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This week’s Plant Record

September 24, 2010
Author: Chris

(For a bit of fun, every Friday our Plant Records Manager, Chris Bisson, the guy who maintains all the recorded information on our plant collections, will do a regular blog slot where he recommends his favourite “plant records” – that is, songs that are in some way linked to a plant. (Do you see what we did there?) )

‘Everything Went Black’ – The Black Dahlia Murder (2007)


Our Dahlias are looking spectacular at the moment, with loads of varieties all in flower. These stunning plants are in the Asteraceae Family, the same as Daisies and Lettuce. Will be in flower right up to the first frost…

I normally choose more old school plant records, feel like I should mix it up a bit, The Black Dahlia Murder should appeal to the metal lovers out there!

Chris Bisson – Plant Records Manager – Eden Project

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Families reap harvests from communal veg growing

September 24, 2010
Author: Hannah

Check out our video of kids, parents and grandparents who’ve been growing veg at a communal garden near the Eden Project. Here, they’re celebrating the first year of their hard work together as part of Eden’s
Seeds, Soup & Sarnies programme.

The families have transformed a patch of unused land in their community into a place to grow veg such as peas, chillies and giant squashes – and have learnt techniques firsthand from Eden gardeners. Cornwall Family Learning have run sessions for groups around the China Clay area, teaching people loads of stuff they didn’t know – like the fact that red peppers aren’t hot and they do like them. Or that they can grow herbs in this country.

“There’s lots of ways of engaging people,” says Camilla Baker, Project Manager of Seeds, Soup & Sarnies. “We don’t tell people that they’ll be doing ‘lots of learning’; we invite them along because it’s actually ‘about lunch’, or it’s simply ‘a day out’.”

The aim of the programme, which is running in several neighbourhoods around Eden and also in Middlesbrough, is to help parents understand more about how their children learn and to encourage adults and children to develop new skills as a family. The project has got people growing at home, on allotments, in Children’s Centres, schools and even an art museum.

One volunteer at the local garden, Andy Harris says: “This is all about making an effort to turn the community into a much smarter place to live. If you have a nice place to go and fruit and veg to grow, you can actually learn something in life – what’s going to open new opportunities for you.”

Read more about their adventures

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Community, Cornwall, Education, Environment, Food, Horticulture
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Friday fun… It’s Plant Records!

September 3, 2010
Author: Chris

(For a bit of fun, every Friday our Plant Records Manager, Chris Bisson, the guy who maintains all the recorded information on our plant collections, will do a regular blog slot where he recommends his favourite “plant records” – that is, songs that are in some way linked to a plant. (Do you see what we did there?) )

‘Beans and Cornbread’ – Louis Jordan and The Tympany Five (1949)

Beans are full of goodness and taste great, the pea and bean family Fabaceae, is one of the largest plant families on earth, consisting of some really wonderful, weird and diverse plants.

Louis ‘King of the Jukebox’ Jordan was born in 1908 and died in 1975,  in his lifetime he was involved in masses of hit records making him the one of the most successful African American musician of the 20th Century.


Chris Bisson – Plant Records Manager – Eden Project

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Loving the waste

September 3, 2010
Author: Hannah

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They were given only a huge pile of used tyres, a mountain of old wood – and four days to build a shelter. A tough challenge for architecture students and local volunteers on a constructing with waste workshop at the Eden Project this week… But the result of their four days’ hammering, cutting and bolting is an impressive structure with heavy wooden foundations, a twisted timber frame and a fringed rubber roof.

blog-asf03It sits on the outskirts of Eden as the latest addition to the Building Plot, a patch of land offered to Architecture Sans Frontières-UK (ASF-UK) to test out innovations during their summer schools, which have been run at Eden for the last six years.

A key aim of the ASF-UK workshop was to equip the group with the skills and creativity to innovate with available materials – vital if they are to go on to work abroad in post-disaster reconstruction and international development organisations.

That’s why experts from the Netherlands-based REFUNC joined the group, bringing their experience of and passion for turning unwanted goods into useful objects and innovative pieces of art. They kept the process imaginative, making sure the architects didn’t spend the time doing technical drawings, but got their hands on the materials and let the design “unfold”, as REFUNC’s Jan Korbes put it. Local carpenter Rufus Maurice, meanwhile, helped source vast pieces of usable timber from a Cornish demolition firm DRS.

It’s what ASF-UK’s Andrew Edwards calls “harvesting waste”. He’s drawn up a local ‘harvesting map’, a list of available waste resources from the construction and demolition industry – and the people who can help turn these into valuable products.

He hopes the database of materials, carpenters, electricians, upholsterers and the like could prove useful for both your average man on the street wanting to refit his kitchen as well as the masterminds behind the government’s planned eco-towns. “It makes much more sense than sending waste to China to be ‘recycled’ and then shipped back,” he says.

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His ambition is to set up a social enterprise which could source, collect, store and refurbish waste materials, along the same lines as the UK-wide network of ReIY building material reuse centres (short for Reuse It Yourself). The local knowledge and prototype designs from this year’s summer school could provide those vital first steps, he says.

Next week’s summer school is all about constructing more productive urban landscapes. Expect unusual growing containers and ‘edible roofs’ cropping up around Eden…

Follow their progress

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Architecture, Cornwall, Environment, Inspiration, Recycling and waste, Sustainability
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