How to make vegetable lego

July 31, 2012
Author: Hannah

This vegetable game is a perfect activity for kids. It’s not only a good, low-cost craft activity for a rainy day, but getting them engaged with vegetables could even spark an interest in helping on the allotment or eating their greens.

To make vegetable lego all you need to do is watch our video below on how to carve vegetables – a bit like they do in Thai restaurants for garnish, but a lot simpler. You can make anything you like, and in our video you’ll see snails, turtles, frogs, crocodiles, penguins and racing cars.

Because vegetable carving involves using a very fine, sharp knife, we’d advise an adult to do the cutting and then involve the kids in the assembling.

What you need

  • Fruit and vegetables such as hard green apples (such as Granny Smiths), radishes, carrots and cucumbers
  • A fine, sharp knife
  • A chopping board
  • Cocktail sticks

How to make a vegetable lego racing car

  1. Chop the cucumber in half and carve a slither off the bottom of the cucumber so that it sits flat on the chopping board. This is the body of your car.
  2. Next create the cockpit by carving a square out of the top. This is where the driver will sit.
  3. You might like to add a number to your car, carving it into the bonnet.
  4. To make the wheels, slice four rounds of carrots and stick them on each side using a cocktail stick that has been chopped into three.
  5. Add a hubcap to each carrot wheel, made out of the very tip of a radish.
  6. The driver, whose head peeks out of the cockpit, is made of a whole radish. You can carve a shallow figure of eight-type shape into the front, so he looks like he’s wearing white goggles. Place him into the cockpit using a cocktail stick.
  7. Stick two small batons of carrots to the back of the car, as the double exhaust pipe.

There you go – your very own vegetable lego racing car! And remember, if you make any mistakes, don’t worry; you simply get to eat them.

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Fun, How to
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Tropical ice cream flavours for Eden Project

July 27, 2012
Author: Hannah

It’s been baking hot this week here in Cornwall – especially in our Rainforest Biome. So it’s lucky that we’ve just launched a new range of new natural ice cream flavours. Mmm.

We’ve special flavours like coconut and baobab, lime and cardamom or clotted cream vanilla – and they’re all inspired by plants that grow at Eden.

Tub of ice cream at the Eden Project

Cane sugar, mangos, vanilla pods, cardamom and cocoa are grown in the Rainforest Biome, while limes are grown in the Mediterranean Biome and strawberries can be found in the outdoor gardens.

The new natural ice cream range also contains a unique ingredient; panela, an unrefined Colombian whole cane sugar, which creates a rich depth of flavour similar to caramel.

Panela is extremely important to Colombians, as the traditional, sustainable production of the crop enables around 300,000 people to earn a living.

To create the new range, we teamed up with local ice cream producers Roskilly’s, who use milk from their own herd of Jersey cows, and Hasslachers, producers of pure Colombian drinking chocolate.

The ice cream even has even got the Colombian seal of approval. When the Colombian Ambassador Mauricio Rodriguez came to sample the new ice cream range, he was so impressed with it that he immediately ordered a crate of each flavour to serve to guests at the London Embassy!

Girl holding cones of ice cream in Eden Project's Rainforest Biome

The new ice cream is on sale at Eden just outside our Rainforest Biome – a perfect way to cool down – and at Maltby Street Market in London. We’re also keen to find new outlets to help bring the exciting flavours to the rest of you out there across the UK…

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Food, Plants
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Collective buying scheme to secure cheaper energy tariffs and tackle fuel poverty in Cornwall

July 23, 2012
Author: Hannah

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey visited the Eden Project today to launch a ground-breaking collective buying scheme which aims to tackle fuel poverty in Cornwall.

The new scheme, Cornwall Together, is to help households across the county save an estimated £3.7 million through cheaper energy tariffs. It is hoped more than 20,000 people may be able to reduce their energy bills by 10-15%.

It’s thought to be the first time an entire county has united as a community to buy energy more cheaply, enabling it to also tackle economic problems, encourage environmental sustainability and improve people’s health and wellbeing.

How Cornwall Together works

  1. Residents register their interest with the scheme to find a cheaper energy tariff, providing details of their current fuel bills.
  2. Cornwall Together will negotiate on behalf of all those that have registered to get best value tariffs. As well as identifying best value deals, wherever possible a green energy option will be offered.
  3. For each energy switch, 10% of the total money saved will be put back into a fuel poverty fund which will benefit the whole county. Cornwall Together will then seek match-funding from other organisations.

Conceived by the Eden Project, Cornwall Together was originally pioneered by Cornwall Council, the NHS, Community Energy Plus and Community Buying UnLtd. They have been joined by delivery partners energyshare – the community renewable energy platform – and, the independent price comparison and switching service.

