Pat Shingleton: "Rhubarb Season"
Most of our cold weather wrapped-up after March 17th and didn't complicate or retard the local tomato crop as blossoms continue to advance to fruit. In Pennsylvania, my grandfather "turned-over" the garden with a shovel until he was convinced that Mr. Hollenbeck could "disc it up" with his tractor. Our garden was quite large then and merely a "patch" today. Before her lack of mobility, Mom would always prepare for her first crop of the season-rhubarb, followed by leaf lettuce, beans, tomatoes and sweet corn that should be "knee high by the 4th of July." Ground cover protected her rhubarb, always harvesting a bumper crop every year. Three years ago, her rhubarb crop became a "bumper" crop as she was the sole provider of rhubarb for the local Giant Eagle supermarket.The produce manager would make his seasonal call in April. Mom noted, he paid me "six-bucks-a-pound." We've heard that Sylvia Weatherspoon's rhubarb pie with strawberries was judged as the best in Baton Rouge. After three years, she still hasn't shared it with the News 2 Crew.