News

Two new jobs created by Eden and People and Gardens vegetable bag collaboration

November 30, 2009
Author: admin

Veg schemeJames Kirwin (left) and Darren Schmieden (right) with Ken Radford who runs the People and Gardens scheme.

Two people who have never been employed before now have paid jobs thanks to a vegetable bag scheme run by People and Gardens with the help of the Eden Project.

For the past six months the group has been growing a wide range of vegetables at the nursery and selling them to Eden Project employees, Cornwall Council’s Adult Social Care department and the friends, family and carers of those working on the scheme.

The success of this has meant that James Kirwin and Darren Schmieden can now be given paid employment growing the vegetables and packing the bags.

Darren said: “Working here has really helped me develop my gardening skills and I’m enjoying growing vegetables for the bags.”

People and Gardens was established ten years ago by Ken Radford and aims to enable participants whose lives have been affected by mental and physical challenges ranging from autism to Down’s syndrome to play a greater role in their communities.

To date, over 150 people have been helped to make real improvements in their lives through learning horticultural skills and growing food for Eden’s restaurants. Some of the participants go on to live independently, to study and to find jobs.

Ken Radford said: “We’re really pleased to be in a position to give James and Darren jobs. They’ve worked brilliantly over the years and can be proud of what the team has achieved with the vegetable bag scheme. People and Gardens is about changing the lives of people who, through no fault of their own, are disadvantaged. The project is based on the credibility of what our guys achieve and many of them have made great strides since we first met them.”

We’re about encouraging participation, presence, choice, competence and respect and hopefully we achieve these aims, as well as providing our customers with fresh, local vegetables every two weeks.

People and Gardens works closely and in partnership with the Eden Project and the vegetable bag scheme was started to create jobs, providing real work for real pay for some of the participants.

The group was initially based at the Lost Gardens of Heligan before moving to Eden’s Watering Lane nursery, where participants work closely with Eden’s own skilled horticulturists.

There are currently 45 people taking part, all coming from within a 25-mile radius of the nursery and with an age range of 16 to 70.

Like this story?
There’s lots more information on Eden’s project’s and programmes on the Our Work section of our website.

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Santa turns on the sparkle as Eden launches its spectacular Christmas season

November 24, 2009
Author: admin

Here’s a really lovely new film about our Time of Gifts festival which Santa Claus will be launching FRIDAY 27 NOVEMBER in a spectacular evening of carols, sparkling trees and a stunning lantern procession.

The event starts at 5.40 pm with the awakening of a giant Cloud Dragon on the ice rink.  Accompanied by an ice chest, the dragon will then lead the way to the Rainforest Biome to the stirring sound the Cornish pipe band Radjel.

At 5.50pm Mount Charles Brass Band will be playing Christmas carols as Santa arrives in a decorated land-train and takes centre stage at the arena.

He will then light Eden’s beautiful white Christmas tree, made from thousands of recycled carrier bags. Dotted around the scene are trees that have been decorated by local school children and community groups.

Classes from 19 primary schools planned and hosted tea parties for their ‘elders’, supported by lead artists and Eden staff. Children and ‘elders’ shared stories of their community Christmases past and present.

Each class then created tree decorations to tell the stories they had shared. Each tree has a story, of community, of a lifetime of memories, of knowledge to be passed on and of unanswered questions.

Enhancing the festive glow is the beautifully-lit wood which fringes Eden’s spectacular rink, designed with a larger skating area this year.

At 7.30pm there will be carols from the Eden Project Choir under the twinkling lights of the Mediterranean Biome.

There will be an exciting climax at 8.30pm when the dragon returns from the rainforest and leads visitors on a lantern-lit meander to the arena, where Dalla, a traditional Cornish band, will close the evening.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of freshly prepared and locally-sourced food, including Eden-baked bread and home-made soup at £1.75, winter berry and chilli chocolate crepes.

If they really want to warm up they can take an atmospheric stroll around the Rainforest Biome, where they can stop for an ice-cold cocktail and some musical entertainment and stories at the new tropical bar, Bam Bams.

November 27 is also the last chance before Christmas for Cornwall and Devon residents to take advantage of Eden’s offer of half-price admission.  All they need is proof of residence and photo ID.

Christmas shoppers will find the Eden Store is stocked with beautiful and unusual decorations, hampers and gifts for all the family, with plenty of ideas for stocking fillers.