St Austell Brewery and Unison are also supporting the scheme, promoting it to their staff and also helping Cornwall Together reach vulnerable members of the community.

Tim Smit, Eden’s Co-founder and CEO, Development, explains: ‘Cornwall Together is born from a spirit of community. Saving money is important, but the programme is also about bringing the people and businesses of Cornwall together. We hope to create more resilient communities and a deeper sense of togetherness as we negotiate as a powerful unit.’

Fuel poverty in Cornwall
Collectively, Cornish households spend around £1.2 billion on energy each year. According to the NHS, 25% of these households are in fuel poverty.  Across the UK the average household energy bill has rocketed by 140% a year since 2004 (from £522 to £1,254). Cornwall Together wants to secure cheaper energy bills for residents, helping to reduce fuel poverty in the county – and its associated health risks.

Hand holding electricity and gas bills

NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly’s Director of Public Health, Felicity Owen, said: ‘What excites us about the Cornwall Together initiative is its community focus and the potential to reduce fuel poverty, which can lead to excess deaths in winter and contribute to other health conditions.'

Cornwall Together will first negotiate for cheaper gas and electricity. It will then also negotiate for heating oil, to accommodate the significant number of people in Cornwall’s rural areas who aren’t on the mains gas grid.

Once the concept is proven, the initiative will be launched in other counties as part of a national UKTogether campaign.

To see if you can save money on your energy bill, join up at Cornwall Together by visiting, where you can also register your interest as a business.

Community, Sustainability
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How to climb a tree: 10 tips from Thom Hunt of Channel 4’s Three Hungry Boys

July 20, 2012
Author: Tom

Lorax characterWe're putting on a great play event for kids and families inspired by The Lorax – this summer’s blockbuster movie with a really cool environmental message. We're also offering loads of extra Lorax fun on our Blog to keep your kids happy over the holidays.
Our summer kids' event is inspired by The Lorax – the blockbuster movie with a really cool environmental message.  We're also offering extra Lorax fun on our Blog to keep your kids happy over the holidays.
The Lorax loves trees and so do we at Eden! Why not have some fun and learn about trees at the same time by getting out and climbing a few? Thom Hunt is the ultimate nature boy who was one of the Three Hungry Boys in the Channel 4 TV programme. He knows a thing or two about how to climb a tree, so we asked him for his top 10 tips.

Thom’s 10 tips for how to climb a tree

  1. Pick the right day
    Don’t climb when it’s raining or windy – this could be dangerous! You want the tree to be dry so that you don’t slip.
  2. Pick the right shoes and clothes
    Wear grippy shoes to stop you from slipping. Wear a long-sleeved top and trousers to protect your skin, and make sure you don’t have any dangly straps or necklaces that could get tangled up.
  3. Climb with a friend or parent
    They will be able to help you climb safely by staying on the ground and pointing out a good route up the tree.
  4. Find the right tree
    Make sure you can easily reach the lower branches and that the ground beneath the tree is clear of anything that could hurt you. Check that you have permission to climb the tree if it's on private land. Don't climb young, fragile or rare trees.
  5. Find a strong tree to climb
    Don’t climb trees with rotting or dead branches – they might break and make you fall!
  6. Warm up before you climb
    Just like when you do any sport, you should stretch your muscles before climbing so that you don’t strain them.
  7. Choose strong branches
    Try to stay close to the trunk, where the branches are stronger. Try to test each branch before stepping or hanging on it with all your weight.
  8. Use the three-point rule
    Make sure at least three of your four hands/feet are safely supporting your weight before moving your free hand/foot up or down the tree.
  9. Find out the type of tree you're climbing
    Bring a tree guide with you, or look the tree up online. You’ll be able to learn which trees are really good shapes for climbing.
  10. Climb down safely
    It’s best not to jump from a great height. Face the trunk, and lower yourself carefully.

Why Thom loves climbing trees

'Climbing trees for me has always been a great experience. Although it’s fun to just get a bit higher up than usual on a natural ladder, the best times have been when I've climbed trees for a purpose.

'I got a radio-controlled airplane for Christmas once, and the first time we took it out my brother got it stuck really high up a huge oak tree. Not wanting to lose my new gift so soon, I managed to climb half way up the tree. Then, using a long gutter cleaning pole, I pushed my toy out of the tangled branches! A very satisfying RESULT!

'I’ve used tree climbing to my advantage when fishing. Getting higher up can give you a much better view of a lake and sometimes you can even see the fish swimming through the clear water so you know which spot to target.

