This time of year is stunning in York and the surrounding towns. The once red dry fields are now groaning with the beautiful tall crops of Canola. Their masses of yellow blossoms look upwards to the sun and gently sway on the soft breeze.
Known as Rapeseed, it is one of the oldest plants cultivated by man, Its use was documented in India as far back as 4,000 years ago and its use in China and Japan goes back at least 2,000 years.
In Northern Europe with limited use, it was predominately used in oil lamps. During World War 11 it was in high demand as a lubricant for steam engines in naval and merchant ships.
After the war the sale and use of Rapeseed decreased dramatically and farmers needed to find another use for it. In the early 70's it was first used as a food product with its name changed to Canola.