulling stalks from my grandma george’s garden and eating them, probably unwashed, dipped in a bowl of sugar. my teeth ache just thinking about it.

after harvest


a very nice man named calvin mows our lawn sometimes. he is friendly and smiley and always tells us to have a blessed day. yesterday, he shredded ruby with a weed whacker. clearly he thought she was a weed. or maybe he just hates rhubarb. whatever caused him to mistake the obviously cultivated plant in the center of a tidily weeded raised garden for something that needed to suffer is a mystery, but he went at her like godzilla over tokyo.

post weed whacker

this is not the end of ruby, but i’m still in something like mourning. chances are, she will grow leaves and gather enough energy for her bulbs to sprout again next spring. it might take yet another year of harvesting lightly before she’s ready for my fantasy baking. this is a long-term relationship, i can be patient.

i’m thinking a couple more plants might be a good idea. there’s strength in numbers. besides, ruby can use a friend or two. hmmm… names? wouldn’t hurt to add some sort of protection from calvin and others who seek to destroy my happiness. maybe a simple sign. or an electric fence.


2 responses to “death by weed whacker

  1. dumbtourist says:

    barbie. playing off rhubarb and fencing.

    if henry had been a girl he would have been ruby and his website would have been rubypopsicle.com. not sure why anymore but true nonetheless.

  2. Susan Beadle says:

    Found your blog from postcrossing.com. Reminds me of my own daughter’s blog – besquirrely.wordpress.com. It’s a fun, informative site, much like your own. Being a grandma to 5 little ones, ranging in age from almost-9 to 2 months, has given me a whole new perspective on the great generational differences – and am cheered by he current generation rearing their own young ones, with lots of new ideas, resources, etc. I think I’ll make your blog a favorite, as it’s so interesting to read. Enjoy Emmit and Jasper!

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