'I've also climbed trees to get to a food prize! High-growing apples, plums or sometimes even fungi (chicken of the woods and beefsteak fungi grow out of the sides of trees) can be gathered if you know how to safely climb and have a keen forager’s eye.'

More about Thom

As well as being one of Channel 4’s Three Hungry Boys, Thom runs the 'Catch and Cook' fishing courses and hosts a variety of evenings and events for River Cottage (Axminster and Plymouth, Devon) and Tregothnan Estate (Truro, Cornwall). He also supplies ultra-fresh wild foods (meats, fish, game, plants, herbs, fruits and fungi) to restaurants.

He is now launching 7th Rise , an outdoors activity and cooking company offering authentic and inspiring courses, based at a secret hidden cottage on a Cornish river and only accessible by boat.

The movie Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax © Universal Studios. Based on The Lorax book and characters TM & © 1971 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All rights reserved.

The Lorax at Eden, 14 July – Sunday 2 September 2012, Follow the trail, paint a mural, build a den, plus much more...Click to find out more

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Fun, Play, The Lorax
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Peace Camp brings love poems to the Eden Project

July 18, 2012
Author: Hannah

If you’re exploring the Eden Project this summer, look out for a special place at the heart of our Wild Cornwall area that's dedicated to love poems.

Step inside the bell tent and you’ll be greeted with a cascade of beautifully decorated bottles full of messages, complete with a delicious soundscape of poems read aloud to the sounds of the ocean.

It’s the creation of students at local Hayle School, who worked with artist Lucy Willow and poet Phil Bowen to respond to the theme of ‘the vastness of the ocean and of love’. Their installation of messages of love collaged onto glass bottles has been displayed as if washed into the tent by the tide.

Bottles tied with string and filled with messages.

Credit: Alison Cronin

The school was chosen as one of only 12 schools to participate in the nationwide InTents education project, itself part of the Peace Camp, a cultural celebration of love across the UK. The tents will then travel to the Southbank in London on 4 October 2012, where they will be displayed together along the riverside as part of National Poetry Day celebrations.

Inspired by the Olympic Truce, whose roots date back to Ancient Greece, the Peace Camp is part of the London 2012 Festival and its main event is the creation of a magical coastal installation around the UK between 19 and 22 July this year.

Its director Deborah Warner, working with actor Fiona Shaw, has commissioned ‘eight murmuring, glowing encampments’ at the UK’s most beautiful and remote coastal locations. Its producers Artichoke describe them as ‘a poignant exploration of love poetry and a celebration of the extraordinary variety and beauty of our coastline’.

Visitors are invited to explore the locations between dusk and dawn, listening to a specially created soundscape. Here in Cornwall the Peace Camp will be on Godrevy Island.

Glowing tents on a dusk-lit coastline

Credit: Matthew Andrews

If you can’t find a Peace Camp near you, you’re invited to nominate and record your favourite love poems and submit your own messages online.

Practical details
The Peace Camp tent with Hayle School's installation will be situated in Eden’s Wild Cornwall area between 19 July and 30 August 2012.

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Art, Education, Experience
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Plan a green wedding

July 17, 2012
Author: admin

It is possible to create a magnificent, magical wedding that people will remember forever while at the same time treading lightly on the planet. Treasure your big day and make it a green one with a little help from our webshop.

Pick a sustainable wedding venue

Get married at the Eden Project for a truly unique eco-venue. Sustainability, creativity and imagination are part of everything we do here, and you can rest assured that the best local suppliers have been sourced. You can have your wedding pictures taken by cascading waterfalls, or maybe under the twinkling fairy-lit dome of the Mediterranean Biome.

Ethical favours

Say thank you to guests for their love and support by offering them an ethical wedding favour. For an unusual favour they won’t forget, give each guest a love bomb Flung at the earth and will burst into colourful forget-me-nots - your guests don’t need to be green fingered to have fun with them. It’s a memorable wedding favour they’ll love.

Make it personal

Create a scrap book of the day so friends and family can add poems, drawings, messages, photos or anecdotes. Our love-heart photo album is handmade using fibres from the lokta bush; a tradition that goes back a thousand years. Preserve your memories in this fairly traded book for keepsakes you'll treasure forever.

Eco-friendly thank you notes

These gorgeous paper notelets are a lovely way of keeping in touch with your wedding guests. Perfect for thank you notes or party invitations, they're guaranteed to brighten up someone's day. Each piece of paper has an Indian-style floral design on the back, and comes with a matching envelope.

Decorate with green flowers

Locally grown, these seasonal bouquets of cut flowers don't need to be transported from overseas. And because they're freshly picked to order, they haven’t spent any time in fridges and will arrive to you in the best possible condition. Perfect to bring your wedding day to life, or as a gift for the happy couple.

