We had a fantastic time last week hosting a group of young students from Herefordshire’s Staunton-on-Wye Primary School, as part of their Rolls Royce Science Prize Eden Award, which recognises inspirational science teaching and rewards outstanding teachers.
The budding young scientists, engineers and designers received the award for their project to create a play hut for their school grounds, which the pupils researched, budgeted, designed, tested and even helped construct.
Each class was given a different façade of the oak-framed hut to design, resulting in an amazingly diverse construction featuring coppiced hazel wattle and daub, locally-sourced stone, recycled brick and a living roof.
Putting them firmly in the driving seat, the project gave them the opportunity to use subjects such as maths, science and technology in a real-world application. They’ve also had the chance to apply some interior design skills; their ideas for the creative space go way beyond chairs and tables to telescopes and periscopes.
Eden Project Head of Education Strategy, John Ellison who judges the award said: 'This was a great way to learn by doing. They worked with local architects and builders, researched the supply chain, environmental implications and physical properties of materials and building techniques, applied practical scientific experiments... and then built it with a local Master Craftsman builder!'
As well as a £15,000 award to help them further science and innovation at their school, and a beautiful trophy modelled on the Fibonacci-inspired roof of Eden’s education centre, The Core, the prize included a special day of school workshops with us.
Inside the Rainforest Biome they took part in one of our Jungle Connections school workshops, trekking through the tropical foliage in search of cocoa and rubber, then participating in a fair trade debate about one of their favourite rainforest products; chocolate.
They also got to explore the pattern behind their trophy in a workshop which had them out and about in the sunshine looking for Fibonacci spirals in nature and Eden’s architecture.
With thanks to Robbie Kirkman.
We’re supporting Better Breakfast Week this week. The campaign is being organised by PhytoTrade Africa, who represent producers of the baobab fruit, which is rich in Vitamin C and B2, and provides an income for hundreds of families in rural Africa.
Find out more about the baobab on our plant profile page.
Here’s a tasty recipe we’re serving in the Eden Bakery, which features nutritious jam made from baobab fruit (available online).
Makes 8 cupcake-sized muffins
- 115g butter, melted
- 315g self-raising flour
- 10g baking powder
- 150g light brown sugar
- 130ml milk
- 50ml yoghurt
- 25g orange zest
- 2 eggs
- 300g icing sugar
- 150g unsalted butter
- 40g baobab jam
- 5ml vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 180°c/gas mark 4.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar and eggs together until light.
- Add the yoghurt, milk and melted butter. Mix on a low speed.
- When mixed, add the flour, baking powder and orange zest until mixed through.
- Transfer mixture to eight cupcake cases in a suitable baking tray.
- Bake for 20 -25 minutes.
- In the meantime make the buttercream icing
- Beat the butter until soft, add the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla essence and baobab jam.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool.
- Pipe the buttercream on to the cakes.
- Sprinkle some extra orange zest on the top.
Autumn is definitely here, isn't it? Crisp mornings full of sparkling spider's webs, toes hibernating inside thick socks, leaves are changing colour into golds, reds and oranges. There's a whole season ahead of leaf kicking, puddle swerving and rosy cheeked adventures.
And with new seasons, comes our new catalogue for our on-site and on-line shops. We could hardly wait to share the autumn / winter 12/13 catalogue with you, and now the time has come our shelves are stacked high with these lovely catalogues for you to help yourself. And of course we'll pop one in the post to anyone who would like to see what we've been preparing for you this season.
We had a lot of fun filling this catalogue with full of beautiful images and inspiration to help you make the most of the changing seasons.
We mostly shot the catalogue on a beautiful smallholding on the North Cornwall coast, overlooking the Camel Estuary.
We arrived with a van full to the brim with Eden Project products and we have to admit it was a hard job resisting playing with the toys, gobble up all the olives ourselves.
As you can see, it didn't stop us from having a bit of fun along the way!
We've pulled together 24 pages of stuff the whole family will enjoy. From gardening gear created with the help of our expert horticulturalists, to toys that have passed our kids' seal of approval.
If you'd like us to send you our new autumn / winter catalogue, fill out this short form and we'll pop one in the post for you.
Then all you have to do is pop the kettle on, put your feet up, and see what lovely ethical gifts we've picked out for you this season.
We’re supporting Better Breakfast Week, which starts today! The campaign is being organised by PhytoTrade Africa, who represent producers of the baobab fruit, which is rich in Vitamin C and B2, and provides an income for hundreds of families in rural Africa.
Find out more about the baobab on our plant profile page.
Here's a tasty recipe we're serving in the Eden Bakery, which features the nutritious powder of the baobab fruit - widely available online and in the Eden Project Shop.
