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Tackling food security – time to share land and return to smallholdings?

October 28, 2011
Author: Hannah

Food security, farming co-operatives and sharing land are all topics for debate at a forthcoming seminar hosted by the Eden Project and East Anglia Foodlink.

The aim of the conference, which takes place on 7 November in Warwickshire, is to discuss how to set up a nationwide network of smallholding co-operatives whereby farmers pool resources such as equipment and business know-how to help them compete in the UK marketplace.

Farmers' market in UK selling cauliflower and potatoesRural activist and former farmer, William Hudson will be presenting his idea for a modern version of the Land Settlement Association (LSA), the scheme set up by the government in the 1930s to offer unemployed men a new way of life on the land. The LSA helped maximise food production during the war effort and continued to provide locally sourced produce until its demise in the 1980s.

Hudson, Director of East Anglia Food Link, believes a system of collective farming would not only encourage young people in to the industry, but would help tackle the issue of food security in the UK. “We have one week’s supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in this country, such is our ‘just in time’ delivery system. This if fine, but if there are breakdowns because of wars, volcanic ash or climate change we would be close to starvation.

‘The idea is to create [UK-based] holdings of a size that means they are economically viable and that they benefit from pooled resources.’

Eden’s Economic Botanist, Andrew Ormerod, adds: ‘One of the challenges is encouraging new farming blood with new ideas and a willingness to co-operate on to the land and with marketing. Perhaps a new version of an LSA could be a vehicle to give these new entrants to farming a chance.’

Delegates to the seminar will hear talks from Hudson and Ormerod, as well as representatives from the former LSA and its farming estates.

You can find out more about the history of the LSA in this online article from researcher Peter Clarke.

Attend the event
The event takes place on Monday 7 November 2011 from 10am – 4pm at Lantra House, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG.

Entry is free, but please contact William Hudson on whudson@aspects.net or 01379 688374 if you’d like to attend.

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Seasonal dishes handmade daily in our Bakery

October 28, 2011
Author: admin

As we firmly settle into the autumn, we thought we’d share the new seasonal menu now being served in the Eden Bakery. It changes through the day and you can watch all the action as our bakers make a mouthwatering selection of  wonderful dishes right in front of you.

Breakfast time

Arrive early to enjoy some breakfast or brunch. Try our delicious homemade muesli with oats, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, apricots, dates and cranberries all tumbled with apple juice and honey.

We pride ourselves on the artisan bread that we bake throughout the day. Enjoy it toasted with a free range boiled egg or let the kids have some fun spreading it with our homemade jam. You can also watch the bakers at breakfast as they handmake a selection of buttery pastries: great to watch and very hard to resist as they arrive freshly baked from the ovens.

Seasonal lunches

Every day our chefs create a delicious selection of homemade seasonal soups. Served with Eden’s own freshly-baked artisan bread, they’re an especially warming, wholesome and healthy lunch.

Other new dishes on the menu, priced from £3.50 to £4.50, include:

  • locally sourced beef chilli with winter vegetables
  • broccoli and leek puff-pastry parcel served with a rich stilton sauce
  • freshly baked bread stuffed with a tangy blend of tomato, chorizo and white bean
  • roasted aubergine and cream cheese bruschetta on a bed of spinach
  • butternut squash filled with an onion marmalade topped with goat’s cheese and a hint of chilli
  • Mediterranean panzanella salad with olives

Seasonal honey-roasted vegetables and freshly prepared salads are served all day for just £1.50.

 

Afternoon tea

If you need a break or fancy a sweet treat after lunch, come back to the Bakery for a hot pudding, cream tea or delicious homemade cake.

Every day is different with fruit crumbles, hot cobblers and classics such sticky toffee pudding being served all afternoon. Our cakes are breathtaking too with scones, sponges, tea cakes, biscuits and muffins, and you can help yourself to clotted cream and jam!

Lots of gluten-free options are also available. Just ask one of the bakers or a member of staff.

Timelapse video of the Bakery

Take a look at all the delicious drama during just one day in the life of the Eden Bakery.

In addition to the Eden Bakery, there are several other places to buy our delicious seasonal and locally sourced food and drink at Eden.