Ethical gifts

Set up an Eden wish list so you can take your pick of quality plants, energy-saving gadgets, homeware or gardening equipment on our webshop. Guests have the opportunity to donate a little extra to offset the carbon emissions of their delivery.

Take a look at our wedding buyers guide for more gift ideas that won't cost the earth.

Environment, Events, Shop
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10 British trees to grow in your garden

July 17, 2012
Author: Tom

Lorax characterWe're putting on a great play event for kids and families inspired by The Lorax – this summer’s blockbuster movie with a really cool environmental message. We're also offering loads of extra Lorax fun on our Blog to keep your kids happy over the holidays.
Our summer kids' event is inspired by The Lorax – the blockbuster movie with a really cool environmental message.  We're also offering extra Lorax fun on our Blog to keep your kids happy over the holidays.

In the movie, the Lorax is the guardian of the forest who tries to protect his precious and very fluffy truffula trees from being chopped down by the Once-ler’s Super Axe Whacker.

Even if you can’t plant your own truffula tree, you could try planting one (or more!) of the native trees below in your garden. There are all sorts of reasons why… not least, growing any plant helps to absorb carbon from the atmosphere, which is important if we want to reduce global warming.

Why native trees?

‘Native’ means that these trees are ‘at home’ in Britain: they’ve grown here for thousands of years! So if you live in the UK, plant these trees because they help native insects and other animals to survive.

10 trees you should plant in your garden

Alder, Alnus glutinosa

  • A quick-growing, nitrogen-fixing, insect-harbouring, bird-loving son of a gun

Planting an alder is a great way to invite birds and insects to live in your garden. These trees grow fast and love damp soil. In the winter, male catkins and female cones dangle from the branches. Its timber was used
as a lure for woodworm, which would
prefer to eat away at a block of alder
wood placed in a wooden cupboard
than the cupboard itself.

Ash, Fraxinus excelsior

  • A grand tree shrouded in mystery and folklore

For the Vikings, their ‘world tree’ was an ash: Yggdrasil united heaven, hell and earth. Many pagans saw the ash as a healing tree, and used it in ceremonies and treatments. The wood is very springy and can withstand sudden shocks, so is great for snooker cues and hockey sticks.

English oak, Quercus robur

  • Famous for having strong timber, being a home for insects, and for living to a ripe old age

Oaks grow all over Britain, but why not grow one of these huge, solid beauties in your garden? They’re the best at attracting insects (who’ll help to pollinate other plants in your garden)
and can live for over 500 years.

Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna

  • Its white flowers are a welcome sign of spring after a long winter

The hawthorn is also known as the May tree, and you’ve probably seen loads of its beautiful white flowers blooming in the month of May. Used in spring ceremonies, this tree also has more practical uses and its berries are thought to benefit the heart
and to lower blood pressure.

Hazel, Corylus avellana

  • Nuts about nuts? Plant one of these beauties!

If you grow a hazel, you can look forward to harvesting the tasty nuts and perhaps sharing them with garden friends such as squirrels and dormice. The catkins that grow on hazels also look pretty cool – they’re known as ‘lamb’s tails’.

Holly, Ilex aquifolium

  • A festive treat to cheer up your winter

You’ll love harvesting holly from your own garden at Christmas, and the birds will love you for providing shelter and a plentiful source of food in the berries. There’s nothing like seeing the red berries and the shiny, spiky leaves of holly to brighten a dark, cold winter’s day.

Rowan, Sorbus aucuparia

  • A tough tree that dares to grow where others cannot

This used to be planted outside houses to ward off witches, but you might like to plant one simply because it’s a lovely tree with bright red berries! It can even survive on high and exposed ground.

Silver birch, Betula pendula

  • This quicksilver tree grows fast and has amazing shiny bark

If you want to make a quick impression on your garden, try this fast-growing pioneer species with its slightly shiny silvery-white trunk. Its timber is used to smoke haddocks, among other things, and its trunk can be tapped for sap that can be made
into wine.

Small-leaved lime, Tilia cordata

  • No, not that type of lime!

Although you won’t get green lime fruits from this tree, it is one of our most beautiful native species. You can eat the leaves in salads, and brew a pleasant, uplifting tea from the flowers.


Willow, Salix sp.

  • Fast-growing and so many to choose from – weeping, goat, twisted, even cricket bat!

These graceful trees survive in the dampest of places, so will suit a water-logged or riverside garden. They also have their fair share of
folklore – the words ‘witch’ and ‘wicked’
come from the same word as ‘willow’.
See our coral bark willow plant
profile page

The movie Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax © Universal Studios. Based on The Lorax book and characters TM & © 1971 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All rights reserved.

