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Minnesota climate is suitable for rhubarb

A rhubarb plant sprouts in the Budgeteer editor’s garden. On May 19 it was just starting. 1 / 2
By May 30, less than two weeks later, the same rhubarb plant has shot up in size. (Photos by Naomi Yaeger) 2 / 2

With the CHUM Rhubarb Festival fast approaching, the topic of rhubarb is often discussed. In Budgeteer Editor Naomi Yaeger’s garden, her rhubarb plants shot up fast, increasing greatly in size from May 19 to May 30. 

According to the University of Minnesota Yard and Garden Line, one reason rhubarb and Minnesota go so well together is the plant’s tendency to hibernate in winter.

The harvest season for rhubarb lasts until the end of June. A common, but untrue, myth is that the entire plant becomes toxic later in the summer. The stalks may be tougher than spring-harvested rhubarb, however.

Rhubarb is not native to Minnesota. It originated in central Asia and turned up in seed catalogs in 1829. Before that, it was used for medicinal uses. Not until the early 1800s was it used for eating.

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