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Cornish Blue and walnut savoury cheesecake recipe

October 27, 2011
Author: Hannah

Blue cheese and walnutsEden chef  Tony Trenerry came up with this locally sourced, savoury cheesecake, gently flavoured with Blue Cheese and herbs, for our Bakery. Why not try making the easy recipe yourself, to serve either as finger food at a party, or as a meal with salad?

 

Ingredients
For the base:

  • 100g white bread crumbs
  • 30g oats
  • 40g broken walnuts
  • 50g melted butter
  • Black pepper

For the filling:

  • 3 eggs
  • 175g Cornish Blue cheese
  • 350g cream cheese
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 4 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic (chopped)
  • Black pepper

For the topping:

  • 10 walnut halves

Method

  1. Mix the base ingredients together and press into a lined, an eight-inch springform tin.
  2. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees Centigrade) for about 12 minutes.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese, eggs, rosemary and black pepper, then stir in the crumbled blue cheese and spring onion.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and level. Add the walnut pieces on top, slightly pushed in.
  5. Bake in a 170 degrees Centigrade oven for about 30–40 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

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Book an unusual Christmas party venue this year

October 24, 2011
Author: Hannah

If you’re looking for an unusual venue to hold your Christmas party this year, check out Eden’s special festive offering.

With its panoramic view of the illuminated Biomes and sparkling winter trees our Gallery makes a great spot for a party –  whether it’s an intimate event for just 10 guests or a big office bash for up to 180 people.

Eden Biomes and trees lit up at night at Christmas

Included within the Christmas party package is:

  • A scrumptious, locally sourced, three-course meal (see menu below)
  • After dinner dancing, until 1am
  • A 10% discount to spend in our shop – handy for Christmas gifts
  • A complimentary ticket to visit Eden during December 2011 or January 2012

There’s also the option to add in a spin on our winter wonderland ice rink beforehand if you book ahead.

Festive place settings at the Eden Project

Eden’s Christmas party menu

Festive vegetable soup with mint pesto, accompanied with Eden freshly baked bread and Cornish butter

Coarse pork and herb terrine
with a beetroot chutney, cornichons and crusty bread

Butter basted roast turkey
presented with a cranberry and orange relish, Eden chipolata with bacon, apricot and sage stuffing and a rich roast gravy

Mushroom, parsnip and chestnut fricassee
gently cooked with cranberry juice, white wine and thyme, served in a delicate butter puff pastry case

Eden’s traditional Christmas pudding
served with Cornish clotted cream

Chocolate and hazelnut truffle torte
a decadent dessert laced with Tia Maria and made with a crumbly amoretti biscuit base

Tickets are £27.50 per head, and Eden is available to hire as a venue for Christmas parties on 2, 3, 9, 1o, 16 and 17 December. Additional dates are available for parties of more than 80 people. Please get in touch with the Hospitality Team to discuss your requirements, by contacting Jade Parsons on 01726 811988 or jparsons@edenproject.com

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Easy Halloween recipes for kids

October 19, 2011
Author: Hannah

Try these easy kids recipes at home, for Eyeball Pizza, Ghostly Meringues and Brittle Meringue Bones. They’re great activities for kids and are guaranteed to bring a chill to any Halloween party.

Kids in Halloween costumes

Brittle Meringue Bones and Ghostly Meringues

Use the same meringue mixture to make either of these two Halloween recipes.

Ingredients

  • 100g egg whites
  • 100g white caster sugar
  • Half teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Half teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Third teaspoon salt
  • For the Ghostly Meringues: decorating gel

Method for the mixture

  1. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Centigrade.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until fluffy. If using a food processor, choose a high-speed setting.
  4. Add the vanilla and whisk until very stiff peaks are formed. This should take about three minutes with a food processor set to high speed.

