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Thoughts from February 2008

how will you spend your free day?

Hopefully you've got something a bit more interesting than the hoovering planned.

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This Friday we all get an extra day for free. And since the 29th February only comes round once every four years, we'd love to know how you're going to spend your extra day.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Gav will be watching Hop Chip. 9pm-3am. Oh yes.
  • Row will be practicing her housewifery skills.
  • Jonathan will be impersonating MC Hammer.
  • Cass will be having some me me me time.
  • Christian S will be doing all the stuff he never has time to do, like checking the air pressure in his car tyres and installing energy efficient lightbulbs.
  • Ben W will be lazing about by the old swimming hole, sipping milkshake and wearing slacks fashioned from bullrushes.

Someone must be doing something more exciting...please let us know

last night

If you were watching telly last night and giving Hotel Babylon a miss, you might have seen something on the other side about the way that companies make claims about products. Professor Regan from BBC2's Horizon came into Fruit Towers to talk to us about our superfoods range and investigate the science behind the word 'superfood'.

We had a good chat with the Professor, and put forward our point of view, which is that all fruit and veg is amazing, and that there are certain fruits that have extra, measurable benefits, and they are the ones that we call super. Professor Regan’s opinion was that the fruits we call 'super' are nutritious, good for you and should be eaten, but there was no empirical evidence to support the name 'superfood'. We also went on to say that whilst people still don't understand exactly how and why fruit is so amazing (because the scientific research in this area is all quite new), one thing is clear: fruit and veg is good for you, and we should all eat more. And everyone, from the World Health Organisation to Professor Regan to us, agrees on that.

If you did miss Hotel Babylon, Alan Davies played a celebrity chef called Otto Clark and there was a joke featuring a lobster.

gardens up for grabs

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Box o' veg

A few weeks ago we met Mike from Rocket Gardens. Mike and friends grow little organic seedlings and send them off in bio-degradable pots to people that want to have a go a growing their own veg. It's pretty simple; you buy a voucher from them, and they send you the box straight to your door when the baby plants are ready to be put in the ground. And a few weeks later you'll have your very own mini allotment full of veg and salad leaves. Lovely.

What's even lovelier is that Mike would like to give three gardens away, just in time for Mother's Day (yes, it's this Sunday).

To win a garden for your Mum, just share with us the wisest thing she ever told you. Answers on a postcard (or as a comment) by 2pm on Thursday.

Good luck

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A Rocket Gardens voucher

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Mike and Claudia watering the lettuces

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'erbs

designers of the future

We had loads of great entries to our kids design competition. After some heated debates and a few sulks, we whittled them down to a shortlist of finalists and our grand judge, children's author Lauren Child, then chose the overall winners.

Each winner not only gets a year's supply of smoothies and a visit to their school from one of our DGVs, their designs will also feature on our kids smoothies cartons this summer.

You can see all the winners and runners up in a bit more detail in our winners gallery but for their world premiere, we thought it only right to showcase the winning entries right here:

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Top prize winner: Holly J aged 7 Favourite fruit: Strawberry

Well done to Holly. The judges were particularly impressed by her astronaut dude as well as her activity of making a walkie talkie from two kids cartons and a bit of string. This was rigorously tested in our car park by Tansy who can confirm it works a treat.

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Top prize winner: Max H, aged 9 Favourite fruit: Peach

Lovely use of colour and a keen eye for detail in this design by Max. The judges also liked the fact you needed a friend to play the fruit tasting game with and that in the process, you got to try lots of different fruit as well.

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Top prize winner: Lizzie N, aged 12. Favourite Fruit: Cherry

What a cracking idea by Lizzie. The judges just loved how she made Sudoku into Frudoku. Some really good drawings of fruit along with an excellent bearded lady dude made this entry our designer Kat's overall favourite.

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Top prize winner: Charlotte E, aged 16 Favourite fruit: Mango

The judges liked the idea of of combining making something cool with recycling. Charlotte's idea to make your own bin out of a smoothie box means you get 'a cool bin and a cleaner planet'. We couldn't have put it better ourselves, Charlotte.

Thanks to everyone who entered and make sure you keep your eyes peeled for these winning designs on shelf this summer.

beautiful manners

Amy, who came up with one of the winning captions for our bottom of the bottle competition, sent us a photo letter to say thanks for her prize.

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Practical, witty and blessed with such impeccable manners, her granny must be very proud.