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Thoughts from August 2011

it's raining again

Rain

So cancel your ambitious mid-week barbecue plans, give the flip flops a well earned break and hide yourself away for the afternoon. Copious quantities of tea and baked goods in front of a David Attenborough box set are the only things that will get you through.

hot and bothered

...that's how some of our indian mangoes have been feeling of late. When it comes to climate change, the majority of conversations still use words like 'when' - when it happens, when the temperature rises, when the seas rise etc. Of course the reality is that our climate is already changing, and more so in some regions than others at this point in time. The Western Gatts of India is one of those regions, and that is where some of our delicious alphonso mangoes come from.

Conventional farm - Mango Harvest (4)

When our indian farmers started talking to us about the problems, we decided it was important to make sure we did our bit to help cool the mangoes down, and keep the farmers in the mango business. Fast forward through many many conversations, and we had a set of recommendations from a local agricultural institute, a consultant and 18 farmers working with our supplier, ready to trial some new techniques in the world of mango growing.

We have just received the first report from the project, and despite only being able to implement 2 of the 5 techniques this season we have seen some great results. Farmers participating in the trial were able to use less agrochemicals on the trees and still managed to have a lower incidence of pest and disease attack than a standard farm (saving them lots of money as well as protecting the environment). Plus, the trial farms also found that they had a higher yield of mangoes per tree.

Conventional farm - Mango Harvest (9)

Next season we will be implementing all 5 of the recommendations, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we get even better results. Needless to say the farmers participating in the project are pretty happy that they can still produce great mango in a changing climate (and save some cash at the same time), and we are thrilled that we still get great tasting mango and have managed to help out in tackling this challenge.

A big thanks to our suppliers, and everyone involved in the project so far. I'm off to grab a mango passionfruit smoothie to celebrate.

what the blob?

Is it a fancy paperweight?

The blob

An executive armrest?

A thing to wave at people to 'really drive' your point home?

No one is really quite sure but it’s been hanging off Rich’s desk for a while now. It’s made of some sort of semi breakable glass, is very smooth and rather heavy.

Rich is climbing Mont Blanc this week so is unable to confirm what said weird glassy blob is.

If you know or have an idea, tell us right here and once Rich is back from the summit, we'll get him to tell us what that summat is (sorry).

your words made t-shirt

Dry cleaning, picking the cat up from the vet, eating your 5-a-day - all things we know we need to do but more than often forget.

Tee

Thankfully, the excellent folk at howies are putting an end to all that. Or at least one of them.

Their T-shirt of the Month competition this month is to pen some words to remind you to eat your 5-a-day (or at least some green stuff as well as the beige).

The favourite 5 entries will be put to the people on Facebook, with the most 'liked' entries designed into a T-shirt of the Month for all and sundry to buy.

The lucky winner will also receive a copy of our new family recipe book Hungry? and 5 tasty howies t-shirts with their design on.

To enter and help thousands remember to eat their reds, greens and yellows, just click here