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Eden Project’s 10 tips for gardeners in July

June 30, 2011
Author: Tom

1. It’s time to keep an eye out for plant pests. Check tips on young growing plants for clusters of greenflies, or for any distortion which might be aphids inside. An environmentally way of dealing with greenfly is to either rub them off with your fingers or to spray them off with diluted washing up liquid.

2. Check for black spot on rose leaves. Pinch off leaves or stems showing symptoms of this fungus and bin or burn them. Don’t put them in to compost as that will harbour the disease.

3. Continue to deadhead and pick flowers to keep them blooming lovely.

4. Prune early-flowering shrubs, such as wisteria and lilac, to keep them in check and give them a good shape.

5. Keep up regular watering and feeding of plants in containers, particularly geraniums. The soil should be damp to the touch.

6. Cut lavender flowers this month, then hang them to dry – perfect for that smelly sock drawer.

7. Harvest and eat fruit and veg. Now’s the time to enjoy eating beans, carrots, beetroots and strawberries. If you’re stuck for exciting things to do with all your homegrown veg, check out Eat Seasonably for some seasonal ideas.

8. Why not try a cup of your own home grown fresh mint tea – an easy, refreshing drink to make. Simply pour boiling water over fresh mint leaves, and a little sugar if you like.

9. If it’s really hot, let the grass grow for a week rather than mowing it too often. This stops it from scorching and is great for wildlife. Eden’s offers a great range of products to help you encourage wildlife.

10. Be an early bird and order bulbs now, to plant this autumn for stunning spring displays.

With thanks to Louisa Evans and Catherine Cutler.

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Make your own decorative tiles and get inspiration on community action

June 30, 2011
Author: Hannah

Come along to the Eden Café, St Austell, to make your own decorative tiles, in a free workshop led by Bodmin Moor-based artist Jenny Beaven. The sessions will take place in a in White River Place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 17 July.

Visitors can make tiles to take home as well as contribute to a large installation to go on display at the Eden Café. They can also hear Jenny tell the fascinating story of Cornish china clay and its unique qualities.

Another free event kicks off on the evening of Wednesday 13 July at the Eden Café, when guest speaker Sue Hill, co-founder of Wildworks theatre company, will talk about how local celebrations can help regenerate communities. She’ll be drawing on her recent time spent with the actor Michael Sheen, Welsh National Theatre and hundreds of people in the community of Port Talbot, Wales, working on a collaboration of the play ‘The Passion’. The event runs from 6.30 – 8.30pm.

The event is the first in a series of Café Conversations which offer a chance for the people of St Austell and the clay areas to come together and talk about positive community action.

Both the tile-making workshops and Café Conversations are part of the St Austell Live programme, funded by a £60,000 grant from Cornwall Council to attract more people to the town centre. The series of events is part of the £9.5 million Eco-communities Programme of Development awarded to Cornwall Council by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Please check our Café page on the Eden website to see what else is on offer.

How to book for the tile-making workshops:
The tile making workshops take place in a temporary studio space opposite Costa Coffee in White River place, St Austell. They are suitable for anyone aged 12 or over and participants under 16 should be supervised. Please book ahead as there are a limited number of spaces for each class: staustelllive@edenproject.com; 01726 818738.

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Climate change debate at Eden 30 June

June 29, 2011
Author: Hannah

Don’t forget our Future Features climate change debate, taking place in the Mediterranean Biome on Thursday. Come along at 12 noon to help shape the debate in a live panel discussion.

Chaired by journalist and co-founder of Instigate Debate, Mark Donne, your questions will be answered by a panel that includes oceanographer Simon Boxall, campaigner Chris Hines and musician and poet Dizraeli (above).

Young writers and film-makers have helped shaped this week’s debate through our associated Future Features competition. Andrea Michael submitted a winning written provocation, which will kickstart Thursday’s event, and Jessie Brickley created a two-minute film.

