As part of our Freaky Nature season, we introduce you to the weird and wonderful world of plants. We'll also be serving up some freaky food for you to try during half-term! Here's a recipe of one of the treats on offer.
- 50g clear honey
- 100g light brown soft sugar
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 150g (peeled weight) sweet potato, coarsely grated
- 200g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1tsp ground mixed spsice
- 125g ready-to-eat dried apricots, coarsely chopped
For the icing:
- 75g soft, unsalted butter
- 150g icing sugar, sifted finely
- grated zest of 2 oranges
- 25g clear honey
- small bag honeycomb pieces, coarsely crushed
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, fan 160, gas 4 and put 9 cupcake cases in a muffin tin. Beat the honey, sugar, butter and orange zest until smooth then gradually add the beaten eggs. Stir in the sweet potato, flour, spice and apricots. Divide the mixture equally between the cupcake cases and bake for 25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin.
For the icing - beat the butter, icing sugar, orange zest and honey together, then thin with a few teaspoons of water until it is a soft consistency. Spread a little icing over each cupcake and topped with a sprinkle of crushed honeycomb.
Visit Freaky Nature
Come and explore the weird world of plants this half-term (2-10 June) - you’ll discover exploding plants, sticky plants, smelly plants and even carnivorous plants that bite back! After playing with our interactive exhibits you'll never look at plants the same way again!
We've opened a stunning new garden featuring water pools lined with Bodmin Moor granite and filled with some of Cornwall’s most popular plants. The Sense of Memory Garden is a 22-metre oasis laden with fan palms, bamboo and rhododendron and inspired by Cornwall’s wild landscape and sub-tropical gardens.
Reflecting the world-famous Biomes are two ornamental pools edged with granite from De Lank Quarry and linked by a carved rill of interweaving water channels which lead to a glass-topped circular pavilion.
The garden is designed by the award-winning landscape architect Thomas Hoblyn who won the People’s Choice Award at Chelsea 2012 and is the latest new feature in Eden’s constantly changing and maturing 13-hectare outdoor site.
Tom’s creation was inspired by his childhood memories of exploration along the Cornish coast, Bodmin Moor and the traditional gardens of Trebah and Trewithen. It was first seen at the 2011 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show before being found a permanent home in the heart of Eden in front of the Mediterranean Biome.
He said: 'I am absolutely delighted that my Chelsea garden has found a caring, adoptive family at the Eden Project. A Cornish-themed show garden, using Cornish plants and Cornish materials, going back to Cornwall – it’s a fantastic feeling. I feel as if my family heritage has been honoured.
'I have a strong affinity to Cornwall as my family have farmed there for many generations. I love its wild, somewhat random landscape. It is where, on trips to the sub-tropical gardens at Trebah, my youthful imagination was captured by tales of intrepid plant hunters returning with plants from the Orient.'
The Sense of Memory Garden consists of plants commonly grown in the county including fan palms (Trachycarpus), Golden and Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea and nigra), Wedding Cake Tree (Cornus Controversa ‘Variegata’), Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis), rhododendron (fragrantissimum and yakushianum Grumpy) and Hummingbird Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica). There are also some more unusual plants including the striking Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia). The colour palette uses the prominent silver/grey Cornish granite in the garden as a guide, combined with blush pink, white and silver with hints of blue accenting the scheme.
Originally named the Homebase Cornish Memories Garden, the plot was awarded a Silver-Gilt medal at Chelsea in 2011. It is one of the few times a show garden has been re-sited in its entirety and brought back to the place of its original inspiration. National home improvement retailer Homebase, who were the original sponsors of the garden at Chelsea, is funding the regeneration of the garden at Eden.
We're really excited to announce that we'll be working with the newly-formed Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust to help communities establish food gardens in confined urban spaces across the Commonwealth.
The Trust is to invest in six areas that reflect the six decades of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign. Eden is one of six lead convening partners and will work on the theme of Urban Food.
Following the announcement, Eden’s Campaigns and Communications Director Peter Stewart said: 'Eden’s role is to identify and support practical interventions, including growing techniques, research and policy changes, that increase the ability of the urban poor to grow food in the face of rising populations, rising migration and increased uncertainty about food security.
'This opportunity is fantastic and comes on the back of our learning from The Big Lunch, underpinned also by our experience with Gardens for Life and projects we have run in partnership with Commonwealth countries such as Seychelles and Maldives.'