The Lorax at Eden, 14 July – Sunday 2 September 2012, Follow the trail, paint a mural, build a den, plus much more...Click to find out more

Horticulture, Plants, The Lorax
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Behind the scenes at the circus rehearsals

July 13, 2012
Author: Tom

We're getting really excited here at Eden because NoFit State Circus has rolled into town and is now rehearsing for the brand new spectacular, BIANCO, which will be performed over the school summer holidays between 28 July and 2 September 2012.

You can browse beautiful photos, book tickets and meet the cast members on the dedicated BIANCO circus website.

Peek behind the scenes

Get a taste of what's in store for this summer with this video of NoFit State's cast, featuring some of the best circus performers from around the world, rehearsing for BIANCO.

Woman dancing on platform in netting

Circus performer man hanging from straps

Circus performers operating rigging

Photos by Steve Tanner

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Eli Lilly business leadership programme at the Eden Project

July 13, 2012
Author: Hannah

Earlier this summer we welcomed Eli Lilly, the oldest global pharmaceutical company in the world, to Eden to take part in our Green Foundation business leadership programme.

Directors from across Europe and Australia converged on the site for an immersive experience that would help them focus on leadership, purpose and embedding a strong sense of teamwork into their business.

John Russell, the company's Area Director, Oncology, explained that – for him – the two days were “about learning and observation... and I want my team to be brave enough to step away from work".

Watch a video about Eli Lilly's bespoke programme at the Eden Project

Throughout the specially tailored two days Eli Lilly spent time at the Eden site, including the two famous Biomes, with exclusive access to senior members of the Eden team.

Our Curator of Science led a behind-the-scenes tour conveying the complexity of managing this unique environment, which involves solving problems with a diverse team of gardeners, scientists, engineers and more.

Eden’s award-winning Energy Manager shared his experiences engaging the team in energy initiatives, from reducing electricity use to launching the UK's first employee-owned renewable energy scheme, Solarfair.

Sessions with Eden’s joint CEOs Tim Smit and Gaynor Coley, who have been instrumental in forging the Eden brand we know today, opened up some frank and constructive conversations about business management – topped off with dinner in the balmy Mediterranean Biome.

Eli Lilly staff in the Rainforest Biome at the Eden Project

Eli Lilly left Eden with clear objectives to take back to their business, including a focus on leadership, teamwork and connection with nature. Senior Director Tim Ashby commented “Your leaders create that environment where they can empower employees to take control of what they can. So that's been inspirational to me today, and it's been good to see it live and in action.”

Business Unit Manager Philip Knott said "If I can just inspire my team to be 5% or 10% more engaged with our purpose in oncology, then I think we'll make a big difference – not only to our business but to the patients we serve.”

Eli Lilly's John Russell concluded that “It's been a wonderful day and a half.” He added: “On a personal note, it's had a huge effect on me as well."

Create a bespoke programme for your own business or organisation at the Eden Project.

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Business, Green Foundation, Sustainability
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Take part in a community grants ‘Dragon’s Den’ for Cornwall

July 13, 2012
Author: Hannah

If you live in Cornwall’s St Blazey, Par or Tywardreath you’re invited to a special Dragon’s Den style event where you get to decide which community projects deserve a slice of Big Lottery Fund grants.

The event, which takes place in Par on 28 July 2012, will see shortlisted applicants pitching their projects to the audience in the hope of winning a grant of up to £1,000. It’s the audience of local residents who’ll ultimately decide how the money will be spent.

Innovative ideas received from local residents and community groups include an eco-extension for St Blazey Football Club, a skate park, a Zumba dance facility and a deaf and hard of hearing club.

The funding comes courtesy of the Big Lottery Fund, which has earmarked £1 million for the area over the next 10 years, as part of its £200 million Big Local investment in 150 neighbourhoods across England.

Eden Project's Big Green Bus visiting Par

Don’t miss out on the chance to have your say on how the money is spent. As County Councillor Roy Taylor says, ‘local people are the experts about what needs doing to make life good here’.

Doug Scrafton, Chair of the Par Bay Big Local group, adds: ‘I think it’s an absolutely wonderful opportunity. It’s very rare that anybody goes around offering this sort of money to an area.’

Event details
The event takes place at the Par St Mary Methodist Church Hall on Saturday 28 July 2012. The timings are as follows:

  • 10am: Bidders set up
  • 11am: Presentations followed by questions from the floor
  • 12.30pm: Voting, scoring and counting
  • 1pm – 2pm: Results announced – plus lunch

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Community, Cornwall
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