In it she draws attention to the prospect that, in 100 months’ time (from 1 August 2008), we could be beyond our climate’s ‘tipping point’ (ie at the point of no return). You can find out more about the 100 months countdown in this Guardian blog by Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation.

Watch Jessie’s film below to get you in the mood for Thursday’s debate.

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Parachute jump to support Eden disability project

June 29, 2011
Author: Hannah

One of the Eden team is undertaking a daring feat to raise money for our People & Gardens programme, a unique therapy and support scheme run by and for people whose lives have been affected by disability.

People & Gardens founder Ken Radford is doing a parachute jump on 16 July 2011 and is looking for sponsorship.

Based at the Eden Project’s plant nursery, the project gives those with physical and emotional impairments the opportunity to learn all aspects of growing and selling vegetables, from sowing seeds and potting on, to planting and harvesting, to weighing and packing.

Their horticulture skills have developed so much that the group now supplies the Eden Project’s kitchens and has set up a Veg Bag scheme delivering to over 70 households in Cornwall each month.

This week, Ken is to receive a special Torch Bearer Award for his work in enabling the participants to take control of their own lives. Worldwide torch relay World Harmony Run will come to Eden on Thursday 30 June to present awards to Ken, alongside CEO Tim Smit and managing director Gaynor Coley.

To make a donation please contact the fundraising team on nhawkins@edenproject.com or 01726 818735. To find out more about the programme visit the People & Gardens website.

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How to build your own den

June 28, 2011
Author: Hannah

You don’t need much more than a table and a sheet to make a great den, either in the house, garden or outside in the park or woods. But if you can get your hands on some interesting (and free!) materials, you could keep the kids busy for a whole day.

Maybe you’ve got some old rope in the shed, a couple of blankets in the cupboard, or some bamboos in the shed… Well, here are some ideas for what to do with them.

Stuff for structure
All good dens need a sturdy frame.

  • Chairs and tables are one quick way of building a structure.
  • Bamboo canes: light, strong and fairly cheap.
  • Poles: if you can’t get bamboo, you are going to need something similar, such as broom handles or tent poles.
  • Bendy sticks: make all sorts of interesting shapes with these, or with plastic bendy pipes.
  • Fallen branches: really fallen, not just branches you can reach. If you can only find thin ones, try tying them together to make them stronger.

Stuff for tying
You’ll need a way to tie the structure together.

  • String and rope
  • Old bicycle inner tubes: cut into strips 2.5cm wide, these are great for tying things together.
  • Rags: cut up old T-shirts. Save old sheets to cover the shelter.

Stuff for shelter
Now for making it look beautiful, or for keeping out the rain, if the den is outside.

  • Bright materials can help you turn your den into a palace, fancy restaurant or castle.
  • If you want to use your dens in the rain you’ll need waterproof material, such as plastic dust sheets or tarpaulin. Leaves are also good for this, but you’ll need loads if you don’t want it to leak.

Stuff not to build with

  • Avoid glass as it can break into dangerously sharp bits.
  • Steer clear of big bits of wood, or anything else big and heavy.
  • Tins of paint or chemicals are bad news for you and the environment.
  • Don’t cut bits off living trees.

Watch our video for more inspiration.

Here’s a few more tips to keep everyone safe and happy.

The Den Commandments

  • Respect the environment!
  • Please don’t damage the den site; true denmasters leave no trace.
  • Always tidy up after yourself. Please don’t drop litter, especially if you use manmade materials.
  • Look after living trees and plants: they take years to grow and seconds to destroy.
  • Check whose land you are planning to build on: you don’t want to be chased off halfway through and you don’t want to upset the neighbours.
  • Don’t steal from other peoples’ dens!

Safe play tips

To enjoy den making you need to stay safe, so this bit is really just about not doing anything stupid.
  • There isn’t a ‘right’ place to build a den, but there are definitely a few wrong places: derelict buildings, cliff edges, swamps… you get the picture.
  • We aren’t saying that an adult should be there all the time but a grown-up should know what’s going on and where!
  • Keep your den lightweight, so that if it falls in, it won’t do too much damage to any den builders inside.
  • If you are going to dig into the ground, don’t go very deep.