Makes 10-12 pieces
- 240g unsalted butter
- 120g golden syrup
- 90g light brown sugar
- 30g dark brown sugar
- 400g rolled oats
- 120g dried apricots, chopped
- 15g baobab powder
- Preheat your oven to 180°c / gas mark 4.
- Melt the butter, golden syrup, sugars and vanilla essence in a pan. When melted, whisk in the baobab powder.
- In a large mixing bowl mix all the ingredients together until combined – do not over mix.
- Pour mixture into a lined tray and gently press down.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.
- Take out of the oven, carefully and partially cut part way through into your required portions (this makes it easier to cut when cooled).
- Serve and enjoy!
We love this huge granite sculpture hidden away in a silent chamber at the heart of our Core building.
Get the Eden iPhone app and you can watch more videos like this and access deeper information on our exhibits while you're visiting.
We're supporting Better Breakfast Week, taking place across the country next week, from 24 to 30 September. The campaign is being organised by PhytoTrade Africa, who represent producers of the baobab fruit.
Here's one of these incredible furry fruits hanging from an equally incredible baobab tree, aka the 'upside down tree'!
We've always loved this nutritious superfood, and it's been a crucial ingredient in the smoothies we serve in our Rainforest Biome for some years now. That’s how we got involved in Better Breakfast Week – with the aim of raising the profile of this flavour-packed, healthy product that provides an income for hundreds of families in rural Africa.
We will be supporting the week by serving up tasty baobab treats in the Eden Bakery – we'll publish recipes here on our Blog – and by adding new information about the benefits of eating and drinking baobab around the Smoothie Bar in our rainforest.
The most important meal of the day
The week will encourage kids and adults alike to tuck into a healthy, nutritious breakfast, where baobab features as one of the additions to a nutritious meal. There is evidence to show that the first meal of the day literally ‘breaks the fast’ from sleeping, not only giving us the energy we need to face the day, but also improving brain performance and behaviour; it can even help control weight.
Benefits of eating baobab
- The baobab fruit contains smooth black seeds covered in a pale powder that tastes sharp and tangy.
- This fruit powder, rich in Vitamin C and B2, is used to make delicious food and drinks. People in Africa have been eating it for centuries.
- The fruit powder is said to be a boost to health, especially for pregnant women, children and the elderly. Baobab fruit is also said to help fight fevers and settle the stomach.
Find out more about the baobab on our plant profile page.
Baobab recipes for breakfast
Click on the images to find out how to make these tasty and nutritious treats.
A group of London gardeners, many of whom have been homeless or had problems with alcohol or drugs, are now undertaking a professional horticulture course at Eden.
Known as Grounded Ecotherapy and based at East London’s Providence Row Housing Association, the group of gardeners were the stars behind the acclaimed rooftop garden which has been brought to life on London’s Southbank Centre for the last two summers.
Many of them have also previously worked with Eden’s landscape and horticulture team on big projects such as two show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2009 and 2010.
Eight members of the therapeutic gardening group have now completed the first half of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh/Eden Project Certificate in Practical Horticulture, taught by Eden’s horticulturalists.
Paul Pulford, who founded the group with his friend Paul Davies when the two started work transforming a concrete area behind their homeless hostel in 2002, said: ‘Gardening is helping us in our recovery and giving us a life. Now we're all gaining a recognised qualification and everyone's learning loads.
‘I don't have any diplomas or degrees but I will have a Certificate in Practical Horticulture and be taken seriously as a professional gardener. I'm loving every minute of it and can't wait to come back in October.’
Paul Davies told us: ‘I'm a recovering alcoholic and addict so this is rehabilitating for me… I can prove to myself that I can go all day without drinking and doing other stuff which wrecked my life and I'm learning so much.’
The group will be completing the second half of the course in October. It is being paid for by money raised at Eden’s Big Green Quiz, which took place in London in May this year.
Horticulture course at Eden
For the general public, the courses take place at weekends at the main Eden Project site and its nearby nursery throughout the year.
The courses can be enjoyed one-by-one or as a complete course leading to a qualification. They are designed for keen amateurs as well as those beginning a career in horticulture or thinking of a career change.
Seed saving is a cheap way of growing vegetables the following year, showing kids the lifecycle of plants, and is a nice thing to do ahead of a seed exchange.
Find out how to save seeds in this video, with help from Eden Project gardener Catherine Cutler. Or follow our instructions below.
How to save seeds
- Choose vegetables such as beans, peas, aubergines, peppers, squash or tomatoes and let a few specimens get really ripe on the plant – until they almost drop off. If you’re sharing a vegetable plot with others you may need to put a sign out saying ‘saving for seed’, so others don’t pick them.
- Once you’ve cut the vegetable in half to reveal the seeds, clean them thoroughly in water and pat them off with kitchen towel.