Eden will bring together the ability to run a large high-profile and inspirational campaign with practical on-the-ground growing and community development.
Tony Kendle added: 'In close negotiation with the Trust we will develop pilot projects that extend across the Commonwealth. Early pilots are likely to be in Africa, India and UK followed by at least one small island state. Eventually all of the six Commonwealth regions and many more cities will be included.'
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust was established to celebrate The Queen’s unrivalled 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth. The Trust gives governments and citizens across the Commonwealth the opportunity to create a lasting tribute to The Queen.
Sir John Major, Chairman of the board of Trustees, said: 'We are delighted that we have secured such a wide range of partners to work with – such as the Eden Project and International Development Through Sport. As projects develop we will be adding international partners to our consortium. With these partners, The Trust will fund innovative and compelling initiatives that will make a very real difference to people throughout the Commonwealth'
Visit www.jubileetribute.org for more information on the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.
Is your community looking for guidance and inspiration with your Neighbourhood Plan? Come along to one of our free ‘Planning Camps’, which are specially designed to give communities and Neighbourhood Planning Front Runners the tools and ideas to shape where they live.
Planning camps offer a combination of:
- plenary sessions featuring people who have been there and done it
- immersive design walks
- hands-on workshops
- networking with other neighbourhood planning groups
Over a hundred people attended the first Planning Camp at the Eden Project, but this time we’re coming to where you live!
The three residential summer events are taking place in Southampton, Birmingham and Leeds. All sessions, meals and accommodation are funded by our Neighbourhood Planning programme, in partnership with Locality.
If you’d like a taste of the sort of things you might be doing at the event, check out what happened at the last camp:
Visual minutes: These give you a visual idea of all the topics and ideas we talked about: like how communities can take a leadership role in planning, how to engage people in your local area and how the new Localism laws affect neighbourhood planning.
Planning Camp presentations: We heard from planning professionals, community engagement experts and from people whose local communities were creating their own neighbourhood plan.
‘How to’ blogs: These were produced as resources by presenters from the first Planning Camp – on how to use social media for neighbourhood planning and how to work with young people in neighbourhood planning.
Participants told us:
[The event was] 'a great 'ideas' catalyst'
'Very enjoyable, good company, great venue, enthusiastic presenters, well organised.'
The events are taking place in Southampton (22-23 June 2012), Birmingham (29-30 June 2012) and Leeds (13-14 July 2012).
How to register for the events
The events are best suited to community groups and individuals involved in Neighbourhood Planning – primarily in one of the government’s Front Runner communities, but please do contact us even if your community doesn't fall within one of these areas.
Places are limited, so please register your interest to attend by filling in this simple online form.
Great news, our very own Matt Hastings has just scooped an award for ESTA Energy Manager of the Year.
Matt was awarded the annual award by the Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA), picked from nominees that included staff from Sainsbury’s, BT and Northern Rail.
During his three years at Eden Matt has overhauled many of our technical systems to help us reduce our energy consumption and meet Eden’s target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2015 (compared with 2007 – 2008).
Initiatives include installing high-efficiency boilers and energy-efficient LED lights, as well as a Building Management System – like a giant TV remote allowing for very tight control of our heating and electrical systems.
Matt has also been instrumental in launching Eden Solarfair, the UK’s first employee-owned renewables project, in partnership with Ebico. The pioneering scheme is giving Eden staff the chance to invest in a new programme to provide free, renewable energy for the site, generated by solar panels, while offering them returns on their investments.
He has played a leading role in the planning for a proposed deep geothermal power plant on the site, too.
At the ceremony Matt said: ‘Ultimately, energy management is about change, turning the tanker around and flipping it on its head. I want Eden to set a standard which changes the industry.
We have set the bar high; not in the name of social responsibility, but in the name of common sense.’
If your business is keen to get its head around the low-carbon agenda, and make the most of the opportunities it throws up, have a look at our five top business tips.
They’ve been put together by Eden experts who’ve worked with over 300 businesses here on the Green Foundation programme, giving them the tools and inspiration to make positive changes to their organisations.
1. Have a vision
Dare to imagine what ‘great’ looks like. Identify your vision and where you wish to take your business. Then establish your values; they will guide you there. Next, you can start to take steps to achieve it, one step at a time.
