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Thoughts from category: ingredients

believe in magic

Wizzard

Those of you in the innocent family will know we like to have competitions to win drinks and stuff in our weekly newsletters every now and then. Last week's family competition was to guess our secret ingredient with the choices being broccoli, a chicken, a wizard and nature.

Of course nature was the right answer, but it made us smile to see that 111 of you believe our secret ingredient is the wizard. We salute the believers.

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And congratulations to Charlotte K, Laura H, Adrian H, Johanna P, Becca M, Sophie F, Annie S, Richard P, Ruth D and Sara D who all win a box of smoothies each for guessing nature.

If you'd like to join in the fun get with the wizard and receive our weekly email, you can join our family here.

climbing to new heights

There was a bit in Sunday's Observer Food Monthly on our acai farmers in the Brazilian Amazon.

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Photos by courtesy of Gary Calton/ eyevine. Great shot Gary, thanks.

All of the acai berries that we use in our smoothies are grown sustainably from palms native to the Amazon estuary. These palms only grow within 25 yards of the Amazon in the mineral-rich tidal wetlands, meaning that they're naturally irrigated twice a day. What's more, our acai supplier is certified as organic, and is working with the acai collectors to preserve biodiversity, address social issues such as adequate nutrition and develop other sustainable local industries, such as making jewellery made from acai seeds.

The acai berries are collected by scaling the acai tree using hemp tape looped around the climber's ankles to give a good grip.

It's easier said than done though, as Rich found out.

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"Just crop the photo below my feet and it will look like I nearly got to the top."

The berries are then threshed from the branch, and placed in baskets for transportation.

If you fancy trying a whole 35 of these hand picked, antioxidant rich acai berries from the banks of the world's biggest river, then why not have a go on our detox superfoods smoothie.

save our vegetables

Toms

The world's vegetables need your help. Traditional varieties are dying out, but never fear – you can save them. Simply adopt a vegetable at the Heritage Seed Library.

We've adopted a tomato called Texas Wild. Something about the name just made us think of cowboys and riding off into the sunset. But please don't let this be your motivation for adopting a rare variety. There aren't that many cowboy-themed veg varieties on the list.

You could choose the Walla Walla Sweet (onion), the Long Green Buddha (pepper) or the Lazy Housewife (climbing French bean). At £15, it's a snip.

more damsons, more blackberries, more movies

Here are some more films about our new autumnal ingredients. First up is a clip about damsons, featuring the mighty Stanley Yapp.

And next is Craig, tending to some very large blackberries.

Both worth watching if you fancy finding out a bit more about the UK ingredients that are currently going into our damsons, blackberries and elderflowers and damsons, blackberries and apples recipes.