An old-time favorite in Grandma's garden, Rhubarb's tart-bittersweet taste has wide culinary appeal. Customarily used in pies, tarts, muffins and jams with a bit of sugar and orange zest, it is finding new popularity today in a variety of nouvelle sauces and savory winter stews. This perennial must be started indoors 4 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date
in order to produce a limited number of stalks the first year and a full crop the subsequent year. To harvest, pull the shiny tender stalks out of the soil (rather than cutting them) and discard their inedible leaves to retain juiciness. Raw or cooked, Rhubarb freezes well for winter use. Deer resistant. Perennial. Hardiness zones: 3-8. Average seed life: 2 years.