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we like them pineapples

Pineapples are great. Not only do they put the ‘pina’ in ‘pina colada’, they also inspired the hairstyle our mum wouldn’t let us leave the house with in the 90’s. Oh, and they taste really great in our recipes too. Bonus.

We have a special team of people here at innocent who make sure that only the best quality fruit makes it into our bottles. So, last year, our George and Maria visited a pineapple farm in Costa Rica to learn more about how our pineapples are grown.

 

Costa Rica is the perfect place to grow our pineapples because, due to its proximity to the equator, it enjoys both a lot of sunshine and a lot of rain. Might not be an ideal mix if you’re there for a beach holiday but, luckily for us, it’s the perfect climate for growing tasty tropical fruit. The sun and rain combo also ensures that our pineapples can be grown and harvested all year round because the fields are planted one day and then harvested 12 months later in a staggered pattern meaning that there are pineapples on hand at all times (excellent news).

What George and Maria learnt about pineapples

When a pineapple grows, a ‘seed’ grows alongside the pineapple. These seeds are then planted six inches apart on top of small earth mounds:

 

The planters work as teams and, in an 8 hour shift, each worker can plant a staggering five thousand plants, which equates to over ten per minute.

 

When the pineapple grows, it grows on top of the plant:

 

From these baby plants the adult plants grow and, over twelve months, the pineapples grow to the size we’re used to seeing them in the shops.

Oh, and if you’re really lucky, you might even see a pineapple with a double crown. That’s as rare as a four leaf clover in the pineapple growing world (probably) so our George and Maria were pretty lucky to catch a glimpse of one on their travels:

 

We’re really proud of the pineapples we put into our drinks and think they’re definitely worth travelling all the way to Costa Rica for. In fact, let’s raise one of these to the toughest-looking yet sweetest fruit of them all. Like a Harley rider with a heart of gold. Or something.

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a headful of hats: the biggest of the Big Knit hat collections (so far)

Recently, on Facebook, Sam started sending us pictures of the various Big Knit hats she’d been buying. After a few days we started to wonder just how many Big Knit hats Sam had got her hands on.

“There are more than I had realised,” she wrote. “110 to be exact - 22 from this year, so far. I’m trying to be more strict and just get super-novelty ones.

“I am still hoping and searching for the elusive ‘unicorn’ of hats, a ‘peas in a pod’ which I saw featured a few years back. I’ve never managed to find one.”

This got us thinking. Who exactly has the biggest of the Big Knit hat collections? Is it Sam with her 110 or is there someone out there who can claim the title? So that’s what we’re asking. Do you have more Big Knit hats than Sam? Let us know by emailing hello@innocentdrinks.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

And if you’ve got a ‘peas in a pod hat’, can Sam have it?

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eating in season - an innocent guide

We don’t just love fruit and veg professionally. We've got a few keen gardeners in Fruit Towers (Gareth even has an allotment) so we've put together a quick guide to what’s currently in season so, if you’re also thinking of growing your own, you’ll know the best place to start. 

It's good for you, it's good for the planet, it's more natural and, what's more, it's cheaper. Besides all that, it doesn't feel right eating strawberries when it's cold out. This is how it starts. One day you’re having strawberries when it’s below freezing, the next you’re celebrating Christmas in the sun and getting far too hot in your Father Christmas jumper. It’s not worth the trouble. Wait until summer for strawberries, it’s the only thing keeping your annual timeline intact. 

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penguin awareness day - what is a penguin?

As it’s #PenguinAwarenessDay over on Twitter, we thought we’d take the time to write a quick guide to help you become more aware of penguins.

This is a penguin. It is black and white. It has a beak and some flippers. It’s bird-like but, at the same time, not bird-like at all. To recap, this is a penguin.

Is this a penguin? It’s black and white, yes, but where are the bird-like features? This is a panda. Not a penguin. An angry penguin can most likely be appeased by a healthy piece of fish, not so much a panda. Don’t get the two confused.

Yes, this is a penguin. Well-spotted. Ten points to Gryffindor.

But is this a penguin? Once again, it’s black and white but remember what we learned from the panda. That’s right, not everything black and white is a penguin. This is a zebra. You can tell the difference between the two because this isn’t a penguin. It is a zebra.

What’s that, you say? This is definitely a zebra? Close. This is a zebra crossing. That’s right, we tricked you. Sorry about that. We hope you can forgive us.

Wait, don’t answer yet. The numerous black and white lines might lead you to think this is a zebra crossing but stop, look again. That’s right, it’s a group of penguins. Excellent work. 10/10.

We hope this has helped you become more aware of penguins on Penguin Awareness Day. Thank you.

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good news in the world alert

It’s cold, it’s dark and everyone’s in a mood because it’s January. It’s not all bad though. We bring you good news from our friends in the Netherlands.

Staff at Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn are being trained to recognise signs of loneliness or self-neglect amongst their older customers and, with the help of specialist volunteers, offer them the support they might need.

Shop staff are uniquely placed to spot decline in the well-being of their customers, especially amongst the elderly, who may not have anyone around to check up on them.

The initiative started when an Albert Heijn worker noticed something unusual with one of her regulars. They’d lost weight, were buying less fresh food, and one day had to be taken home in an ambulance. Instead of doing nothing, she contacted the charity Royal Zorg who helped set up the campaign.

It can be all too easy to overlook the needs of those you don’t know, but this initiative just goes to show that armed only with a good idea, and a willingness to make things happen, it’s possible to do a bit of good for your fellow humans.

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