Method for Brittle Meringue Bones

  1. Place the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a medium, plain piping tip.
  2. Pipe 50-60 three-inch bone shapes onto your parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for one hour, until set.
  4. Turn off the oven and leave the Meringue Bones to dry in the oven for one hour.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Method for Ghostly Meringues

  1. Scoop out large spoonfuls of the whipped egg whites and place them a few inches apart on the baking sheet, using your fingers to shape the mounds like ghosts.
  2. Bake them for one hour, until set.
  3. Turn off the oven and leave to dry for at least six hours, or overnight.
  4. Remove the meringues from the oven and draw on some eyes with decorating gel.
  5. Store in an airtight container.


Eyeball Pizza

This recipe makes four spooky-looking medium-sized pizzas.

Pizza dough ingredients

  • 400g strong white bread flour or Tipo ‘00’ flour, plus 100g finely ground semolina flour
  • 1 level teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 7g fresh yeast
  • Half teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 300ml lukewarm water

Method for the pizza dough

  1. Sieve the flour/s and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle.
  2. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well.
  3. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing in larger amounts of flour.
  4. When it all starts to come together, work in the rest of the flour with clean, flour-dusted hands.
  5. Knead until you have smooth, springy dough.
  6. Place the dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Place the dough on a flour-dusted table and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands.
  8. Divide the dough up into four medium pizzas.
  9. Roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them, and then leave them to rest.
  10. Re-roll the bases before topping them.

Pizza topping ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons pizza topping tomato sauce
  • Half small red onion, sliced
  • 75g grated mozzarella cheese
  • 100g roasted pork sausage, cut into thin slices
  • 10 green olives stuffed with pimento red pepper, halved

Method for topping the pizza

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade (fan oven 180 degrees Centigrade, gas mark 6).
  2. Place the re-rolled pizza bases on baking sheets and spread three tablespoons of pizza topping sauce onto each base, and scatter over the onion.
  3. Place 10 little mounds of cheese on each pizza, top each with a slice of sausage and then finish with an olive, curved side uppermost to look like an eyeball.
  4. Place in the oven and cook for 13-15 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

If you’d like us to entertain the kids for you this Halloween, bring your little horrors along to the Little Monsters Ball fancy dress party at the Eden Project on Friday 28 and 29 October. Check out our full list of spooky half-term activities.

Eden Biomes made to look like pumpkins

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Choral music evening at Truro Cathedral to raise money for Cornwall Flood Fund

October 18, 2011
Author: Hannah

A special concert is being held in the beautiful surroundings of Truro Cathedral on 11 November, to mark one year on from the Cornish floods which struck parts of the county last November, and to raise more funds for people whose homes were affected by it.

The evening will feature choral music from the Cathedral Choir and the Eden Choir, as well as a number of guest speakers, including flood survivor Diana Mullis, Eden’s Tim Smit, and Oliver Baines from the Cornwall Community Foundation, the organisation which set up the Cornwall Flood Fund.

Choral music lovers will be treated to a special programme of songs, including the very apt Cloudburst, by American composer Eric Whitacre, and a haunting arrangement of the American folksong Shenandoah, as well as some more modern classics from the Eden Choir.

Chris Gray, Truro Cathedral’s Director of Music, says: ‘There are some truly spectacular effects, using voices as you’ve probably never heard them used before, to create a choral thunderstorm – a first in the Cathedral and something I can’t wait to hear.’

Truro Cathedral Choir

The concert followed a conversation between the Eden Project, the Foundation and the choir after the flood last November. Tim Smit of the Eden Project says: ‘The flood hit Eden hard and closed us down for a week. But right from the outset we were very aware that many of our neighbours and friends were suffering too.

‘With the first anniversary coming up, we hope that the concert will raise a good sum for the Flood Fund and provide a very enjoyable evening of song.’

The Eden Choir performing in the Eden Biome

The concert takes place at 7pm on Friday 11 November at Truro Cathedral. Tickets cost £10 and are available from Eden Project Box Office 01726 811972. There are a limited number of free tickets available for under-18s.

Have a listen to the fantastic mix of voices you’ll hear at the concert, in these recordings of the Truro Cathedral Choir and the Eden Choir

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How to get kids outside: teacher training course on outdoor learning activities

October 17, 2011
Author: admin

Remember the days when children were let loose in the outdoors to just be young and carefree? Some of our fondest memories are made outside, building dens, foraging, making nature trails, and collecting grass stains.