- With tomatoes it’s really important to remove the slimy coating on the seeds, which can stop them from germinating. You need to soak tomato seeds in water for a few days to get rid of this.
- Put your seeds in a warm, dry place, such as an airing cupboard, for a couple of weeks.
- Store your seeds in little plastic bags or film canisters, or envelopes (suitable for peas and beans), then label and date them. Put these in the fridge to stop them germinating before winter’s over.
- When spring comes, plant your seeds somewhere light and warm and give them plenty of water – and watch the whole cycle start again!
Why bother with seed saving?
- You won’t need to buy seeds the following year.
- It’s a great way to show kids the biology behind vegetables.
- You’ll have lots to swap at a seed exchange.
- You can help keep tasty, rare or heritage varieties alive.
Get more help with your gardening on one of our short courses which cover everything from autumn lawn care to citrus growing. They are available as either one-hour, half-day, or full-day courses.
Nothing cheers up your day more than having an unexpected parcel through the post. Even if it's something you forgot you ordered last week, there's always that moment when you pause and your heart skips a beat while you're trying to work out what an earth could be inside the parcel!
We're offering you the opportunity to make someone's day by surprising them with a luxury Cornish food hamper from our online shop. If you win, we'll send you one and ask you who to send the other one to.
It could be a friend who always helps you out when you need it, your best mate who never stops telling you what a great cook they are, or your mum - just because you never get time to tell her how important she is!
We all know someone who will be bowled over to receive this wonderful hamper full of fine Cornish food and drink. And, even better than saying 'you're wonderful' to someone special, you get your own to tuck into as well. Now, it doesn't get better than that!
How to enter
To be in with a chance to win our popular Cornish food hamper for you and a friend, simply fill out the form here. If you're the winner, we'll get in touch and ask for the name and address of the lucky friend you're treating.
Prize draw terms and conditions
- The winner will be drawn after the closing date and contacted to find out the name and address of their nominated friend.
- The draw will be independently witnessed and t he first name drawn at random after the closing date will receive the prize as detailed above. If the winner cannot be reached, Eden Project reserves the right to award the prize to a reserve winner drawn at random.
- The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to availability. No alternative prize will be offered and there is no cash alternative.
- The draw is not open to employees of the Eden Project, their families, its agents or anyone professionally connected with the prize draw.
- The competition will close at midnight on Sunday 30 September.
- By entering this competition you are giving the Eden Project permission to contact you at a future date. You can unsubscribe from this service at any time.
- Prize draw open to all UK residents. Entrants must be over 16 years of age.
To celebrate Eden’s Harvest Festival this September, we’re bringing you a selection of recipes, ideas and creations to celebrate this special season. Today Michael Smith of Porthminster Beach Cafe gives us a Cornish take on a Japanese broth.
Michael and Ryan Venning, Head Chef at The Herring at Bedruthan Steps Hotel, will be giving a demo of how to make this dish, using an array of Cornish shellfish and foraged seaweeds, at Eden at 3.30pm on Friday 14 September.
Dashi is a Japanese stock base made from cured, smoked and dried bonito (a member of the tuna family) and dried konbu seaweed. These two ingredients are rehydrated and simmered in water. This produces a base stock for most Japanese broths, including miso soup.
At Porthminster Beach Cafe in St Ives we make our own Cornish version. We have managed to identify a kelp on our rocks called sugar kelp that is directly related to Konbu from Japan. We have paired it with our local favourite fish, mackerel, which is a member of the same family as bonito and is widely regarded as the most sustainable fish out there. While mackerel is the fastest reproducing fish in the ocean, bonito is on the endangered tuna list!
To make our dashi we semi cure and smoke the mackerel and then dehydrate it along with the sugar kelp. We then rehydrate it with water and simmer the two ingredients, which is what makes our version of dashi unique.
By using local ingredients, we can now make dashi with no air miles as previously we had to buy them from Japan. We strongly believe this product stands up to the Japanese version and we are very proud to have created it!
Recipe for dashi (Asian broth)
- 100g bonito flakes (dehydrated mackerel)
- 5 litres water
- 50g konbu seaweed (dried sugar kelp)
Bring all ingredients slowly up to the boil then simmer until the bonito flakes fall from the top to the bottom. Sit to the side to settle. Strain and add desirable ingredients to form soup.
- 12 mussels de-bearded and washed
- 4 scallops
- 8 palourdes surf clams
- 1 cup finely cut carrot, leek and red pepper
- 1 washed head pak choi
- 100g rice noodles
- 1 chilli deseeded and finely sliced
- 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
Place all ingredients in the dashi broth and simmer for three minutes. Season with a touch of soy sauce and serve in a bowl with a soup spoon and chop sticks!