My gardening heros, the Davises from Denver, used to send me homemade jars of rhubarb in exchange for some favor or another.
I don't remember the chore, but I do remember the treat: that nearly chalky, stringy goop with a sour/sweet flavor that reminds me so much of springtime in the North Country.
I know, sounds delish, right? But no, it is.
Consulting my notes, I see that it took me until 2017 to put in rhubarb plants at the Farm. It takes them a couple of years to get their feet under them, but they've done quite well. Enough for us to have a half dozen or so desserts in the last couple of years.
But is that really enough Rheum rhababarum? No.
Still, it was an extra surprise bonus that we acquired another patch of rhubarb this past summer.
The nearest small town (pop. 650 people) did earn a mention in a Neil Young song, but frankly, the Would-Be Farm is located somewhere just this side of Beyond. The wild-and-wooly frontier nature of the place is mostly lovely, but it does have the occasional drawback.
For instance, our former neighbors just to our north...nice folks, perhaps, but considerably more gun-happy than makes us entirely comfortable. Sure, fire your gun at a target, a varmint, dinner. But random gunfire? Combined with a LOT of empty bottles and very loud (and frankly awful) 1970's rock'n'roll? Oh boy.
So for the past couple of years, when these neighbors were in residence, my favorite skipper and I simply avoid the north section of that one field. Discretion being the larger part of not catching a piece of lead.
It's not generally part of the culture out there near Beyond to call the coppers. Or at least not until things have escalated to the sort transgression that does deliberate physical harm. Holding a hootenanny at midnight on a Tuesday, well that's annoying, but live and let live. Letting your toddlers run loose at night –– well, that goes too far.
Anyhoo. Those lively neighbors with the large supplies of ammo moved along, leaving a "For Sale" sign behind them.
Things sometimes work themselves out.
Which is how the Would-Be Farm grew a little over the summer. We gained an additional 40 or so neglected old apple trees, an open field, and a honking big patch of rhubarb.
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