Dahl certainly knew his Forton onions
23rd December 2011
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Dahl certainly knew his Forton onions


When it came to growing veg, Roald Dahl certainly knew his onions, as one Forton family can prove.


The popular children’s author was a valued customer of Robinson’s vegetable seed and plant suppliers.


Although best known for supplying seeds to produce mammoth onions, Robinson’s provide seeds and plants for a wide range of veg in all shapes and sizes, including the King George cucumber which can grow to 30 inches.


Could this variety have provided the inspiration for the Snozzcumbers currently a feature of The Dukes production of Dahl’s classic BFG?


That’s what the cast like to think anyway. The Lancaster theatre has managed to produce its own Snozzcumbers without Robinson’s help but they’ve created much hilarity amongst families visiting the show which runs until January 7.


Dahl used to order a variety of seeds from Robinson’s and was particularly partial to onions.


Margaret Robinson who runs the firm along with her sister Susan, brother-in-law Peter and nephew Andrew, said: “Roald Dahl grew our mammoth onions in his kitchen garden. In his book Memories with Food at Gipsy House there’s pictures of him hoeing his onions and a soup recipe using our onions.”


“We used to send him a variety of seeds and cucumbers could have been among them. Who knows, the King George variety might well have inspired the Snozzcumbers he wrote about in The BFG!”


Producing unusual veg is all in a day’s work for Robinson’s who are well used to receiving calls from Pinewood Studios to grow quirky varieties. They supplied strange veg for the film version of Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp and recently had to grow some veg and let it die for a film about a nuclear explosion which devastates London.


Although the Robinsons never met Roald Dahl, his wife and daughter still place regular orders with them so scrumdiddlyumptious are their veg.


For tickets to see The BFG, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 5985


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David M

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