Beginning with the Greeks, dried rhubarb root has been used medicinally - primarily as a laxative - for about 4,500 years. Russia had an early state monopoly of the rhubarb trade it had with China, and by 1638 had a Department of Rhubarb.
...read the whole article at Anchorage Daily News. LINK
A Dept of Rhubarb? Were there Rhubarb Robber Barons?
Q: Can the public visit the Experiment Farm in Palmer to view the different varieties grown there?
A: The rhubarb collection is part of the Arctic and Sub-arctic Plant Genetic Resources Unit. They have more than 300 rhubarb plants encompassing 64 varieties growing there from all over the United States and Europe this year. It is maintained by the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. This is a research project to try to save our food plants for posterity. The public can't roam through the fields, so someone would have to escort visitors.
64 varieties? 64! Who knew...
I'm sure there's some tasty rhubarb puns in there. Or at least some bittersweet humor.