These mystical pictures show the inner workings of a centuries old tradition of growing rhubarb by candlelight

A centuries' old tradition of harvesting rhubarb by candlelight has been captured here in this series of magical photographs.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 11:05 am

Wakefield farmer,,Jonathan Westwood's great-great-uncle started the tradition of harvesting 'force-farmed' rhubarb this way in 1870.

Now Jonathan, 59, is the latest in his family to grown rhubarb this way in the nine-mile squared area in Yorkshire famously dubbed the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’.

He took over the reigns of the business from his father 15 years ago and painstakingly picks the vegetables in candle-light by hand after a unique growing process.

Wakefield farmer,,Jonathan Westwood's great-great-uncle started the tradition of harvesting 'force-farmed' rhubarb this way in 1870. (SWNS)

The rhubarb is left in fields for two years without being harvested, with all sugars kept within the root.

The farmer then moves the crop into pitch black sheds where all of the energy is aimed into the stalk, creating a much sweeter taste than usual.

To ensure the plants are unable to photosynthesise, they are picked by hand by candlelight with no doors being opened to keep light away.

The farm is thought to be one of the last to grow rhubarb in this way.

Jonathan, 59, is the latest in his family to grown rhubarb this way in the nine-mile squared area in Yorkshire famously dubbed the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’. (SWNS)

Over 300 tonnes of rhubarb is sent to high end supermarkets each season, even being ordered to Buckingham Palace and potentially onto The Queen's plate.

The rhubarb triangle is a nine-square-mile section of Yorkshire between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell and incorporates 10 farmers

It is believed that West Yorkshire once produced 90 per cent of the world's winter forced rhubarb from the forcing sheds within the triangle.

The farmland also falls into the European Commission's Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

To ensure the plants are unable to photosynthesise, they are picked by hand by candlelight with no doors being opened to keep light away. (SWNS)

Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb is protected along with Champagne and Parma ham.

The farm is thought to be one of the last to grow rhubarb in this way. (SWNS)
Over 300 tonnes of rhubarb is sent to high end supermarkets each season, even being ordered to Buckingham Palace and potentially onto The Queen's plate.
It is believed that West Yorkshire once produced 90 per cent of the world's winter forced rhubarb from the forcing sheds within the triangle. (SWNS)