It has been a wonderful warm sunshine filled April. The blossom on the trees this year is spectacular, thanks to the excellent growing conditions last season allowing trees to make extra budding points on their branches, combined with the warm days and cool nights during April extending the blossom survival. In addition to the trees, other plants are also looking spectacular; the fields of rapeseed part way through their brilliant yellow blossom; or the cow slips, violets and other wildflowers along farm tracks and hedgerow bottoms showing off their colours. Over the next few weeks other plants will come out in blossom in a changing carpet of colour over the countryside. As well as plants, I have also noticed the first bumble bees and odd butterfly making appearances. The birds are also looking their best; the pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers on the bird feeder in the garden; the first swallows arriving from their winter’s travel; or the Grey Partridges having dust baths around the farm. No doubt bird watchers have made the most of the early mornings to hear the full dawn chorus. During this lovely whether, we have only had 15mm of rain during April. On our clay soils of Northamptonshire, such lack of rain soon starts showing with cracks appearing and a rock like texture on the surface. However, I’m not too worried as there is still plenty of moisture underneath, but admittedly our spring planted crops which have not got their roots down into that moisture could do with a good drink. No doubt as I write just before the May bank holiday weekend, the weather will change and that rain will arrive. The lack of rain got me thinking about ‘April Showers’ that are supposedly the norm, but looking back through my records, four out of the last five years have had less than 25mm (one inch) of rain during April. Not exactly a wet month then. I am delighted to report that our business has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious, The Grocer Gold Awards, in the Green Initiative of the Year category, alongside major retailers and household food brands. The award winners will be announced at a gala evening in London in June. So whether we win or not, I will clean down the Dinner Jacket and look forward to a great evening out with the big boys.