Nurture a passion for gardening and learn to grow your own, with a day of organic fruit and vegetables at the River Cottage Cookery School.
At River Cottage, we don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that growing your own fruit and veg has the power to change your life. On our fun, educational one-day Get Growing course, our green-fingered head gardener Will Livingstone will teach you a comprehensive range of skills and techniques to get the most out of your space, whether that is a balcony, a courtyard or acres of beautiful land.
Based in the famous kitchen garden at River Cottage HQ, the course will draw on our idyllic location to show you the joys of growing (and eating) seasonal and organic vegetables. The group size is kept deliberately small and there will be plenty of opportunities to explore and ask questions, leaving you brimming with inspiration and practical knowledge.
"Knowledge and enthusiasm ooze from head gardener Will like butter from toast: warm, unassuming but absolutely indispensable." Helpful Holidays, Discover Magazine.
09:30 - 17:00
Arrive at River Cottage
Your day will begin at 9.30 with a tractor ride down to the farm, where you will catch your first glimpse of TV’s most famous farmhouse.
Make yourself at home
You’ll meet Will and start your morning with tea or coffee and tasty treats fresh from the River Cottage kitchen.
You'll start off by discussing which areas you most want to learn about during the day, followed by a talk on the amazing variety, value and flavours you can achieve by growing your own vegetables.
Next, you’ll move into the kitchen garden to learn about crop rotation, how to make the perfect compost and how to make your soil work for you.
You’ll be inspired by a seasonal vegetable cookery demo in the famous farmhouse kitchen, with a chance to have all of your veg questions answered by one of the River Cottage chefs.
Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a three-course lunch of local, seasonal fare will be one of the highlights of your day.
Next up, you’ll take a guided tour of our polytunnels and learn the practical benefits of growing under cover. We’ll teach you the fundamentals of propagation, so you can raise your plants from seed or cuttings.
Know your enemy! In the final session, you will learn about organic solutions to deal with the most common garden pests and diseases.
By now you will be probably be bursting with questions, so this will be your opportunity to take away some of Will’s expert advice for successful growing at home.
At the end of the day you’ll be whisked back up the hill by our tractor and trailer, full of confidence to get the most out of your garden.
Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.
On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.
Thinking of buying a River Cottage experience as a gift?
This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.
We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.
If you need local accommodation we have a full list available.
We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.
- Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Food and Travel Magazine 2017
- Great British Food Awards 2017
- Great British Food Awards 2018