Celebrating our Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb

Every winter, we begin the process of forcing our rhubarb. First, we dig the crowns from the field and plant them in the already prepared polytunnel.  The crowns are grouped into their different varieties, in neat rows that allows us to access the crop for harvesting.

Inside the polytunnel we build a frame and then cover the rhubarb with black tarpaulin. Forced rhubarb needs to be grown in complete darkness. Starving the plant from light prevents photosynthesis and the crowns use up their existing energy stores to push the stalks upwards.  Without any daylight, the leaves turn yellow and the stalks are a vivid red colour. Forced rhubarb also grows really quickly. After a few weeks, the crop is ready and picked in the dark (with a little help from a head torch!).

If you'd like to learn all about our rhubarb, then come join us for our Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb Day on Saturday 2 February 2019 at 10am. Spaces are limited and booking is essential. Tickets are priced at £10 and for this you will receive a tour of the farm, a talk on the history of our land, learn how we produce our rhubarb and how to grow your own, a rhubarb tasting session plus a kilo of our Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb to take home with you. If you'd like to attend the event, please call Vicky on 07981211016 or drop us an email at whiteleysgardens@yahoo.com. We'll hopefully be running a second event in late February/early March with date to be confirmed. 

Our forced rhubarb is available to buy in the farmshop too. Perfect for use in crumbles, jams, pies and our favourite, gin! We look forward to seeing you soon.