The Eden Project today welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party conference announcement of 10,000 new green work placements, a programme to be delivered in partnership with Eden.
Outlining how the Government plans to unlock the talents of the young, Mr Brown said: “I can also announce that we will work with the Eden Project and Mayday Network to create the biggest group of green work placements we have ever done - up to 10,000 green job placements so that our young people can make the most of the opportunities of the low carbon economy and open it up for their abilities to flourish.”
Eden’s Managing Director Gaynor Coley welcomed Mr Brown’s announcement. She said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement is great news.
“Education and the environment are at the heart of what we do at Eden and during the summer we ran a very successful Green Talent pilot project in partnership with Arrival Education which enabled the young people taking part to understand our dependence on the natural world and that we have to adapt – and adapt quickly - to the challenges of the 21st Century.
“This inspired them to ask ‘What can I do?’, so the second step was to introduce them to how they could become agents of change in the world of work.
“There are companies out there, in particular within the Mayday Network, that already employ people in exciting jobs focussed on sustainable futures and, once they were introduced, the energy exploded. So we knew we had a powerful model and we want to expand it as fast as possible.”
Eden is in discussion with the Government and the Mayday Network – the UK’s largest group of businesses committed to taking action on climate change - on the detail of how the green work placements will be funded and delivered.
Young people are expected to come from all over the UK and will combine a spell at the Eden Project with going out to companies all over the network.
Eden is an educational charity and one of Britain’s leading visitor attractions, drawing more than one million visitors a year. The educational programmes host more than 40,000 young people a year.
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Only the eagle-eyed visitor will spot this tiny gem of a plant gingerly poking its flowers out of its terracotta pot. This genus of succulent plants, native to South Africa, is commonly called pebble plant or living stone - and you can see why as they look exactly like little pebbles bursting into flower. They are really fascinating little specimens and are flowering right now in the Mediterranean Biomes - just enter the Biome and look to the right.
As part of our harvest celebrations we're putting on cider pressing demonstrations during the week at 2.20pm. Here's a snippet of Nathan and David from our Pollinating Team in action.
Courgettes are also very good at this time of year and Eden's chefs have put together this fab recipe for Garden courgette and tomato chutney.
- 200g courgettes (unpeeled if small) cut into 1cm pieces
- 200g red or green tomatoes, blanched, skinned, roughly chopped
- 200g Bramley apples, peeled and diced
- 100g onions, peeled and diced
- 100g sultanas or raisins
- 100g light brown sugar
- 50 ml white wine or cider vinegar
- 50 ml water
For the mixed spice:
- pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 clove
- A few coriander seeds
- A blade of mace
Put the vegetables and fruit in a large, heavy-based pan with the sultanas or raisins, sugar, vinegar and water, chilli flakes and salt.
Mix the spices and tie in a square of muslin. Add to the pan.
Heat the mixture gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan. Add a little more boiling water if it starts to dry out.
Pot up the chutney while it's still warm in sterilised jars with plastic-coated screw-top lids (essential to stop the vinegar interacting with the metal). Leave to mature for at least 2 weeks, ideally 2 months before serving.
As you can see from these photos taken at the weekend Eden is really basking in the autumn sunshine.
"Chile" is one of those wonderful hidden corners of Eden you may not yet have discovered as it is hidden behind the Pineapple Car Park. As it's name suggests it is a big collection of native Chilean plants, but more than that it also acts as a seed bank for the critically endangered native plants of the country.
These photos were taken yesterday when we followed Skilled Horticulturalist Jamie McCormack, who looks after Chile, as he took a small group of Eden Friends on an exclusive tour.
We'll be publishing more stories on Chile and other areas of Eden you may not know about on the blog in the future.
Producing the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, a jackfruit can weight up to 50kg. The fruit is said to taste like banana and pineapple - yum. However the outer skin smells like rotting onion. urgh!
Also looking (and smelling) good in the Med right now; Fuschia boliviana, Bougainvillea, Protea, Hibiscus and Banksia.
We like the sound of GROFUN an organisation that encourages & empowers people to begin growing food and shows what's possible in small urban spaces. They have a scheme that co-ordinates neighbours to grow food cooperatively in their own gardens. So if you have green fingers but no green space you could ask your neighbour if they want to swap labour for vegetables through the GROFUN scheme. Sharing gardens is a great creative solution for space poor urbanites or the elderly who can't tend to their garden for example. GROFUN also aims to engage with more people through community gardens in publicly accessible locations. Visit www.grofun.org.uk to find out more.
This morning we're welcoming Allegra Fuller Snyder, the only surviving child of Buckminster Fuller, noted architect and inventor of the geodesic dome. Allegra is visiting the Eden Project, probably the best contemporary example of her father’s geodesic dome design, for the first time. Allegra is coming to Eden as part of a trip to the UK and has wanted to see the project ever since it was opened in March 2001, as it is one of the best realisations of her father’s revolutionary geodesic dome idea. She will be hosted by George Elworthy, Eden’s Phase Five Director, and will also meet Foundation Director, Tony Kendle.
Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an American architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist who, as well as developing the geodesic dome, wrote more than thirty books. Other notable geodesic domes include the pavilion for the 1964 World's Fair in New York City, which is now used as an aviary at the city's Queens Zoo.
Allegra Fuller Snyder, 82, is Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and Professor Emerita of Dance and Dance Ethnology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Welcome to the Eden Project Allegra.