Here at Eden, we believe that for children to be happy, healthy and fulfilled it’s essential they connect with the natural world they live in. Together with Cornwall Learning, we’re offering a one-day teacher training course on 17 November, to help Early Years staff encourage their class to play and learn outside.

Young child playing with clay and fuschia flower outside

The session will be led by Early Years specialist Judith Bower and the Eden Project’s Play Project Co-ordinator Phil Waters, and will help develop participants’ visions for getting students outside. Our teacher training will provide ideas for learning, playing and interacting in outdoor spaces in autumn and winter through a mixture of theory and practical hands-on workshops.

Five reasons to encourage children to learn outside

  1. To keep them fit: Outdoor environments provide space for children to run around and make lots of noise. They provide freedom for discovery and discussion, whole body movement and multi-sensory immersion. Natural environments help in the development of balance, strength, spatial awareness and co-ordination.
  2. To help them stay balanced: How and where children play is considered to be a very important factor in healthy brain development. Studies have shown that outdoor activities significantly help levels of concentration and attention span.
  3. To encourage team work: Playing outside creates an environment for communication and teamwork. Building dens, hide and seek, climbing trees, conkers – outside, children have the opportunity to build friendships and play in community.
  4. To help them get creative: The natural environment is an invitation to run, jump, climb and explore. The outdoors encourages inquisitiveness and provides a child’s imagination with the freedom it needs to develop and grow.
  5. To get them thinking green: If children are shown the endless possibilities of the world around them, if they are taught to understand and value nature, they will learn how important it is to protect it now and into the future.

The course will take place on 17 November 2011 at the Eden Project, St Austell. For more information visit our website, or book online.

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Tell us how to spend £1m on Cornwall’s Clay Country

October 14, 2011
Author: Hannah

Eden’s Big Green Bus is touring Cornwall’s Clay Country on Saturday 22 October, to give locals the opportunity to put forward their ideas on how to spend £1 million from the Big Lottery Fund.

Local residents exploring Eden's Big Green Bus. St Blazey, Par and Tywardreath have been chosen for a slice of the £200 million investment that the Big Lottery Fund has promised 100-150 neighbourhoods in England.

East Cornwall Council for Voluntary Service is helping to establish a local funding scheme that will be available to the area over the next 10 years, to enable residents to make their communities a better place to live in.

The event on 22 October is a chance for locals to express their ideas on how the money should be spent. It promises to be a fun day, with free face painting, prize draw and refreshments. The Big Green Bus, kitted out like a mobile community centre / classroom, will stop at:

Tywardreath New Inn
Arrival 9.30am – Departure 11.00am

Par Post Office
Arrival 12.00pm – Departure 1.30pm

St Blazey Alexander Hall
Arrival 2.30 – Departure 4.00pm

Biscovey Burrows Centre
Arrival 5.00pm – Departure 6.30pm

Find out more about the Big Local funding programme.

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New Eden-backed carbon management course for Cornish businesses

October 14, 2011
Author: Hannah

Businesses in Cornwall are set to benefit from new training to help them reduce their carbon footprints and increase their bottom lines. We’ve joined forces with Cornwall College and the Environmental Skills Network to create the new course called Carbon Management in the Workplace.

Hand drawing greenhouse gas conceptsThe one-day programme, which leads to a nationally recognised qualification, gives people practical skills on cutting carbon emissions in the workplace, at home and in the community.

Five reasons to sign up for the carbon management course

  1. You’ll come away from the day fully tooled up to identify sources of greenhouse gas emissions within your own organisation and able to calculate your company’s carbon footprint using carbon calculators.
  2. There’s no pre-requisite qualifications for the course – anyone can join!
  3. The course is accredited by the government’s Qualifications and Credit Framework, and all candidates who pass the exam at the end of the day will receive an Edexcel Award in Developing Skills (QCF) Carbon Management in the Workplace Level 3.
  4. The £250 fee includes course materials, exam fees, certification, lunch and refreshments.
  5. You can do a bespoke version of the course in-house at work with colleagues.

