We’ve got something exciting up our sleeve for you next year – an Eden eco cafe right in the heart of St Austell, just a couple of miles down the road from the Eden Project.
Due to open in February 2011, the cafe will bring a little of bit Eden to the new retail development in the town centre, with a quirky and welcoming atmosphere. So as well as being able to buy local, seasonal, healthy food, there’ll be free wifi, a terrace with views over the valley and a gorgeous fireplace right in the middle.
We’re also setting up a fab ‘produce swap’ where you can bring the fruit and veg you’ve grown to sell to the cafe or swap it for food and drink. So if you’ve got lots of windfall apples, for example, you could come and exchange them for a cup of coffee, and we can turn the fruit into something tasty in the kitchen.
Other things you’ll be able to enjoy there are art exhibitions, an Eden shop and live music courtesy of Eden’s Arts Cafe. We’ve designed the space to be as flexible as possible and available for things like community group meetings too. Another good thing to know is that we’re offering 10% off for Eden Project Annual Pass holders and Eden Friends.
At the moment, our builders are still busy drilling and painting away – oh, and eating the occasional pasty. We’re working really closely with them, as well the companies who provide our construction materials, to make the place as sustainable as possible. So you’ll be able to see things like:
- locally made tiles, tables and chairs
- cosy, double-glazed windows
- low-energy lighting
- lots of lovely natural lighting and ventilation
- solar panels and rainwater harvesting on the roof
Once we’re open, you’ll be able to read much more about these features and see them with your own eyes. We’ll announce the official opening date on this blog so that you can be one of the first to try out the new venue.
You can find out more and see a preview menu on our Eden Project Cafe webpage.
Why not take some time over the holiday break to look upward and marvel at the wonders of the night sky?
Come along to our astronomy event at Eden on Tuesday 4 January, which is part of the BBC Stargazing Live season. Between 5pm and 10pm you’ll be able to look through high-powered telescopes, loaned to us by the local Roseland Observatory.
In the meantime, here are five tips on stargazing for budding astronomers from Brian Sheen, director of the Roseland Observatory and member of the Royal Astronomical Society’s Education Committee:
- A clear Moon-less night is best for looking at the stars. Check the weather forecast for your area online; for example, on the BBC weather website.
- Plan ahead by checking the Space Weather website for anything special that night. For satellites and star maps for the night see the Heavens Above website. Phillips publish a Dark Skies Map of Britain and Ireland. You can also download a free ‘real time’ planetarium experience from the Stellarium website.
- Go with friends to a remote, dark site. Remember that it takes at least 15 minutes for your eyes to become fully accustomed to the dark.
- Use a pair of binoculars or telescope; you will be able to see much more, even with basic equipment.
- The planets and the Moon (especially when it is less than full) are always very interesting, but never look at the Sun.
The most regularly used words at the Observatory are ‘wow’ and ‘wonderful’!
Good news: inspired by a chance meeting at our South American fruit cocktail stand this summer, a school in Worcester has raised enough money to rebuild a house for a family in Colombia.
After headmaster Neil Morris met Rutie Stranack in the Mediterranean Biome, where she ran a series of cocktail workshops using exotic fruit from Colombia, he organised a sponsored non-uniform day back at school. The £1,000 collected at the Christopher Whitehead Language College means the Prieto family can now move into a new home, as their own house on a steep hillside is on the point of collapse (below, right).
The social enterprise Rutie works for, Fruto del Espiritu (which translates as ‘fruit of the spirit’) is encouraging people in the UK to buy fruits like lulo and maracuya, so that more farmers in Colombia can grow these instead of coca (cocaine), as they thrive in similar conditions.
Although the summer workshops are over at Eden, you can still buy fruit purée in our shop at the Eden Project to make your own cocktails, milkshakes and smoothies. We like the lulo flavour, a gooseberry-type fruit, which is an ideal alternative for farmers to cultivate in Colombia.
Gather your family and friends together and try out our Christmas Quiz. Written by the talented Dave and Dave from Eden’s Pollination Team, the quiz features 20 questions on a mix of Christmas-related and general trivia.
You should nominate a quizmaster, who should then print out the Christmas Quiz PDF (only the quizmaster should see this as it includes the answers).
Although this is our final Time of Gifts advent calendar treat, the party continues on-site at Eden. Come to our late-night openings on Monday 27, Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29, and Thursday 30 December for lantern processions through our twinkling site, fire sculptures, Cornish choirs singing carols, and An Evening in the Med: food and music in the warmth of our Mediterranean Biome.
Happy Christmas from all at the Eden Project!
