News A live frog intended to be eaten, in a Singapore market.

The unnamed New Yorker found the amphibian sprawled in her lunch.

A class apart: Emma Townshend goes back to school for a lesson in veg growing at Kew

The celery is perfect, the marigold edging delightful; it's an A for effort and results, says Emma Townshend, as she visits the student vegetable plots at Kew

Mackerel nicoise

Ingredients to serve 4

Action à la cart: What does growing veg in a trailer have to do with saving the coastline?

Two National Trust workers on an ecological roll explain all to Emma Townshend

Salad days: Now is the time to sow those delicious cut-and-come-again crops

For vegetable gardeners there is a flurry of mouthwatering firsts in July: the first shiny truncheons of courgette, the first slim, sweet carrots, the first early potatoes, the first shiny tomatoes. Perhaps even a cucumber. You can bet that somewhere, some smartypants will be saying airily, "Oh! I had those in June". But will that fantastically irritating paragon have remembered to sow more cut-and-come-again salad crops? Or a second row of French beans to crop under cloches in autumn? Or chicory, choy sum, endive, kohlrabi, komatsuna, mibuna, mizuna, oriental mustard and spinach leaf? Seed sowing is always more in our minds in spring and successional sowings of crops tend to get forgotten later in summer.

Iceberg salad with Thousand Island dressing

Serves 4

Sow, grow, eat: A three-step, fail-safe guide to growing your own vegetables

Grow your own: people are doing it all over Britain. Teetering on the edge of joining in, though, there's always that moment of doubt as to whether you possess the right DNA for it. Typical symptoms include fear of weird gardening vocab such as "chitting"; and wondering whether you just inherited the genes for watching a bit too much telly.

YouTube sandwich saboteur escapes jail

A sandwich bar worker sacked after footage of him stuffing lettuce up his nose appeared on YouTube has narrowly avoided a jail sentence.

Growth potential: As the ground softens up and temperatures become less harsh, it's time to get those early crops bedded in

There's little advantage, unless you are a commercial grower trying to catch an early market, in sowing crops too soon. But if March is kind and the soil warms up and dries out you should this month be able to sow broad beans, cabbage and calabrese, chrysanthemum greens, curly endive, kale, land cress, lettuce, spring onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, radish, spinach and plenty of cut-and-come-again crops: mizuna, komatsuna and red mustard, mibuna, oak-leaf lettuce, saladini, pak choi, rocket and Texsel greens (a type of brassica). Cut-and-come-again crops do well in large tubs. So do land cress, radishes and parsley. The rest produce the best crops in open ground.

Bottle of Marcato has Italy coach licking his lips

Nick Mallett has a "Friends, Romans, countrymen" demeanour, whether he is talking matters of state or what he wants on his plate at a press conference lunch. "I lived in France for 12 years and they never serve cold salad on a hot dish," Mallett opined as he stood in the queue for the buffet at the Hurlingham Club. If only the English-born, South African-reared Italy coach could serve up a pair of quality half-backs as easily as his lettuce was parted from his fish pie.

Caesar salad

Serves 20

Two Left Hands: Like rabbits, Etcetera Theatre, London

As French and Saunders' act played out its last throes at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, another female sketch duo started a two-week residency at the more modest Etcetera Theatre in Camden. While Charlotte Hudson and Leila Hackett (Two Left Hands) employ a more cerebral approach that has a firmer grasp on the zeitgeist, both suffer from a similar paucity of laughs.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

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