If you like wild outdoor play, come along to our den-building activities at the Festival of Wilderness in Oxfordshire in August 2013.

If you’re keen get started quickly with den-building, check out the Eden Den Kit on sale in our online shop. It includes all you need to build a sturdy den and decorate it.

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How to play Capture the Flag

June 28, 2011
Author: Tom


As part of our Festival of Play season, we’re offering loads of ideas for games and activities on the themes of outdoor play and circus fun to keep your kids occupied this summer.

Capture the Flag is a well-known ‘wide game’. These games are played over large outdoor areas like fields, woodlands, country parks or sand dunes. They’re often played by children and youth groups like Scouts or Guides but if you’re out and about or on holiday with a group of children, they’re a great way to have fun, burn off a lot of energy and explore the great outdoors.

Most wide games are played in teams and are based around some combination of the ideas of:

  • hunting or locating some thing or area
  • seizing, capturing or taking control of a thing or area

Children love wide games because they get to join in on their own terms. They can break off alone on a stealthy, silent mission, or gang up and and attack at full, screaming sprint.

Rules of Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is simple to explain, set up and run. The game works well in a large outdoor area where there is a mixture of open space and cover provided by vegetation.

To play the game:

  • One or more grown ups should be appointed to act as ‘umpire’ to set up the game, keep an eye on it as it runs and bring it to an end (a whistle is helpful!).
  • Define the area of play- this can usually be done using naturally occuring boundaries: lines of trees / hedges, fences, rivers, car parks.
  • Split into two teams and walk each team to opposite ends of the play area.
  • Each team establishes a base in which to place their flag (it doesn’t have to be a flag, it could simply be a brightly coloured blanket or item of clothing). The base should be a few metres across and the team are not allowed in their own base.
  • Start the game. The aim is to collect the opposing team’s flag and return it to your own base without being tagged by a member of the defending team.
  • When a player is tagged, they must return to their own base to start again and the flag is returned to the defending team’s base.
  • The game ends when a flag is captured and returned to the opposite base.

The game encourages team members to work together to plan their strategy – splitting into defenders and attackers and working out of a plan of attack. As the game progresses, players will have to work together to distract the opposing team, capture their flag and move it to their own base.

Variations of Capture the Flag

There are lots of ways to vary the game, such as:

  • In order for the game to end, a team must have both flags in their base. That is they have succesfully captured the opposing team’s flag *and* defended their own.
  • Hide the bases from the opposing team’s view at the start of the game. This means that the teams have to find the bases and communicate their locations before they can start the task of capturing the flag.
  • Establish a ‘jail’ at the base. When a player from Team A tags a flag-holding player from Team B, they take the player from Team B back to Team A’s base along with the flag. The player from Team B can be freed by a member of their own team tagging them. This means that Team A base defenders end up protecting ‘prisoners’ as well as their flag in their base.
  • Play the game with more than two teams and hence multiple bases and flags.
  • When a flag-carrying player is tagged, the flag is left at that location rather than being returned to base. Now both teams need to communicate the new location to each other and change their plans of attack / defence.

One of the great things about playing wide games is that you’re really only limited by your own and your children’s imagination. So, wide games will often have a fantasy or pretend element – think cops and robbers, smugglers, pirates, or animals (predator and prey).

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Circus jargon buster: know your cloud swing from your Chinese pole

June 28, 2011
Author: Tom

There are loads of exciting acts and weird and wonderful equipment at the circus, but they often go under unusual names. With circus season fast approaching at Eden, we thought we’d give you a run down of the kind of lingo used by circus folk. Read the jargon buster below so that you can tell what’s what when you come and see the BIANCO show by NoFit State Circus in the summer.

