Thursday, March 27

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb!

Over the years rhubarb has played an important role in the Wakefield area. As capital city of the Rhubarb Triangle, each year a Rhubarb Festival is held in and around Wakefield. (Although this year it was renamed the Food and Drink Festival). Throughout the week special events are held and earlier this month Pat and Joe went on the Rhubarb Tour. At the start of the tour they were welcome with tea and biscuits (not sure if it was rhubarb tea or not). They then were given a talk on the history of rhubarb by the 'high priestess' of rhubarb - Janet Oldroyd and then taken for a tour of the forcing sheds. Not just any old forcing shed but the largest in the world! Pat said it was quite spooky in the darkness of the sheds - I think Pat and Joe also came out a foot taller than when they went in and slightly pinker!!

Incredibly there are hundreds of varieties of rhubarb which originally was grown medicinally - we all know the effect of eating too much! The huge leaves of outdoor rhubarb not only provide ideal umbrellas but as they are toxic can be used as a pesticide. Apparently rhubarb is also good for cleaning burnt pans and colouring hair! If you want to read even more about our rhubarb heritage then click here to visit our web site.

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