APRILCAN CERTAINLY give you grief as well as goodness. To get the best out of it, it helps to have a mildly masochistic temperament - but then all farmers and gardeners need that. The gardening pendulum swings from chore to pleasure, depending not only on the task in hand but also on the weather's constant pranking. These schizophrenic temperatures may plunge us from shirt sleeves into double jumpers in a matter of minutes, but we were treated to a glorious weekend for our Get Growing in Spring event at Park Farm, which attracted over a thousand visitors a fortnight ago. We're now busily preparing for our Autumn Fair later this year. A month for growing rather than reaping, April may hold more tangible pleasures for the vegetable gardener than the cook. We should at least be reaping in the field. The ram goes in to 'tup' the ewes on Guy Fawkes Day, which is traditional for those who wish to lamb their flock in spring. It means lambs can be expected from April Fool's Day onwards, and we welcomed our first only two days ago. Poor Pete the Stocksman rarely gets a wink of sleep this time of year. There was more success on the Fish Fight front, while our events team has also been busy. Hugh, Gill and Steve joined Hungry Boy Thom (right) on his brand new Catch and Cook course out of our Plymouth Canteen last week, with Hugh netting the skipper's catch of the day. Meanwhile we've invited The Pop-Up Hotel to offer a unique experience this summer at Park Farm, and tickets for our biggest bash of the year - Hugh's Members' Summer Party - are being snapped up. We hope to see you soon. Happy Easter!
Bread at River Cottage
This month we focus on one of our most popular courses at River Cottage HQ - Bread. During this fantastic one-dayer our experts will explain the ins and outs of baking, inspiring you to abandon ready-sliced loaves for a world of delicious breads baked at home. It's built around our basic bread method, showing you how this can be adapted with infinite variations to give you complete confidence to become master of your own bakery. You'll be making delicious foccacia, ciabatta, flatbreads and pizza plus a number of others, some of which you'll bake in our wood-fired oven.
We're gearing up for a delicious Easter at our Canteens in both Axminster and Plymouth. We've got the South West's very best wines, ciders, ales, cheeses, preserves and plenty more besides to make your Bank Holiday go with a swing. In Axminster we'll be holding an Easter Egg colouring competition for the children - the prettiest picture will receive a box full of River Cottage Deli goodies. We'll also welcome Suzy Sweet Tooth and her fantastic fudge for the kids, while the grown-ups can sample Ashridge Cider from Totnes. We suggest you book your table online for our evening service, but you can drop by during the day to say hello. We'll see you then.
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