No one grows rhubarb. I didn’t know this before emailing, calling, and visiting farmers. Apparently, it fell out of fashion some years ago. With a drive to eat more local produce, demand is growing, but supply is behind the curve. The plants have to mature for two years before they have a decent yield. I heard from numerous farmers that they will have more next year or the year after.
I’ve been stalking Findlay Market, Northside Farmers Market, and Lunken Farmers Market. I’ve called and emailed numerous farmers. I was warming to the idea of just getting non-local rhubarb from Kroger. Madison’s at Findlay Market had some, but not only was it greenhouse grown and shipped from Washington state. I objected less to those details than I did to the four dollars a pound price.
Just as I was giving up on rhubarb jam, I saw that Madison’s had local rhubarb. Not only that, but the price was three dollars a pound. That’s a bit more expensive than Kroger, but I am willing to pay a little extra for local produce and to support local business. (Kroger is sort of a local business, given that it’s headquarters is here. But I digress.) Unfortunately, when I went to pick-up the rhubarb, the clerk at Madison’s said that their supplier was out and couldn’t fill the order.
I was finally able to get my Rhubarb from Kroger. I had to special order a ten pound box from the produce department. Jenn and I dropped by Findlay after Five event after picking-up the rhubarb from Kroger. I ran into the Madison’s clerk, and he told me that they had my rhubarb. Their suppliers are Mennonites and don’t have phones. So, when the rhubarb didn’t arrive the folks at Madison’s could only assume that they didn’t have any. Unfortunately, the rhubarb turned up a day later. I didn’t leave my contact information at Madison’s so they had no way of letting me know. Rats!
The point is that Madison’s now has local rhubarb. The second point is that I will leave my contact information while hunting and gathering from this point forward. The third point is that I will publish our rhubarb adventures in a day or two.