Rhubarb is a delicious sweet fruit, perfect for crumbles, pies, cordials or just to eat on their own. Rhubarb is a strange plant because its ripe all through spring and summer. To cause no harm to the plant the best time to harvest is once the stalks are about 10 inches long. You harvest by simply pulling the stalks gently and leaning it to one side until it breaks off.What if I said that you don’t have to wait till summer to harvest your rhubarb. Forcing rhubarb out of the ground is something many gardeners do… it gives you sweeter fruit and can be harvested early spring. Its done by covering the plant to prevent light getting in. you can cover the plant with any sort of large container… make sure it’s not transparent though. Some people will say you need a special pot to force rhubarb however, you don’t they are very expensive, and you can achieve the same results without one. Preventing the plant from getting any light means that the plant can’t photosynthesize, which is the process where plants convert sunlight into energy. This forces the rhubarb for an early growth. Its best to cover up the rhubarb in late winter February to march… it should be about seven or eight weeks before their ready for harvesting. Just remember this damages the plant so be sure to leave it to grow naturally for two years after forcing the plant. When harvesting they will appear pale in colour, this is because plants need sunlight to produce chlorophyll, which is what gives plants their colour. By restricting the light source, the stems will grow faster in order to seek out sunlight. Apparently forcing rhubarb was discovered totally by accident… in the 19th century two men were digging a trench and accidently covered a rhubarb plant, when the trench was refilled a month or so after… they discovered the plant had bolted.Just remember once harvested, to wash and definitely remove the leaves… their poisonous and if enough are ingested can cause serious problems and may lead to death.