Our desire to eat the pale pink shoots of rhubarb has returned in recent years. To achieve this, a little planning is required. Single out one or two vigorous, well-established plants-not all of them, as forcing puts big strain on a plant-and encase them in utter darkness about now, as growth is about to commence. You will need a proper rhubarb forcer, not one of the shorter ones designed for sea kale. The old standby of a dustbin whose base has corroded away but which retains its lid is just as good, if rather less elegant.

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