One company that took a very bold step and set itself such a mission is carpet manufacturer Interface, when in 1994 founder Ray Anderson challenged his team to ‘Be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: people, process, product, place and profits – and in doing so, become restorative through the power of influence.’
You might not be ready for this sort of statement yet, but knowing where you want to end up is vital. For example, wholesale food suppliers Country Range group, who took part in our Green Foundation programme earlier this year, are at the beginning of their journey, but they have set themselves a goal to focus their nationwide members on sustainability and responsible business this year.
They’re starting with Green Foundation’s toolkit for change and are currently gathering ideas from across the company. As they say, from little acorns…
2. Ask questions
Make a habit of finding things out and try and see things from different perspectives; ask questions, start conversations with staff, suppliers, clients and other businesses, organisations and communities. You may not always find answers straight away, but the more informed you are, the better business decisions you will make.
Remember that your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Many of our activities on the Green Foundation programme are designed to help companies get a fresh perspective on their operations and see how they’re part of a bigger picture, especially when it comes to environmental impacts – which are passed on from suppliers, and to clients and customers.
One of our most popular workshops is centred on understanding the story behind a simple mug of coffee, and encourages participants to consider all the different processes and players that take it from crop to cup.
Working with key staff – or even beyond – mapping yourself within a bigger supply chain, and looking at the key inputs and outputs of your business, is time well spent.
3. Recognise your power to influence
Consider the things that your business says and does, what you decide to invest in, what initiatives you support and you’ll see how your actions are like a ripple in a pond. Taking a positive approach to your power to influence positive change – and collaborating with others – can result in some quite significant changes.
Part of our recipe for success on the Green Foundation programme is bringing companies together under one roof, and even encouraging them to learn from each other through a reciprocal business exchange.
One our favourite stories to come out of programme is that three companies within the construction sector who met on Green Foundation have set up the very first Sustainable Building Association network in the Southwest. They’re now convening builders, architects, designers, manufacturers, housing associations and local authorities to develop, share and promote best practice across the region.
4. Celebrate success
Remember to celebrate success, even the small things. It’s easy to let the everyday humdrum get in the way of all the good stuff, so do stop and acknowledge people’s efforts.
If you’ve created a vision for your organisation, remember that there are many small steps on the way to achieving this, and each of these is a mini achievement to be celebrated.
Here at Eden we have an overall aim to cut our carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2015, with an interim target of 25% by 2013 (compared with 2007–2008). We’ve now started celebrating our small achievements on this journey in an annual sustainability report.
5. Share your story
We all have stories. Businesses do too. Increasingly people identify with why businesses do what they do; with the stories behind them. Take some time to tell your story; what started it all, where you aspire to go, steps you’re taking to get there… Be transparent and honest.
Because we’ve included all our sustainability figures in our latest report, warts and all, it means that others can learn from our mistakes too!
And when you do have something amazing to share, don’t be shy about shouting about it. We’re really proud of the Green Foundation participants who have put themselves up for sustainability awards and come away with some sparkling successes. Trenython Manor, part of the global Club La Costa World Resort chain, has won two green tourism awards, while four of our participants were winners at last year’s Cornwall Sustainability Awards.
If you'd like to work with Eden on instigating change in your business, check out our Green Foundation programme.
If you’ve enjoyed a meal in the Eden Bakery, you’ve probably spotted our gorgeous hand thrown pots used for the soups, stews and salads.
Since commissioning this contemporary range of pottery, we’ve had overwhelming interest from people wanting to collect the range at home. And as we want you to enjoy this pottery just as much as we do at Eden, we are now offering this collection to the public both in our shops on site, and on our webshop. Well, it was a no brainer – you asked for it, we’ll deliver it!
Our custom range is designed and handmade in west Cornwall by a partnership of French potter, Michel Francois and Cornish potter Jacob Bodilly. The team worked with Falmouth University to research and develop ceramic technology which marries traditional techniques with modern technology. This has resulted in a range that has durability and style, beauty and function, rustic charm in a 21st century kitchen.
We caught up with Michel and Jacob in their studios to see exactly how these handmade pots are made:
10. The finished jug is ready to be packaged and shipped out directly to customers.
To buy these gorgeous pots, visit our webshop and collect the whole range.
Check out our video of the Flame going up in the balloon:
Gaynor Coley, our Chief Executive, Enterprise, said: 'What a day for Cornwall, the UK and for the Eden Project. To be among the first places to witness this extraordinary spectacle was a moment we will remember forever.
