There are two kinds of people in this world—those who love rhubarb and those who haven’t had it cooked right yet.
I helped pick the last of this season’s rhubarb crop at the Foster Farm in Sagaponack on Memorial Day. Manager Paul Petrie re-acquainted me with the fine art of rhubarb pickin’.
This was a beautiful way to spend an afternoon. The Foster’s Guinea hens cooed as we plucked and cut and bunched rhubarb. The sun shone overhead and no small planes touched down on the runway next to the rhubarb patch.
Rhubarb is my kind of crop, ignore it and it grows and grows. Its leaves are toxic and so form a natural weed barrier. To pick it, you pull with both hands. To prep it, you just rinse and chop.
I now have a freezer full of diced rhubarb and a batch of rhubarb jam in my basement. My rhubarb jam has a good amount of organic orange juice and zest in it. It’s a great flavor combination. I’ll make a batch of Strawberry-Rhubarb jam when the local U-pick strawberries come in – this weekend. Maybe I’ll throw in some candied ginger…. [expand]
The Foster Farm has been in the news lately. It is about to become the biggest purchase ever made by the Southampton Community Preservation Fund.
Eighty-two acres worth of development rights are being sold over the next five years. This will ensure that this, some of the richest farmland in the world, will continue to be farmed.
Marilee Foster and her brother Dean are now farming the land that their parents Clifford and Lee Foster are passing down to them.
Marilee writes a popular column about her farming life and she wrote an inspiring book in 2003, Dirt Under My Nails. Sagaponack is a magical place. We definitely need to preserve it and not just in jars.
White raspberries will be the first fruit to come into season on the Foster Farm but their farmstand on Sagg Main Street already offers eggs, kale, cucumbers, herbs, zucchini, baked goods and potted herbs and tomato plants. You can also purchase Foster’s products from their table at the Sag Harbor Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. [/expand]