For most of its 31 days March can be every bit as miserable, marrow-chilling and monotonous as February. But it doesn't matter, because March has something that February lacks: hope. It holds a calendar event that is always one of the most thrilling events of the year when the clocks go forward on the last Sunday of the month. An hour less in bed, some people moan, but a negligible price to pay for somewhere in the region of 210 extra hours of evening light over the coming months. That's nearly 10 whole days' worth of hours to spend gardening, fishing, barbecuing, picnicking and generally outdoorsing it. Weather permitting, of course. In the garden it is future, not present, harvests that occupy our thoughts and we'll be hosting our first weekender of the year, Get Growing in Spring, later this month. Come and celebrate the growing season with the team at River Cottage HQ, back on its feet in a little over two weeks following last month's dramatic fire. Of course you don't need a veg patch, greenhouse or polytunnel to grow herbs. The more space you have, the more possibilities suggest themselves, but a window box, sunny patio or even a doorstep with a few pots on will suffice. Fortunately our latest Handbook Herbs, written by Nikki Duffy, has hit the shelves. It's high time that a volume on these lovely ingredients was added to our series, numbering ten, and we're delighted that Nikki has been the one to write it.
One Day at Park Farm
Our one-day cookery course at Park Farm with head chef Gill Meller, Steve Lamb (right) and the River Cottage gang is a great introduction to cooking, our way. This hands-on one-dayer is designed to teach you a range of skills and techniques using meat, fish, veg and baking in line with our philosophy of food integrity. "The pace is just right, balancing heads-down cooking with downtime to savour your efforts and the magic of Britain's most filmed farmhouse," says Claire Hargreaves, Editor at the BBC Good Food magazine.
We've a busy month in prospect at our Canteens in Axminster and Plymouth. We're taking bookings for lunch on Mother's Day (Sunday 18 March), so why not treat mum to an extra special day with River Cottage this year? You'll also need a hearty breakfast before heading down to River Cottage HQ for Get Growing in Spring later on in the month. Our Canteen in nearby Axminster will get your day off to the perfect start. Book your table online between 9-10am on March 24/25. Meanwhile our outpost in Plymouth's Royal William Yard is open Bank Holidays. You can reserve your table online. Recently paid us a visit? Why don't you tell the world what you think?
If you can't make it down to the Canteens, don't worry: here's Plan B. The Mother's Day bouquets from Tregothnan, our friends over in Cornwall, are created using flowers and foliage sourced ethically and sustainably from the Tregothnan estate and nearby growers, ensuring the fewest "flower miles" possible. Little wonder they were recently named in the top 50 Best UK Florists by The Independent. Perfect then for mum.
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