Rhubarb is a plant that grows well in Maine. It is a low maintenance, high yield product with large leafy tops and red stalks. Its leafs are toxic but its colorful stalks are bitter. Rhubarb has been pigeon-holed for decades as only good for pies and desserts... but now... we think rhubarb will be highlighted as more than just a bitter crop you dip in sugar... but it also makes some really great wines.
Rhubarb originally is from China. The first time it showed up on the U.S. public market was in 1820 (see what we did there) from an unnamed Maine farmer. In the later 1800s, when more people were farming and making products with what they had, rhubarb wine was actually "a thing".
Since rhubarb as used a fruit in the kitchen, it is classified as a fruit. Rhubarb is a Spring crop that grows like a weed and loves Maine weather.
This low-maintenance cash crop is helping our farms operate in diversified ways by having a high yield product, that takes little maintenance and pops up at the very beginning of their season.