Summer in South Dakota means growing garden veggies, hunting asparagus and mushrooms, and if you are lucky harvesting some nice backyard rhubarb.

If you are not lucky enough to have a patch of the vegetable ... (yes it's technically a vegetable) ... in your backyard, you can find it for sale at lots of area Farmers Markets.

Rhubarb lovers know that you only get a very few months to make some of your favorite fresh recipes like Rhubarb Crisp, Rhubarb Strawberry Pie, Rhubarb Bread, Rhubarb Jam, Rhubarb Cherry Chutney, Rhubarb Cookies, and dozens of other great rhubarb dishes.

But did you know there is a “right way” to harvest your rhubarb so you don't damage it? And using a knife is the WRONG way to get your tasty stalks out of the ground and into your kitchen.

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If you cut the rhubarb stalks off with a knife the nub left behind will wither and not produce more plants. You should be twisting, breaking, and pulling the stalk out. This way the plant will regrow a new rhubarb stalk in its place.

Taste Of Home gives this advice, “find a stalk on your rhubarb plant that’s ready to be picked. Grasp the stalk near the bottom. Lean it to the side and in one motion gently twist and pull the stalk up. The stalk will pop and separate from the rhubarb plant at the root, and come cleanly away.

The twisting and pulling motion should be gentle. If the rhubarb stalk doesn’t come away immediately, grasp it lower and try leaning it in the other direction. If you find that the whole plant is coming out of the ground when you pull the stalks, pack it more firmly into the soil around the roots.”

Diverging Diamond