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Rhubarb – economic defence

Rhubarb – economic defence

Growing Rhubarb as an Economic Defense: Supporting Household Needs in Complex Relationships


In the intricate dynamics of modern relationships, especially in scenarios involving polyamory or complex family structures, economic stability becomes a crucial concern. One practical strategy to enhance household sustainability and reduce financial pressures is by cultivating one’s own food. Growing rhubarb, a versatile and resilient perennial plant, can serve as an economic defense, particularly in situations where financial resources are shared among multiple dependents. This essay explores the benefits of growing rhubarb, its economic advantages, and how it can contribute to household sustainability in complex relationship dynamics.

**Rhubarb: A Resilient and Valuable Crop**

Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is a hardy plant known for its edible stalks, which are used in various culinary dishes. It is relatively easy to grow and maintain, making it an ideal choice for home gardening.

1. **Low Maintenance**: Rhubarb requires minimal care once established. It is a perennial plant, meaning it will come back year after year without needing to be replanted. This reduces the ongoing labor and costs associated with its cultivation.

2. **High Yield**: A well-maintained rhubarb plant can produce a significant amount of stalks each season. This high yield can provide a substantial supply of fresh produce, reducing the need to purchase similar items from the store.

3. **Versatility**: Rhubarb can be used in a wide range of recipes, from pies and desserts to savory dishes and preserves. This versatility makes it a valuable addition to the household diet, contributing to both nutritional variety and culinary creativity.

**Economic Advantages of Growing Rhubarb**

1. **Cost Savings**: By growing rhubarb, households can save money on groceries. Fresh produce can be expensive, especially when purchased out of season. A home-grown supply of rhubarb ensures access to fresh ingredients at no additional cost.

2. **Supplemental Income**: Surplus rhubarb can be sold at local farmers’ markets, through community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, or directly to neighbors. This can generate supplemental income, helping to offset other household expenses.

3. **Self-Sufficiency**: Cultivating rhubarb contributes to household self-sufficiency, reducing reliance on external food sources. This can be particularly important in times of economic uncertainty or during disruptions in food supply chains.

**Supporting Household Needs in Complex Relationships**

In relationships where financial responsibilities extend to supporting multiple partners and their dependents, every economic advantage counts. Growing rhubarb can play a strategic role in this context.

1. **Shared Resource**: Rhubarb can serve as a shared resource that benefits all members of the household. Whether it’s used in family meals or sold to generate income, the plant provides tangible support to the collective economic well-being.

2. **Reduced Financial Strain**: By contributing to the household’s food supply, growing rhubarb can help alleviate the financial burden of feeding additional dependents, such as a girlfriend’s child from a previous relationship. This can reduce stress and potential conflicts over financial contributions.

3. **Engagement and Bonding**: The process of growing and harvesting rhubarb can become a communal activity that engages all members of the household. This shared endeavor can strengthen relationships and foster a sense of teamwork and cooperation.

**Implementation and Best Practices**

To maximize the benefits of growing rhubarb, it is important to follow best practices for cultivation and maintenance.

1. **Site Selection**: Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil for planting rhubarb. It is important to ensure the site is free from weeds and has enough space for the plant to spread.

2. **Planting**: Plant rhubarb crowns or divisions in early spring or fall. Space the plants about 3 feet apart to allow for growth. Water them well after planting and during dry spells.

3. **Maintenance**: Mulch around the plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Apply compost or a balanced fertilizer each spring to promote healthy growth. Remove any flower stalks that appear, as they can reduce the yield of edible stalks.

4. **Harvesting**: Harvest rhubarb by pulling the stalks from the base when they reach at least 10-15 inches long. Avoid harvesting too many stalks from a single plant, especially in the first year, to ensure the plant remains vigorous.


Growing rhubarb offers a practical and effective economic defense in complex relationship dynamics where financial resources are stretched. This hardy and versatile plant provides significant cost savings, enhances household self-sufficiency, and can even generate supplemental income. By incorporating rhubarb cultivation into household practices, individuals can reduce financial strain and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient household. In doing so, they can better navigate the financial challenges associated with supporting multiple partners and dependents, fostering a stable and supportive home environment.