Acrobalance

An acrobatic art that combines elements of adagio (where one artist lifts, throws and catches another artist in various poses) and hand balancing (manoeuvres where the acrobat is supported entirely by their hands or arms).

Acrobatic bike

An act that involves two or more people riding on a special bicycle – they balance on the bike and on one another

Aerial cradle

In this act, an acrobat known as a catcher hangs by their knees from a rectangular frame and swings, tosses and catches another acrobat known as the flyer.

Aerial hoop

A hoop-shaped piece of aerial equipment, usually rigged on a swivel, which the artist holds positions and spins on.

Aerial silks (also known as Tissu)

In this act, the acrobat hangs or swings from a special fabric and performs various poses, drops and spiralling manoeuvres.

Aerial spiral

A new piece of aerial equipment developed by NoFit State made of a spiral of metal that rolls up and down on a swivel, moving according to the way the aerialist places her weight.

Bungees

A bungee cord is attached to the artist’s harness with swivels at both sides of the hips enabling the artist to bounce into the air and perform multiple somersaults – you’ve seen them at the beach on the trampolines!

Chinese pole

A vertical pole several metres in height on which the acrobat climbs, slides down and holds poses.

Cloud swing

A soft rope that hangs in a ‘V’ shape and upon which the acrobat hangs to perform aerial manoeuvres, usually swinging.

Flying trapeze

One of the most well known of all circus acts, the flying trapeze bar swings with gravity as the performer jumps on to it from a platform, and from the bar to a catcher, performing various tricks. It was invented in 1859 by Jules Leotard, after whom the leotard was named. ‘Grand volant’ is usually performed with a swinging catcher and a net below, while ‘petit volant’ is performed at a lower height with a static catcher and no net or lunge.

German wheel

A large metal wheel in which the performer rolls around. It was invented in 1925 by Otto Feick for gymnastic exercise.

Hand-to-hand

Two people, known as the flyer and the base, are involved in this act. The flyer does daring balances and somersaults on the base’s hands.

Hula hoops

Most of us know a hula hoop when we see one! At the circus, this act is sometimes performed with contortion and generally with a number of hoops rotating around the artist’s body at once.

Performance rigging

This can include lots of different things that a rigger may do in full view of the audience, usually in costume and character. In NoFit state’s shows this usually includes counterweighting aerialists so that the aerialist goes up as the rigger goes down and vice versa, giving a more sublime control and a more interesting dramatic relationship than the use of motors.

Rope (also known as ‘corde lisse’)

The acrobat performs tricks on a rope that is fastened at the top and hangs down freely. Static trapezeThe trapeze bar hangs by two ropes and remains still as the aerialist moves their body on and around it.

Strops

An aerial act in which the artist hangs by short loops of webbing. This is not the same as the ‘straps’ act in which the artist uses long straps that they wind around their arms or body to lift themselves up and down.

Swinging trapeze

The trapeze bar hangs from two ropes and swings back and forth while the aerialist performs tricks using the ‘weightless point’ at the top of the swing’s arc to assist them.

Tightwire (also known as tightrope)

A wire rigged taught between two points, often with a spring at one end, on which the artist walks, bounces and performs footwork on.

Wall running (also known as parkour)

Acrobatic freestyle street art where the acrobats use walls and street furniture to perform somersaults, leaps, jumps etc.

Whipcracking

Traditional manipulation of whips, on fire or otherwise, to create noise and rhythms.

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Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean with Eden’s new outdoor ovens

June 27, 2011
Author: Guest

Eden Project outdoor oven

If you’ve visited our Mediterranean Biome recently, you may well have tried some of the fantastic food being cooked in our outdoor ovens.  Well, now, you can buy these original outdoor ovens from our webshop and to celebrate we’ve asked our chef, Tony Trenerry, to share his popular recipe, for pizza twists.

