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Thoughts from May 2014

Kiran's magnets

Some of you may never have bought our kids wedges (don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you…but, in our completely unbiased opinion, you’re missing out), so might not know that, around the time that the kids are pulling their uniform out from the back of the wardrobe and unscrunching their holiday homework sheet, we pop sets of alphabet and number magnets into our kids smoothie boxes to give them a bit of a back to school treat.

Kids often get in touch to tell us how much they love collecting our magnets (which takes us back to our days of football stickers, Pokemon cards and Pogs), and send photos of their fridges beautifully emblazoned with their names and different words they’ve been able to spell using them.

A couple of weeks ago, we received such a letter from a young man called Kiran (age 12) who said he had ‘long adored’ our magnets (which made us very happy indeed) and then really impressed us by including some of his very own alphabet magnet designs. We can’t resist including his letter below, because it was one of the loveliest we’ve ever had:

These are the alphabet magnets that Kiran came up with, and we think you’ll agree that they are glorious:

 

We knew we had to do something a bit special to thank Kiran for his excellent efforts, so one of our designers, Kirsty, came up with the pretty genius idea of transforming two of his magnet ideas (K and B – his initals) into real magnet prototypes:

 

We sent them off to Kiran, and later received this letter through the post, so we reckon he liked them.

 

Kiran, we salute you. Thanks again for giving us lots of future magnet ideas, and making our day.

Bananimals

The humble banana. That yellow semi-circle of squishy goodness. Good for eating, good for putting into smoothies and good for...fashioning into a variety of different animals (we spend a lot of time around bananas here in fruit towers so, naturally, one thing leads to another). 

Today, we thought we’d share with you our favourite banana based animal creations so that next time you've got a banana handy (and a bit of extra time) you can transform it into one of the following:

5. Loch Ness Banana Monster

Stick a few bananas in a puddle and you can just about call it Nessie.

(we found this banana monster here http://imgur.com/4gPOe).

4. Swan banana.

May also require a biro and some artistic talent.

  (we found Jurgen Steenwelle's graceful banana here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/22/dad-banana-art-_n_4646988.html)

3. Banana dog.

Not for beginners. Tricky. Not even a real banana.

(we found this photo here http://www.technocrazed.com/adorable-animal-sculptures-made-from-fruits-and-vegetables-photo-galery)

2. The banana dolphin. 

This image was sent in to us by Fiona Macintyre on Facebook. The banana dolphins are happily frolicking in a sea of grapes (their natural habitat).

 

1. The banana penguin.

This idea was sent in to us by @LivvyEpps on twitter, and is probably the simplest design of the lot . Just peel down the sides of the banana to make the wings and, hey presto, you’ve got a waddly banana penguin on your hands.

 

If you manage to recreate any of the above, or have already earned your banana animal expert credentials and created your own, be sure to let us marvel at them on twitter - you can find us @innocentdrinks. Pretty appeeling, we think you'll agree (sorry).

alphonso mangoes: tropical, and also topical

Our juice is really very tasty. We've made some new TV adverts that show the lengths we go to to make sure every single carafe of innocent juice tastes as delicious as possible. And great lengths they are too, involving bows and arrows and hand-turning mangoes and all sorts. It's all about finding the very best fruit we can find.

You can watch the ads, and learn a bit more about how we get our juice so tasty, right here.

  innocent juice

On a topical note, you may also have noticed some stuff in the papers about an EU shortage of Alphonso mangoes. We do use Alphonso mangoes – they’re the tastiest – but the ban doesn’t affect us, because it only refers to whole mangoes. The mangoes we use in our drinks are crushed in India when they’re nicely ripe, and shipped over to us as puree (like all of our fruit, our mangoes are never, ever air-freighted).

We work with our mango farmers to help improve their livelihoods. In fact, we've just finished the first phase of a project with a group of farmers to improve their yields, income and environmental impact. So far the results are amazing. We’ll be working with them even harder now, as many are small family-run farms that sell both whole fruit to the international market, and crushed fruit to us. We want to make sure our mango growers can continue growing as many mangoes as they can for as long as they can, and we want the mango market to remain as healthy as - well, as mangoes. 

If you have any questions about any of the fruit we use, our adverts, or anything else to do with our juice, drop a line to hello@innocentdrinks.co.uk or tweet us

The bees and the butterflies

Now we've entered the fine month of May, we think we can officially say that spring has definitely sprung – the hanging baskets outside the pub are in full bloom and the blossom on the trees is looking particularly lovely (even if it does sometimes drop into our hair on the way to work and cause an awkwardly intimate moment when our desk mate has to fish it out).

But spring wouldn't be such a beautiful time of year without insects like the bees and the butterflies who make it all possible – they put in the hard graft of transferring the pollen and seeds from one flower to another, and fertilising them so they can grow and produce food.

However, these pollinators have been going through a bit of a tough time in recent years. What with global warming, increased pesticide use and habitat loss, they are now under threat like never before. That’s pretty scary, because without them, many much-loved food crops, such as apples and onions, would die off completely.

By planting some bits and bobs in your garden which are bee and butterfly friendly, you can provide them with the sustenance they need to get the job done. This can be as simple as using a wide variety of different flowers in your garden, not keeping it too tidy, leaving wild flowering plants in place (such as ivy, which is a particularly important source of late season winter food for bees) and avoiding using pesticides. If you’re feeling extra specially helpful, you could even take a course in bee-keeping to boost bee numbers, or create a butterfly habitat in your garden by planting milkweed.

If you fancy having your garden a-buzzing with bees and butterflies, then these incredibly useful (and beautiful) illustrations by Hannah Rosengren display a few of the plants which can give them a bit of a helping hand:

 

You can see more of Hannah’s work on her website here , or find her on Twitter here