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Thoughts from September 2006

the world's tallest tree

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The headline kind of gives it away. They found the world's tallest tree. Story here.

NB the picture isn't the actual tree - it's a redwood I saw on my holidays last year

scandinavia day

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It's time to launch our drinks in Scandinavia, beginning in Denmark and Sweden. So it's Scandinavia Day here at Fruit Towers in London. Viking helmets, meatballs and Dime bars - absolutely no stone has been left unturned in the search for cultural stereotypes for us to plunder.

Matt, who is charge of innocent in Scandinavia, told us how it's all going to work. Then we had a quiz all about Scandinavia (did you know that there are 199,000 lakes in Finland?), followed by a proper smorgasbord. It felt good to be Scandinavian for a while.

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"We're having diffficulties with the elk and cranberry recipe." Matt takes us through his plans.

Dsc06719"Dancing Queen?" Scandinavia Mastermind quiz is go.

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Smorgasbord fever. The mob bay for crayfish, herrings and Dime bars.

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Heather finds the lucky meatball.

our dark secret

We have something to share with you. We were going to try to keep it a secret forever but in the long run, it's better to share.

We used to be called Fast Tractor. Before we were innocent, the name of our smoothie company was Fast Tractor. We could go into a long-winded argument about why we chose that name and why it would have worked, but actually, thinking about it, if we'd stuck with Fast Tractor, I'm not entirely sure that we'd still be selling smoothies today.

Here's what the label looked like:

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It had a big picture of a Fast Tractor on it. That's all we want to say right now.

where the blueberries roam free

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Jon has just got back from Nova Scotia. He went out there to check the blueberry harvest and to make sure we've got enough berries for your smoothies.

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We use these wild blueberries, which are smaller and more tasty than the cultivated ones you'll find in the shops. The smaller size means you get more antioxidants from them than large cultivated ones, as the goodness is in the skin. Of course, being wild, you can't plant them - you just have to hope they grow. And it can take up to 25 years for them to spread across a field. This means that the fields where they grow are handed down from generation to generation of farming families in Nova Scotia (which is in Canada, in case you were wondering).

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The blueberries are harvested by dragging a comb-like thing through the field, as pictured above.

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The blueberry farmers have to rely on nature for most things. And the most important thing they need in order to get a great crop is to provide lots of bees to pollinate the plants. During the spring, enterprising bee owners hire out their bees to farmers so that they can put the hives in the fields. Lots of bees means lots of blueberries, but also means lots of bears, as the bears quite like the honey.

Anyway, Jon made it back alive, unsavaged by bears and full of tales from The Blueberry Inn, the place where he stayed. Quite fancy a trip there myself. Looks beautiful.