 

Pizza twists from the Eden Project
Ingredients (serves 6)
• 7g sachet dry yeast
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups plain flour
• 2 tablespoons olive oil

How to cook:
1. Combine 3/4 of a cup of warm water with the yeast, sugar and salt in a jug. Whisk with a fork to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface.
2. Sift flour into a bowl. Add yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
3. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a large baking tray.
5. Cut dough into 4 portions. Cut each portion into 6 pieces. Roll 1 piece into a 10cm-long sausage shape. Cut sausage shape in half lengthways. Twist strips together, pressing ends to secure. Place on prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dough.
6. Brush each pizza twist with oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Serve warm with a dip of your choice.

Other outdoor cooking products

We’ve also added lots more outdoor cooking products to our webshop including the bright and cheerful bucket barbecue, the handy fold-up barbecue and the all-time classic frontier stove.

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This week’s Plant Record: Insane in the Brain, by Cypress Hill

June 24, 2011
Author: Tom

Come and see our lovely Cypress trees in the Mediterranean Biome! These conifers from northern temperate regions produce a gorgeous-smelling oil. We have some lovely Cupressus sempervirens, Italian Cypress, which has a tall, narrow growth habit, which, like most visitors to this year’s Biotik Stage at the Eden Sessions, will be nodding to the array of awesome tunes.

Cypress Hill are a multi-million-record-selling hip hop crew, formed in 1989; although the content of their tracks is probably not for the faint hearted, most of their popular tunes will fill any dancefloor.

Have a great weekend, and hope to see you during the Plant Records slot in Mediterranean Biome on Saturday’s Eden Session.

Chris.

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Top 10 tips for lovers of bees

June 22, 2011
Author: admin

According to the British Beekeepers Association, one third of the food we eat would not be available if it wasn’t for bees. It’s obvious that we all need to show some love for the humble bumble and here are a few simple things you can do:

1. Find space for a beehive
Crops of peas and beans will grow better, fruit trees will crop well with perfectly formed fruit and your garden will be buzzing, if you have a beehive. So, if you have space in your garden, buy our new Eden Project bumblebee lodge. It comes with its very own bee colony and is based on traditional beehive designs.

2. Plant bee-friendly plants
Honey bees are love most herbs, daisy-shaped flowers and fruit trees so be sure to grow these in your gardens. Our shop stocks lots of great bee-friendly plants and seeds that can help to get you started. Try our lavender plants, wild meadow seed selection or the beautiful tea tree.

3. Be friendly
Bees only sting when provoked, so, if you see a bee, or feel scared around bees, stay calm and walk away slowly.

4. Protect swarms
If you see a bee swarm contact the local authority and they will contact a beekeeper to collect the swarm. Swarms are gentle and present little danger but they can be made aggressive if disturbed or sprayed with water.

5. Avoid the use of pesticides
Honey bees are not immune to pesticides, so wherever possible use gardening methods and plant strengtheners that are organic.

6. Buy your friends a honey lover’s gift bag
Encourage friends and family to ‘love the bumble’ with an original Eden Project honey lover’s gift bag.  It includes Heatherbell Cornish honey, a bee-happy lavender plant, a honey lip balm and an Eden jute bag.

7. Do not throw out unwashed honey jars
Honey from overseas can contain bacteria and spores that are very harmful to honey bees. Bees may feed on any remaining honey which may infect them and then spread through the colony, potentially resulting in its death. Always
wash out honey jars and dispose of
them carefully.

8. Encourage local authorities to use bee-friendly plants in public spaces
Many local authorities recognise the value of planning gardens, roundabouts and other areas with flowers that attract bees. Encourage your authority to improve the area you live in by adventurous planting schemes.

9. Learn more about this fascinating insect
Honey bees have been on the planet for about 25 million years! Find out if there are any beekeeping groups near you or events you can attend. You can find out lots from the British Beekeepers Association.

10. Become a beekeeper
And enjoy your own honey! Five reasons to learn beekeeping.

A big thanks to the West Cornwall Beekeepers Association for inspiring us with wise words and demonstrations at the recent Royal Cornwall Show.

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