We are currently in the midst of the Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb season and we are picking our way through the sheds at the moment (as you can see from the top photo there is quite a lot of it to get through!). It's backbreaking work (quite literally as Bryn is having to see the Chiropractor) and there is a definite skill to picking it as it's very delicate and can snap very easily if not handled carefully. It comes out of the dark and is packed as quickly as possible to stop the leaves from turning green. Rhubarb is much more tender and sweeter when it is forced although it still retains a super tang.
As well as making super crumbles and fools it makes a lovely cordial as seen above. The wonderful Alison from The Seasonal Larder takes our rhubarb and hand makes some fantastic creations from cordials to chutneys and of course there is our very own home made Granny's Jam as well.
This year the weather has been so mild that the rhubarb has not really had a period of dormancy. The bottom picture shows one patch of rhubarb in the middle of January and it certainly should not look like this at that time of year. This has had an effect on the production of the forced rhubarb although we still have plenty in stock.
Finally a trip down memory lane click on the link to see what our farm looked like at the height of Rhubarb Green Top Season back in the summer of 1961!
This film proves that Bryn's dad Brian Whiteley once had hair! Others on the film are Old Bert, Young Bert, Dennis Watson, Glenn Marshall, Raymond Barker, Terry Crowe, Mrs (Lily) Foster, Brenda Foster, Daphne Tidswell, Mrs Yates, Malcombe Yates and 3 Friends (if anyone knows who the 3 friends are please let us know)