Friday, October 9, 2009 - 11:08

People living near the Eden Project are being given the chance to learn how to grow their own food and make new friends as part of a three-year Big Lottery-funded programme.

Seeds, Soup and Sarnies is open to people living in St Blazey and Treverbyn parishes and parts of St Austell and will provide families with the chance to share gardening skills and their favourite recipes.

To highlight the new project, Eden will be hosting a free “taster day” on Sunday October 18 for anyone whose residential postcode begins with PL24 2, PL25 4 or PL26 8.

Eden is promising a day bursting with the scents and flavours of the season, beginning at 11 am when a family storyteller will spin tales with a harvest theme.

A free lunch for participating families comes with a choice of harvest soup, cider sausages, steak and Eden Ale pie and a sumptuous selection of cakes and treats.

They will then be able to choose a variety of activities including apple pressing, bulb planting, cooking demonstrations and pickling and preserving.

Seeds, Soup and Sarnies is a partnership project with Cornwall Family Learning, Volunteer Cornwall and Cornwall Neighbourhoods 4 Change.

A course has already begun at St Austell Children’s Centre but there are still places left. People who want to join should contact Cornwall Family Learning on 01726 891993.

New courses are starting in the parish of Treverbyn (including Stenalees and Penwithick) and St Blazey.

The taster day is an ideal way to find out about the courses. Those who wish to attend on October 18 need to bring proof of address - such as a utility bill - to be entitled to free entry and complimentary lunch.

Camilla Baker, project manager for Seeds, Soup and Sarnies, said: “This day will be a chance for the people living on our doorstep to visit Eden, meet and have fun with other local families who are also growing their own food. They can also be inspired by the amazing vegetable plots tended by the Eden gardeners.

“Some people are just starting with cress seeds on a window sill, others are clearing whole allotment spaces. I know the day will have something for everyone, so people should bring along the experts in their family as well as the complete beginners.

“This project is a chance for us to tap into granddad’s secrets for growing the perfect cucumber, as well as share the youngest toddler’s favourite recipes.

“Our launch at the Big Harvest Lunch will be a chance to share a traditional celebration of harvest and plenty, as well as look to the year ahead and be inspired to grow something themselves at home.”

She added: “The course is already going well in St Austell. One of the dads really wants to grow purple carrots. He was inspired by a visit in the summer when he saw the unusual crops in our global gardens display.

“As the courses progress we will host more visits to Eden and other gardens, and meet other gardening groups. By the end of the three growing seasons we want people to keep on growing under their own steam.”

The programme, which in Cornwall is running in the St Austell and China Clay area, is linked to the Abingdon and Ormesby areas of Middlesbrough.

Our Middlesbrough partners are ContinYou, a charity that aims to open up opportunities for learning that will help people to change their lives.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Family Learning Programme, the Seeds, Soup and Sarnies aims to help parents understand more about how their children learn and encourages adults and children to develop new skills as a family.