'The rousing welcome that Cornwall gave the Olympic Flame shows the true spirit of this special place to the rest of the world. Ben was beautiful the Biomes were beautiful, it was a Cornish gold medal of a day.'
Ben Fogle on his experience as the torchbearer: 'As I ran through the Eden Project there were crowds of people and roars of appreciation...The helium balloon rose 50 metres to the top of the Biome. It was extraordinary looking out on a sea of people and all the plants below. It felt very special: I was very proud to be part of it'
Ben thanks Eden Team member Mike for bringing him and the flame back safely down to earth. Ben said the experience was "Unforgettable".
Ben ascends with the Olympic Flame in our Rainforest Balloon.
Here's a nice one of Ben carrying the Olympic Torch down our Plane Tree Steps.
Wow! The Olympic Torch has now been and gone. Ben Fogle did a great job as torchbearer. Here he is on our Viewing Platform. The crowd loved every minute!
There are all types of fun and games to get involved in today at our Freaky Nature exhibit, which is all about exploring the strange world of plants. (It's also on during next half-term - 2-10 June).
Pictured right is Amelia Ottewell trying her hand at strangler fig hoopla, where the player is the fig plant trying to strangle trees with their hoopy loops.
Here's Lara Lewis Ras from Chesham in Buckinghamshire stuck to our sticky velcro wall, a bit like a giant burdock seed.
Here's Chris Bisson from the Eden Science team showing Jack Ratcliffe from St Blazey Gate the algae used to colour blue Smarties.
Turned out nice again! The weather's looking lovely here at Eden at the moment. Ice creams, t-shirts, shorts all over the place!
Jerry, Kevin, Mike and Lucy are The Barrel Rock Boys. They've come down from Bude to sing some sea shanties in the sun. They'll be singing again at 3.30pm just before the arrival of the Olympic flame.
We've got our very own special 'torch' in flower in our Rainforest Biome right now. Torch ginger Etlingera elatior is grown throughout SE Asia: the stems of the flowers are chopped up and added to curries or soups with rice noodles. Find out more and see more pictures on our torch ginger page.
A couple of local lads with paper Olympic Torches they've made with the help of Eden's Rob Copeland (left). If you'd like to make your own torch to wave when the real one arrives at Eden, come and find Rob and the team outside the Stage area.
We've got demonstrations of Cornish wrestling - or 'wrasslin' as it's known locally- taking place in our Orchard at 1.3opm and 2.30pm this afternoon.
In the sport, which goes back thousands of years, all holds are taken on the jacket; wrestlers are not allowed to catch hold of any other part of their opponent's body.
Ken Cocks, spokesman for Cornish Wrestling, said: 'It's fitting that they're bringing the Olympic Torch here to Eden today, and hopefully they'll see some wrestling, which is Cornwall's national sport.'
Pictured above is Jamie Stone throwing Tom Coleman (both from Bodmin).
Rapper and singer Labrinth was flying in a helicopter over Eden this morning, and tweeted a great aerial shot of the Project. Check out his tweet here. Labrinth will be performing live at Eden later in the summer, at the Chase and Status gig on Wednesday 4 July 2012.
Here's a map of the Olympic Flame's route through Eden. TV's Ben Fogle will carry it from from the Visitor Centre, down the Plane Tree Steps and then into the Rainforest Biome where he'll go up in our Rainforest Balloon. Entry to the Rainforest Biome will be limited when the Torch is here, but there will be plenty of other great vantage points. Click on the link to see the map in more detail, with all the vantage points marked.
Here's the full programme of activities for the day:
- The Olympic Torch is expected to arrive at Eden at 4.22pm and depart at 4.52pm (although these times may change). TV's Ben Fogle will carry the Flame way across the Eden site and take a flight in the Rainforest Balloon.
- Freaky Nature (10am–6pm in the Stage): discover the weird and wonderful world of plants with interactive exhibits.
- Sports day (11am–4pm in the Arena): battle it out with your family in events such as hobby horse dressage, hobby horse relay, bean-bag shot put and an obstacle course relay.
- Cornish wrestling (11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm in the Orchard): come and see demonstrations of this ancient sport, known locally as 'wrasslin'.
- Sea shanties (12.30pm and 3.30pm in the Orchard ): sung by local group, the Barrel Rock Boys.