November 27 signals the start of the festive period with late night opening on Friday and Saturday nights except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

On late nights, the site is open until 9pm with last entry at 7.30pm. Until December 23.

Eden will be serving Christmas lunches and dinners with all the trimmings.  The turkey is from Tywardreth and all the vegetables are locally grown.  Lunch is £6.75 or two courses for £8.50.

Christmas at Eden runs through to January 2.  The winter season, A Time of Gifts, which celebrates the joy of spending time with friends and family and giving gifts which are precious, such as time and friendship, runs until February 12.

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Momentum builds for biggest show garden ever at Chelsea

November 23, 2009
Author: admin

Chelsea Flower Show garden, 2009

HCA, Eden Project, Homeless Link and CLG embark on ambitious project to deliver real change for homeless people

Excitement is already mounting for the 2010 RHS Chelsea Flower Show as plans for the largest show garden ever start to take shape.

The 2010 garden, which we’re calling The Places of Change Garden, is an ambitious collaboration between the Homes and Communities Agency, the Eden ProjectHomeless Link, and Communities and Local Government.

Designed by Eden Project’s award-winning garden designer, Paul Stone, the 2010 Places of Change Garden is 2.5 times the size of our 2009 silver medal winning Key Garden.

In developing a show garden of this size and scale, roles for approximately 300 services users have already been identified, with many more to follow.

They will offer planting, gardening, design, construction, and carpentry during the site development, and on-site hospitality and multi-media facilities during the week of the show.

In doing so, they will develop new skills that will enable them to move onto further training and qualifications, and turn their lives around long-term.

The 2010 garden builds on the success of the 2009 silver medal winning Key Garden which saw collaboration between 20 homeless agencies and 200 homeless service users.

The participants consistently reported a huge confidence boost, new skills, and renewed hope for their future.

Christopher Hendrickx, a resident at The Limes supported housing run by Chapter 1 in Manchester, and a participant in the Key Garden, said, “Getting involved with the Chelsea Garden gave me much more than just an interest in horticulture. It made me more confident and helped me improve my people skills. It made us all realise that we can make a difference through gardening. We’re now working on the garden at an old people’s centre in Manchester. We’ve already cleared the ground and are going to plant vegetables and flowers. I’m feeling much more enthusiastic about the future and am hoping to start an apprenticeship and move into accommodation of my own soon”.

The Places of Change Garden will offer more opportunities for the visitor to explore and discover the stories and individual “places of change” of the people taking part. It will feature a number of designated zones such as crops and food; florestry and leisure; medicine and health; industry and manufacture; and conservation and the environment; all of which act as a metaphor for new skills and the journey embarked on by the individual to get there. The overall impression will be one of craft and enterprise and the importance of teamwork.

Adjacent to the garden there will be trade stands showcasing some of the excellent work undertaken by homeless individuals and teams, which will serve to reinforce the information about the Places of Change programme, as well as that of the participating agencies.

Agencies interested in taking part should contact Homeless Link.

Like this story?
There’s lots more information on Eden’s project’s and programmes on the Our Work section of our website.

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From plate to plant: Eden Project converts 100 tonnes of food waste into compost

November 17, 2009
Author: Hannah

Fresh from the composter

Applying the compost
Did you know that the Eden Project has diverted a massive 100 tonnes of food waste from landfill since we started turning kitchen scraps and leftovers from our cafés into compost for our world-famous gardens.

A huge on-site composter, installed in 2005, now converts around 90 per cent of the food waste created here into a nitrogen-rich soil enhancement that our gardeners use to feed their impressive collection of plants.

During the 80-day composting process the contents reach more than 60 degrees C.

What comes out is a potent material that’s either mixed with soil or used as a mulch.

Using compost made from waste to grow new plants is a great illustration of the Eden philosophy and, from a horticulture perspective, we’re really pleased with the results we’ve seen,” said Eden Project horticulturist Darren Topps.

Nicolette Knight, Waste Operations Manager at Eden, said: “The whole composting process is a great educational tool for visitors, because they see the journey of their food from the plate through to the plant. It starts as they sort waste from their trays into different containers, and ends as they pass the composting plant which has been deliberately sited near one of the public car parks. It’s Eden’s version of alchemy.”

Before Eden opened in 2001, our gardening team created 83,000 tonnes of soil, by mixing waste from the former china clay pit with green compost, to turn the site into a landscape capable of sustaining plants from all over the world.

