Thoughts from December 2011

yam must read this

Feedback Madagascar is one of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that we support.The project we support promotes yam farming with training on yam cultivation techniques, the creation of demonstration plots and household plantations. Working with twelve community forest management associations, over 250 people are already producing and yams are taking off.

Famous for providing the fuel for Usain Bolt’s sprinting successes, the yam is commonly confused as a sweet potato (they are un-related), they are similar in properties.

“Anyone for yams?”


The project is based around the Malagasy rainforest, where people are reliant on inadequate rice and cassava harvests; the cultivation of yams reduces the impact of the annual famine and dramatically ups people’s nutritional intake.

And yams are fun. To raise awareness of yams and their benefits, alongside rainforest conservation, there are now yam festivals. Associations take stands, organise competitions, cook offs, speeches and full-on carnival singing and dancing.

Feedback madagascar

As part of the project, training on culinary techniques is included to make the most of the yam.

Here are 6 of their suggested recipes:

  1. Yam Pudding
  2. Yam Crisps
  3. Yam Pizza
  4. Yam Soup
  5. Yam salad
  6. Baked Yam.

Here in Fruit Towers, we think they all sound delicious and the soup sounds like a great defence against winter.

If you fancy trying your hand at Yam Pudding, here is an embellished Western version:


800g grated uncooked yams

300g milk

120g golden syrup

3 eggs

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

120g brown sugar

1tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 160˚c
  • Grease baking dish (approx 8”x8”x2”)
  • Combine all ingredients
  • Bake until a knife comes out of mixture clean, approx 1 hour.
  • Serve warm with cream or ice cream

For more information on Feedback Madagascar, please visit our foundations page: or their own website:

taste not waste competition winners

Tnw_blogheader_strawberry (2)


A couple of weeks ago we ran a competition for ten lucky schools to win a blender* from us as part of our taste not waste campaign, and we're delighted to announce that the following schools will be receiving their prizes in the new year: Trotts Hill Primary and Nursery School, Stevenage, Littledean C of E School, Gloucestershire, All Saints School, Putney Common, Rudyard Kipling Primary School, Brighton, Belvedere Infant School, Kent, The Acorns Centre Short Stay School, Lancashire, Courtlands School Widey Lane, Plymouth, Emmbrook Junior School, Wokingham, Dorothy Goodman School, Leicestershire and New York Primary School, North Shields.

Thanks to everyone who entered. It really wasn't easy picking the winners at all.

*No bike power necessary.

hat's amazing (sorry)

Marisa became so fond of our little hats during the Big Knit that she decided she wanted to see even more of them. Not content with just popping them on top of the cat ornaments on her mantlepiece or her hard boiled eggs, she made them into a very special advent calendar by embroidering numbers on each one. Apparently her friends are already putting their orders in for next year.

Marisa's advent calendar big knit hats

It sure beats the usual cardboard chocolate offerings and is a lovely way to make use of the hats when the drinks they once sat upon are nothing but a distant memory.