- Storytelling: Fairytales for a Mended Earth - Stories from Gondwana. Learn about ancient tree species from the super-continent of Gondwana, and Eden's new and magical garden: Wild Chile.
- Recycled paper-making workshops (11am – 4pm): join us in the paper garden.
- Marketplace of Ideas (10am–4pm in the Core): find out more about our creative community projects, from art, music and dance to college courses and volunteering opportunities across the county. There will also be info on health, sporting initiatives, legal advice, sustainable living, reducing your carbon and saving money.
- Meet our local suppliers: come to our Visitor Centre meet our local suppliers to our Shop and sample some of the Best of the West.
- Sharp's Real Ale Bar in the Bakery.
Good morning sports fans, and everyone else! Things are warming up nicely here at the Eden Project for the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay at 4.22pm this afternoon.
We've got loads of activities on throughout the day, so come down to have some fun and don't miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic Flame in our unique venue.
Presenter, writer and adventurer Ben Fogle will be carrying the Olympic Flame in our helium-filled balloon in our Rainforest Biome on Saturday 19 May.
He is one of thousands of torch-bearers who will carry the Flame on its journey around the UK, starting at Land’s End on the morning of 19 May, travelling through Cornwall that day and eventually arriving at the Olympic Stadium in London on 27 July.
The Olympic Torch is due to arrive at Eden at around 4.20pm, stop outside the Visitor Centre, where the flame will be transferred into a lantern, and transported to the Rainforest Biome, where it will soar 50m in the air, held aloft by Ben.
Ben said: “I am thrilled to be one of the Torchbearers for London 2012 in such an iconic location. To be flying the Flame in a helium balloon within the dome is a great honour and a great treat. It will certainly be an experience I won't forget.”
As well as the chance to see the Olympic Flame in our unique setting, there will be a whole day of activities for families who want to have a day out at Eden around the visit of the Flame:
- Freaky Nature, a series of interactive activities exploring the strange world of plants with a special Olympic theme focusing on nature’s gold medallists (all day).
- Cornish wrestling displays (11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm),
- performances of traditional sea shanties from the Barrel Rock Boys (12.30pm, 3.30pm)
- dance demonstrations (1pm, 2pm, 3pm)
- Eden sports day in the arena between 11am and 4pm, featuring events such as hobby horse dressage, bean bag shot put and an obstacle course relay.
- Marketplace of Ideas, a chance for visitors to find out more about community projects from Eden and other groups.
The Eden Project will be open from 9.30am on 19 May and standard admission prices will apply. See full details of the day on the Eden website.
About Ben Fogle
Ben's achievements include racing 160 miles across the Sahara desert in the notorious Marathon Des Sables. He has rowed the Atlantic Ocean in 49 days and crossed Antarctica in a foot race to the South Pole. He has also presented numerous programmes including BBC’s Animal Park, Wild In Africa, Countryfile, Crufts, One Man and His Dog and Extreme Dreams.
He writes regularly for the Sunday Telegraph and the Independent and has written five bestselling books. Ben’s latest book, The Accidental Adventurer is out now. He is an ambassador for WWF, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Tusk, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the President of the Campaign for National Parks.
Olympic Torch Relay route animation
Watch the Flame whizz through Eden in the amazing computer-generated animation.
Dads usually get the raw end of the deal. After a lifetime of hard slog, tolerance and unlimited car rides we typically say thank you each year with a new pair of socks or a comedy mug. How about looking beyond the high street for gifts for dad this Father’s Day with something a little more unusual, ethical and thoughtful.
To celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday 17 June we’re giving away a free luxury garlic hamper from our webshop; a delectable collection of all things garlic. This sustainable wicker hamper is packed with artisan chutneys, marmalades, mayonnaise and a hot smoked garlic bulb. Perfect for garlic lovers.
We’re also giving away two tickets for a memorable day out at the Eden Project, enabling two lucky people to explore our stunning gardens, visit the world’s largest rainforest in captivity and discover our world-class sculptures.
How to enter
To be in with a chance to win our popular garlic lovers hamper or a two tickets to the Eden Project, all you have to do is place any order on our webshop before Sunday 17 June and we’ll automatically enter you in to the prize draw.
Prize draw terms and conditions
• The first name drawn at random after the closing date will receive the prize as detailed above.
• 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.
• All shop orders must be received by 9am on 17 June 2012. The winner will be notified by email after the closing date.
• 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.