A selection of freshly prepared dishes.

Botanical artistry and wild cooking at Eden.

  • Categories
  • Archives
    • News & Events
  • Categories
  • Archives
  • 5 Aug

    Art and food on the menu at Eden

    We’re part of Game Changer – a programme from the Real Ideas Organisation – that helps young people aged 15 – 24 to increase their confidence and skills, and enable them to move into fulfilling careers.

    As specialists in the food and hospitality industries, our role in the programme is to create exciting opportunities to explore the sector and experience a variety of roles first-hand. With a range of activities covering everything from tours of the Fifteen Cornwall kitchen and St Austell Brewery to food photography workshops and immersive work placements, we’re helping pave the way to employment.

    Our most recent Game Changer event took place on Thursday, 25 July at the Eden Project training garden for a day of harvesting, wild cookery and botanical drawing.

    Shortly after arriving at the training garden, we were welcomed by Eden’s Game Changer Project Manager, David Aynsley. David discussed the role the Eden Project plays in the Game Changer programme and gave the group a rundown of the recent projects that Game Changer participants had been working on. This included building a poly-tunnel for indoor growing, constructing a large sheltered wooden structure and planting and harvesting various plants, vegetables and herbs.

    Plants sprouting inside of a greenhouse.
    The Eden Training Garden near St Austell.

    After a short break for refreshments, the participants split into two groups and the activities began.

    The first activity was a botanical drawing masterclass led by award-winning botanical artist, Laura Silburn. Laura is a fellow of the Eden Project Florilegium Society and teaches botanical painting and drawing courses across Cornwall.

    Laura asked each participant to pick a small object from the garden such as a leaf or a flower, study it for two minutes and then redraw the subject from memory. After repeating this process a further two times, Laura shared her top tips for budding young artists.

    Botanical drawings in an artists notebook.

    Laura’s Top Tips

    • Just because you aren’t born with a natural ability for drawing, doesn’t mean that you can’t be good at it. Practice, practice, practice and your skills will quickly develop!
    • Purchase a variety of pencils and really get to know your equipment.
    • Carry your sketchbook with you wherever you go, inspiration can strike at any moment.
    • Look closely at your subject and don’t be afraid to use a ruler for measurements.
    • Joining a local art class will allow you to develop your skills and connect with like-minded artists.

    The second activity was led by our Community Food Worker, Billy Trenerry, and involved harvesting fresh produce from the garden and turning it into a lunchtime feast for the group to enjoy.

    After harvesting various vegetables including onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and beetroot, the group had the opportunity to put their cooking skills to the test.  Following Billy’s lead, the Game Changers created a variety of dishes including courgettes with chilli, lemon and thyme, potatoes with green beans and curry leaves, and a beetroot salad with mint and cucumber. Fresh flour tortillas were grilled over an open fire and the group sat down together to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

    Potato salad with freshly picked vegetables.
    Freshly prepared beetroot salad with green herbs.
    A selection of freshly prepared dishes.

    This experience was a great opportunity for the Game Changers to work as a team in a friendly and safe environment and we cannot thank David enough for inviting us to use the training garden. A special thank you also goes to Laura for giving her time to share her knowledge of botanical artistry.

    Game Changer participants at the Eden Project.
    IF YOU ARE AGED 15 OR OLDER AND ARE CURRENTLY OUT OF WORK OR EDUCATION, WE OFFER A NUMBER OF UNIQUE TASTER DAYS AND WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS TO TRANSFORM YOUR JOB PROSPECTS AND GET YOU READY FOR EMPLOYMENT.