This is Rhubarb. It is a very important source of vitamins and nutrition for those of us out here in the prairies and mountains of the west. The plants can get as tall as 8-10 feet and will do well even through the -40 degree winters out here. It is also one of the first crops to be ready in the spring.
Rhubarb is easy to harvest. Chop the stems as close to the ground as
possible. ***WARNING*** Rhubarb leaves are toxic and may kill you. Make
sure to leave them in the compost pit, or leave them around the plant
as mulch. The leaves get very large and they look tropical. Also,
remove the seed heads, and leave them lay. Do not eat the seed heads or
the stalks of the seed heads. This plant is tough. You can take all
the stems if you want, but I usually leave a few small ones.
Rhubarb is an acquired taste. It is like a very tart lemon crossed with
celery. After it is harvested, cut, rinse and chop. When I was a
child, we would eat this for breakfast during the whole season. Mom
would cook it down, add strawberries and raspberries and cook it all
until it was a mush and add lots of sugar. She would heat it up and add
butter and canned milk for a hearty carb-free, gluten-free meal. The
elderly lady next door said they would heat the rhubarb up until mushy
and strain off all the juice. They then would make ice cubes from the
juice and add it to iced tea or lemon lime pop in the winter to get
Vitamin C. It is something I do recommend you learn to harvest, if it
grows in your area. G-d gave it to us, and we should use it. Start
Prepping now, because nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.