A must follow @rhubarbrobert

Yorkshire based, fourth generation grower and aficionado of forced rhubarb….

Forced rhubarb by Robert Tomlinson

Horticulture offers an infinite bounty of joy, but as a sector it’s the wonderful people that make up the industry that sets it apart. This sector harbours an army of people who specialise in specific plant varieties, from the familiar to the rarest of species, and have for years, and in some cases over generations, dedicated themselves to their chosen variety, purely out of a deep passion for that plant. Just head to any of the floral pavilions at flower shows and speak to the nurseries and growers exhibiting – you’d be hard pressed to find such passion and love for a metier as is percolating from the plants on display.

Through the wonders of social media, we encounter such a marvel – Rhubarb Robert, aka Robert Tomlinson. Son of fourth-generation farmer, based on his farm (B. Tomlinson and Son) in Pudsey which is set in the famous ‘Yorkshire’s Rhubarb Triangle’. The Yorkshire’s Rhubarb Triangle is a very exclusive club endowed with European Protection Status, awarded Protected Designation of Origin status (PDO) in 2010. No producers outside the West Yorkshire triangle can claim that title commercially.

Spanning both X & Instagram, Rhubarb Robert social media output is a marvel of spirited crimson red colour, celebrating the culinary delights of rhubarb. Forced rhubarb is grown from the same plant as its outdoor cousin but is grown in darkened sheds away from natural light, which makes it more colourful, sweeter and tastier than normal rhubarb. Still picked by candlelight, in traditional sheds as the generations before him, the process is labour intensive and tough. And yet, with every photo of the crimson wonder that is Tomlinson’s rhubarb, it’s evident this is more than just farming, this is passion. For that we salute and thank you.