Tune into the new David Attenborough wildlife documentary on Christmas Day and you'll spot Eden's Rainforest Biome. Sir David and the film crew came down to Eden to shoot parts of 'Flying Monsters 3D', which tells the story of pterosaurs – flying vertebrates with a wingspan of up to 45 feet that lived 200 million years ago – and their modern descendants.
The Biome's lush tropical foliage provides a backdrop for a sequence about south-east Asian Draco lizards, which can glide up to a distance of 60m. It's the first time 3D technology has been used to film the Eden Project. The documentary mixes computer-generated images of pterosaurs – including one part where Sir David flies alongside one in a glider – with real-life footage of modern flying lizards.
From discovering pterosaur embryos that show they might have flown from birth to figuring out how a creature the size of a giraffe could possibly fly, 'Flying Monsters 3D' aims to resolve mysteries that have intrigued scientists for more than two centuries.
Don Murray, Eden’s Chair of Horticulture, said:“We’re glad to be part of a programme that shares our scientific and educational ethos, especially one that showcases the great wealth of life in the rainforest. Programmes like this are important to remind us all how fragile and precious rainforests are. 40% of all terrestrial life lives in its trees so it’s incredibly important to protect them.”
Flying Monsters will be shown on Sky 3D on Christmas Day and is preceded by a 'making of' documentary on Sky 1 earlier in the day. The film is making its debut on television but will be released in both large-format and IMAX cinemas around the world next year.
These cool vegetable models are simple and great fun to make. All you need to do is fashion a variety of veg using a knife and a peeler, and then fasten the pieces together using cocktail sticks. They make great decorations for the Christmas dinner table!
These models were made by Lisa Cronin, one of our Pollinators at Eden; their mission is to tell our visitors fascinating stories in inventive ways about the relationship between plants and people.
If you grow your own veg, you might like to use the harvest from your own garden or allotment to make some models. At Eden we’re always trying to encourage people to grow their own fruit and veg. Currently we’re running the following projects:
- Gardens for Life is a programme that offers children everywhere the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience of growing food with their counterparts from around the world.
- Growing for Life is based on the simple proposition that prisoners growing food inside prisons has a marked benefit on health, behaviour and outlook.
- Seeds, Soup and Sarnies gives people living near the Eden Project the chance to learn how to grow their own food and make new friends as part of a three-year Big Lottery-funded programme.
The first group of Cornish businesses have just completed Eden's Green Foundation sustainability course – and they tell us they’re excited about the next steps in greening their organisations.
35 participants from enterprises as varied as Newquay Zoo and the Falmouth Docks & Engineering Co. have spent 10 days over the last few months learning about everything from carbon legislation to palm oil, through hands-on sessions at Eden itself, as well as two ‘exchanges’ with a local business to swap ideas. At a final ceremony at Eden last week they shared their experiences of Green Foundation.
Chris Jones, owner of Woodland Valley Farm, says: "I really did not know what to expect when I first went to enrol, but by the end of the day I was hooked... Underlying everything is the requirement nationally to reduce emissions in line with the Climate Change Act... It comes thoroughly recommended.”
Annabelle Lowe from Newquay-based Atlantic Diver (above) comments: "We're a small business; there's just me and my husband, and when I compare us to these huge companies, they have these high powered managers who can get up and speak... But now I've done the Green Foundation, I feel like Eden is there behind me like a big brother."
At Philip Sanderson Accountants, in Bude, they’ve come away with ideas on how to reduce their carbon footprint and make a difference to the region. They hope to plant trees on a nearby piece of wasteland, which will absorb the equivalent amount of emissions as the company’s operations produce.
Others say taking part in Green Foundation brainstorming sessions (left) helped them realise how important it is to differentiate your business by properly explaining your sustainability credentials to customers.
Bude Meat Supply Ltd, for example, sources locally, but it wasn’t until the company’s Steve Mobbs hosted Fifteen restaurant’s Steve Wright during the business exchange module that he really took stock of the fantastic story to be told. The two went on an illuminating tour along the supply chain from field to fork, first visiting the pigs foraging for acorns in the woods, next going to the local abattoir and finally sitting down to sample the sausages together.
Participants say they’re keen to continue to work together now they have completed the formal learning sessions. There are plenty of opportunities to collaborate on ideas and solutions to things like sourcing, waste disposal and carbon management. In the spring, they’ll be invited to share stories of exciting initiatives that have come out of the programme.
By the end of September, 315 Cornish businesses will have taken part in Eden’s Green Foundation, which is financed by the European Social Fund. There are limited places available on the free course in 2011. Visit www.greenfoundation.org.uk for more information.
As you wind down for Christmas, tune into this bumper harvest of Eden's 'plant records' - songs we've chosen which are all in some way linked to a plant. These are rich pickings from Eden's Chris Bisson, the guy who maintains all the recorded information on Eden’s plant collection and who, in a regular blog slot, recommends his favourite “plant records” .
