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Thoughts from September 2007

autumn has officially arrived

We've been getting very excited about autumn. We found a load of fruit in the UK that we've made into a seasonal recipe, available in little bottles and big cartons. And we've made a film about it too...

The recipe is damsons, blackberries and elderflowers (in bottles), while the carton has damsons, blackberries and apples in it. Our elderflower growing friends in Hertfordshire had a tough year this year, so there were only limited amounts of elderflowers available.

It's good to get ingredients from harvest to bottle in a matter of days, so we hope you enjoy this recipe. From field to fridge in the blink of an eye.

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the innocent madchester music club

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We decided to start a monthly office gig night, the innocent Madchester music club. Secretly I wanted the opportunity to dig out my Affleck's flares and hoodie from my Wigan college days, so we headed down to The After Show, a night which is the brainwave of Danny McNamara from Embrace.

Who better to meet at the inaugural event than Clint Boon, one time organ player with the Inspiral Carpets (sadly without his magnificent carpet barnet he sported back in the Madchester days).

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Clint is our kid Fiona's favourite DJ. You can listen to him on XFM or venture down to South on a Saturday for his Disco Rescue club night where he plays the coolest old and new indie tunes.

Clint's a really friendly, down-to earth guy, as is Romeo from the Magic Numbers, who I bumped into coming out of the loos. I think I'd better point out at this juncture that I wasn't hanging round the Gents trying to track down male rock stars, it just happens that the toilets in Sankey's are unisex.

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Romeo told me he drinks our smoothies most days, so he was especially pleased to be given one for an energy boost before going on stage. They played a fantastic gig - it was wicked seeing them in such an intimate venue. After they finished we downed our smoothies and caught the disco bus home.

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Congratulations to Danny and all involved as the night was a huge success and we look forward to returning soon.

by our Vic in the Manchester office (pictured with Clint)

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wild man, wild food

Fergus Drennan (Wild Man, Wild Food) is a professional forager whose diet consists of about 50% wild food. His website features such delicacies as a recipe for pan fried squirrels. Mmm.

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Fergus and some sloes

Intrigued by Fergus's unique view on where to find fine ingredients, our recipe inventors headed off to the Kent coast to meet him and learn more about the unusual foods that are growing on our doorstep.

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hunting for seaweed

It was a long day which consisted of foraging for, among other things, seaweed, samphire, sloes, rosehips and seabuckthorn berries.

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seabuckthorn berries

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Lucy, samphire and seaweed

The day ended with a squirrel-free bonfire on the beach, cooking up all the food that had been foraged. And we returned to Fruit Towers full of slightly odd ideas about what to put in our next smoothie. We'll let you know if we manage to crack a seaweed recipe.

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our brand new 100% recycled plastic bottles

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We've been working on the rest for a while. But today is when we can finally announce that we got to 100%.

Our bottles are now made from 100% recycled plastic
. It's a world first, and heralds a huge reduction in our carbon footprint. Here are some facts, comparing the new bottle's impact versus the old 50% recycled version:

  • 20% reduction in materials (we've made the bottle lighter)
  • 55% carbon reduction
  • 100% recycled content
  • 100% recyclable
  • 100% food safe

Next up, we're changing our label paper so that it's made from 25% recycled content and 75% FSC certified paper, and we'll be working on getting this better too.

Making our business better involves a series of steps. Sometimes they're small and almost unnoticeable; sometimes they're pretty big and have a large impact on the way we treat the planet. Today is one of the slightly bigger days, but we'll keep doing the small stuff too. We'll keep working on the rest, because we want to build a company that we can be proud of.

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and the winners of the fete flickr competition are...

The results are in and after a hotly contested vote we now have the 3 winners of our village fete flickr competition. We give you:

The best picture of bunting 2007

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By Little Teabag.

Best fete game picture 2007

Best_game
By Richard S.

And the best overall fete picture 2007

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By Pirate Internet.

We'll be in direct contact with all 3 winners via flickr mail very soon. Congratulations to all of you on your imminent year's supply of smoothies. Don't drink it all at once.


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