Dan James, Eden’s development director, says: “The Carbon Management in the Workplace course aims to give participants a broad overview of the importance of effective carbon management. Some of the tips will be quick wins which require little or no investment while others will be longer term projects.’

The dates for the one-day courses are as follows:

Wednesday 25 January 2012, Truro
Wednesday 7 March 2012, Truro
Wednesday 18 April 2012, Plymouth
Wednesday 30 May 2012, Truro

To find out more or book a place, call 0800 731 7594 or email enquiries@ccb.cornwall.ac.uk

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Cool corporate gift ideas

October 13, 2011
Author: admin

We think it’s time to shake up the world of corporate gifts and executive presents, and with this in mind we’ve selected a range of cool corporate gifts that any business would be proud to send.

Our eclectic collection is far from being corporate and the originality of the gifts will certainly make the right impression.

So, if you’ve been tasked with sorting out your company’s Christmas gifts this year and are struggling for original ideas look no further. We  hope you’ll have lots of fun picking the right gift!

Bunch of mugs, £28.99
Perfect for office tea-runs, this wonderfully designed product allows you to carry three mugs of tea or coffee in one hand. The chamfered body and handle connects them together when being carried in a bunch, which means your fingers don’t get burnt and there’s a reduced chance of spillages. Clever, eh?

Truffle tree, £22
Grow your own oak tree with truffles! This UK-grown oak tree is inoculated with rare native British summer truffle spores, making it the perfect gift for people who enjoy their food. Simply plant a truffle tree and sit back and wait for the truffle crop.

Fresh handmade chocolates from Cornwall, £12.50
We love these award-winning chocolates handmade by Nicky Grant, because they use local Cornish ingredients and fresh cream to create stunning fresh sweets. Our selection boxes include the award-winning raspberry truffle, praline log and double gold-winning Cornish seasalt caramel.

Olive tree gift bag, £22.50
As well as an olive tree, our jute gift bag includes a large kilner jar of Eden Project olives marinated lovingly in herbs and garlic. So, not only are you giving a gift that grows and grows, you can tuck straight into the olives while the olive tree gets going.

Little Book of Big Ideas, £2.99
Everyone has the power to make a difference and our ‘Little Book of Big Ideas’ is full of food for thought…Whether it’s reminding us that woad, once used by Ancient Britons, is now used in computer printer inks or that soybeans can be made into biodegradable plastic, this little tome will make your colleagues see the world through new eyes.

The eco button, £16.50
This great little button makes it really easy to save energy. It’s a helpful device that when pressed switches any computer into energy saving ‘eco mode’. When you need to use the computer again, simply press any key to instantly return to where you left off.

Seed bomb making kit, £5
Calling all guerrilla gardeners, engage in random acts of guerrilla gardening with this seed bomb making kit. All anyone needs to do is prepare their bomb and launch or throw it where there is a lack of floral beauty. Preferably not in the office!

Coffee lover’s hamper, £29,50
Lovers of coffee will get very excited by this packed hamper. The goodies are all packed in a sustainably sourced hamper and include Rainforest Alliance certified coffee from right here in Cornwall, a locally designed Eden coffee mug and some delicious coffee chocolate .

Water-powered desk clock, £15
Not that we would encourage clock-watching at work, but if you are keeping an eye on time our water-powered clock uses water to tell the time. Simply top up with water every six months.

Eden Project ale gift set, £9.75
We are particularly proud of our Eden Ale and this gift set includes a bottle of ale as well as a glass made from a recycled Eden Ale bottle. All beautifully presented in a lovely gift box.

Black tea and cracked pepper candle, £7.75
A lovely gift for colleagues who might need to relax a little bit! Our Eden candles contain no palm oil and the fresh, clean aroma of this one took us by surprise. We love it.

Luxury Cornish food hamper, £84.50
Perfect for food lovers everywhere, this hamper is truly indulgent with the finest Cornish produce, including award-winning wine from Camel Valley Vineyard, Farmhouse Cider from Cornish Orchards and Organic Clotted Cream Fudge from Roskilly’s.

The products in our webshop are ethically sourced, and every pound you spend helps us to continue our work as an educational charity, which means your business is giving in more ways than one.

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