This forced rhubarb is grown by fourth generation rhubarb grower Janet Oldroyd in Yorkshire.
Westwood & Sons says
Forced rhubarb is actually a vegetable, not a fruit. It is grown in complete darkness, traditionally in old coal sheds, which are heated, causing the plants to grow at a rapid rate. Due to the lack of light the leaves are blanched and yellow in colour. The stems are harvested, traditionally by candlelight, as any light in the shed will cause the plant to stop growing, this is done by hand and the stem is snapped at its base. This process traditionally takes place from December to February, however due to milder winters the season doesn't start until January.
Meet Westwood & Sons
David Westwood's family farm have been producing forced rhubarb for generations. Their farm is located in Wakefield in the heart of Yorkshire's 'Rhubarb Triangle' where the crop thrives in the sulphur rich soil. The sulphur is said to have originated from the soot of the industry in the area. David harvest's the forced rhubarb by candlelight with the help of his family, especially his son Jonathan. The growth of Forced Rhubarb began in West Riding Yorkshire during in the late 1800s when other fresh fruits were in short supply. It now has Protected Designation of Origin.Find out more