We have adopted a Waste Neutral philosophy, aiming to buy in the same weight of recycled materials as we send for recycling or disposal.

The idea is to help boost the market for recycled goods by adding one vital element on to the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ motto……. reinvest.

Like this story?
There’s lots more information on Eden’s project’s and programmes on the Our Work section of our website.

Support us by spreading our messages and get daily updates on our latest stories by following us on our Eden Facebook page.

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A night in the Mediterranean Biome snapped up for Children in Need

November 16, 2009
Author: admin

Night in the MedThe chance to spend an unforgettable night in a Biome at the Eden Project has raised the handsome sum of £7,000 for Children in Need.

The once-in-a-lifetime prize was auctioned this morning on the Terry Wogan Show on Radio 2 when a vigorous bidding battle ended with an anonymous bidder from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, clinching the prize.

The winner and his guest will be given a private tour of Eden and then shown to a candlelit table where they will be joined by popular television presenter and adventurer Bruce Parry, known most famously for the documentary programme Tribe.

A personal waiter will be on hand all evening to serve a locally-sourced, sumptuous five-course dinner and award-winning Cornish wines.

After dinner, the winners will retire to a very special bedroom nestling amidst the flora and fragrances of the Mediterranean.

Eden Marketing Director Susan Hill, said: “We knew it was a great prize and the result is fabulous. We are so pleased to have helped raise this terrific sum for Children in Need.”

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Community, Fun

Our ice rink is back and it’s bigger and better than ever

November 16, 2009
Author: admin

It’s open!

Just watch the film to see how great it is and then find out everything you need to know before booking your ice skating at Eden on the website.

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Fun, Tourist attraction

Cornwall voted ‘best UK holiday spot’

November 16, 2009
Author: admin

Biomes
Cornwall has been voted the best UK holiday destination, following a public vote. Around 5 million visitors holiday in the county each year, 40% of whom say they’d like to visit us at the Eden Project while they’re here!

Read about the travel industry award in full on the BBC website.

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Friday fun – It’s Plant Records

November 13, 2009
Author: Chris

(For a bit of fun, every Friday our Plant Records Manager, Chris Bisson, the guy who maintains all the recorded information on our plant collections, will do a regular blog slot where he recommends his favourite “plant records” – that is, songs that are in some way linked to a plant. (Do you see what we did there?) )

I heard it through the Grapevine
- by Creedence Clearwater Revival, originally Marvin Gaye

The Grape, Vitis vinifera, belongs to the Vitaceae Family which includes the Virginia Creeper and Cissus.

Globally over 6.5 million hectares are devoted to cultivating this brilliant plant. We have an entire area devoted to grapevines in the Mediterranean Biome. 

Although originally a more soulful number, Creedence give it a bit more oomph… which helps to get you going on these colder days!

Chris Bisson – Plant Records Manager  – Eden Project

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Do you know a Bright Young Thing?

November 11, 2009
Author: admin

Bright Young Things

We know there is an incredible wealth of young talent across the South West and we want to hear from any young people out there who are interested in using their creative talents to build a brighter and more positive future.

So if you’re aged between 13 and21, live in the South West and want your voice to be heard and your work to be seen get your entry in now for Bright Young Things 2010!

There are eight categories to choose from:

The winners from each category will perform or display their work at Eden in January 2010 and join the long list of artists who have shown or performed here. So what are you waiting for! The closing date for entries is 6 December so time is running out!!!!! Hurry. 

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Art, Community, Cornwall, Education, Events, Music
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Cape Farewell: pioneers of the cultural response to climate change

November 10, 2009
Author: admin

The Eden Project and Cape Farewell invite you to the première of Beth Derbyshire’s live performance and film work, Anthem, with music by Ulrike Haage.

Presented in the Mediterranean Biome at the Eden Project, Anthem is a trilogy of films, accompanied by music with a powerful choral component.

Performances, 6.30pm and 8.30pm
Featuring early music vocal ensemble, Stile Antico

In conversation, 7.30 to 8.15pm
Beth Derbyshire in conversation with Ulrike Haage and Dr. James Ryaan, Assoicate Professor of Historical and Cultural Geography, Exeter University.

The fabulous exhibition continues until December 9 2009 you can find out more about the Cape Farewell residency here.

Here’s a short taster of Anthem…

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