Our Eden Apple Academy is now in full swing, but what is it all about?

Less of an apple dropping on a head moment and more a necessity and desire to stop food waste was how the planning began. David Aynsley (Game Changer Project Officer for Eden) had shown myself and Leanne around the orchard, by Vounder Farm, and I was surprised to hear that apart from a bit of in-house scrumping the rest of the apples went to waste!

Instead of these beautiful Cornish apples going to rot, they’re now going to be harvested, transported to Cornish Orchards and be added to the blend of juice that’s used to make Eden’s very own honey cider! So, working with Dave we created a model in which the apples could be put to great use and young people on the Game Changer Programme could get involved, learn and develop along the way.

Currently, we’re at week three now and the group have already had a led walk around the orchard, by Julie Kendall (head of horticulture), completed level 2 food safety training, explored the Eden biomes, had a tour of the Eden kitchens, completed customer service training and researched apple facts.

We’ve also set the group a challenge to do a bit of copywriting. Looking at Eden’s core values and general tone of voice the group are going to put together a small paragraph that explains the story behind the apple academy. Whether this makes it onto the finished product or can be used as point-of-sale material, it’s a great way for the individuals to reflect on their experience.

In the following weeks, the group are working with Nathan Mansbridge (Eden lead storyteller) to learn the practical side of juicing apples. Nathan will be supporting the group to run an engagement stall, talking to Eden visitors about the project and the process of making apple juice. They’ll be donning their aprons and getting to grips with a traditional apple press, oh and engaging with visitors and giving out tasters!

On Tuesday 5th October it’s harvest day. We’ll be picking the apples, baking some apples and cooking some apple hot dog’s over open fire. We’ll also have some fun activities like the longest apple peel game and the young people will have the chance to find out more about opportunities within Eden, as well as the food and horticulture sector. Just drop myself and Leanne an email if you have anyone that would like to get stuck in!

On Tuesday 12th October, we’ve got an open session for a trip to the wonderful Cornish Orchards. We’ll get to see what’s happened to the apples, how they’ve been processed, what job roles it took to get the apples from collection to bottle and find out what opportunities there are within the business. Once again just let us know if you have any young people that might be keen to join us.

To wrap up the academy, the group will have the chance to meet Dawn George (Eden HR Director). Dawn will be having a chat with the group about the application process for Eden, how to stand out as a great applicant and of course explore current vacancies within The Eden Project.

It’s been absolutely brilliant working with Dave on this project, he’s put the puzzle together, involved some great colleagues and put a stop to the waste. The team at Eden are really positive about the academy, so hopefully, it’ll become an annual event 😊

I’ll leave you with a great apple fact that one of the group found out…