We've collected together all the plant records for the last year in two fabulous playlists, where you can hear the collection in full.
The 2010 playlist archive:
- 15 January 2010: Jerkin' Crocus by Mott the Hoople (1972)
- 5 March 2010: Turnip Farm by Dinosaur Jr. (1972)
- 12 March 2010: Pork and Beans by Weezer (2008)
- 19 March 2010: Rubber Bullets by 10CC (1973)
- 9 April 2010: Magnolia performed by Beck, originally by JJ Cale
- 16 April 2010: Strawberry Fields by The Beatles (1967)
- 23 April 2010: Dust My Broom by Elmore James (1951)
- 30 April 2010: Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush by Traffic (1969)
- 7 May 2010: Pineapple Princess' by Annette Funicello (1960)
- 14 May 2010: Blue Orchid by White Stripes (2005)
- 21 May 2010: The Ghost of Stephen Foster by Squirrel Nut Zippers (1999)
- 27 May 2010: The King of Rock n Roll by Prefab Sprout (1988)
- 11 June 2010: Push Th’ Little Daisies – Ween (1992)
- 21 June 2010: Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry (1958)
- 9 July 2010: New Rose by The Damned (1976)
- 16 July 2010: Counting Flowers on the Wall by Statler Brothers (1966)
- 23 July 2010: Grass by Animal Collective (2005)
- 27 August 2010: Ragged Wood by Fleet Foxes (2008)
- 3 September 2010: Beans and Cornbread by Louis Jordan and The Tympany Five (1949)
- 24 September 2010: Everything Went Black by The Black Dahlia Murder (2007)
- 1 October 2010: Banana Splits by The Dickies (1977)
- 8 October 2010: Reverend Black Grape by Black Grape (1995)
- 15 October 2010: Blackberry Way by The Move (1968)
- 5 November 2010: Pepper by Butthole Surfers (1996)
- 26 November 2010: Kaap’ren Varen by Fungus
On this shortest day of the year, let's create some human warmth! Here are five simple things you could do to spread some cheer at this cold time of year, ranging from good deeds to thoughtful gift ideas to ways to celebrate the festive season. Don't stick to our suggestions, though, use your imagination to share the lurve.
1. Do a random act of kindness. With all this snow around, why not pop in to visit an elderly neighbour to check if there’s anything they need that they’ve been unable to pop out and get.
2. Give your time for Christmas. Some of the most memorable presents are quirky ideas that you’ve thought up yourself. Instead of splashing out on last minute gifts, why not draw up some special vouchers that your friends and family can redeem for, say, ‘a cup of tea in bed’, ‘walking the dog’, ‘an evening’s babysitting’ or ‘a massage’?
3. Plant a seed of community spirit. Spread the word about The Big Lunch, the annual neighbourhood celebration kick-started by the Eden Project. Get your neighbours to pencil it in for Sunday 5 June, to tie in with people just like you doing it nationwide.
4. Bring some cheer to the homeless. Crisis is always looking for willing volunteers to muck in at their residential and day centres, helping do things like serve up Christmas lunches.
5. Get singing to warm the spirits. If you can’t find any carol services or outings in your locality, you could invite friends or neighbours around for a few songs – with maybe a few mince pies thrown in for good cheer. Voices alone will do, or you could add piano accompaniment or even the humble recorder.
Did you know?
- The winter solstice (21st December in the Northern Hemisphere this year) occurs when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun, and people experience the shortest day, the longest night and a particularly low sun. Around the world, cultures celebrate midwinter festivals with food, drink, light and entertainment - as the last feast before deep winter begins.
- The word 'community' comes from the Latin meaning 'together in gift'. People have exchanged gifts for centuries, but not in the ‘here’s yours, where’s mine?’ way we do at Christmas. They gave when they could, shared bounty when they had it – even without something in return. That's why at Eden we call our winter festival - focussing on light, food and music - A Time of Gifts.
A special treat from Eden's Chef Tony Trenerry today: spiced apple chutney. The mix of spices in this make it a great accompanimnet for cheese and biscuits or with meat such as pork. It's a really simple recipe and the chutney will be ready in just a month!
- 1kg of apples
- 250g diced white onions
- 250g of sultanas
- 500g of Demerara sugar
- ½ l. of white wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 chilli, chopped
- 1 tbsp of mustard seeds
- 1 tsp of grated ginger
- 1 tsp of allspice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- a pinch of sea salt
- 2 peppercorns
- Place all the ingredients in a heavy based pan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes or until you reached a jam like consistency.
- Place the hot chutney in sterilised jars, and leave to mature for a month.