Friday, June 26, 2009

"The Land" at Epcot....check out Living With The Land

Epcot is probably our favorite of the 4 theme parks at WDW. As I've mentioned previously, it is divided into 2 sections. One is Future World and the other is the World Showcase. Each is unique unto itself and very interesting. A friend from California once told me after a trip to Walt Disney World's Epcot, "our family didn't like it at all, it was too much like a field trip". Even though Bruce and I are way past school age, we still enjoy learning things. Soooo...we enjoy the Future World of Epcot so much because there are a lot of interactive things to do plus things to watch that help you learn those new things. One of the greatest places to learn about our world is in the pavilion called "The Land".

The Land has been a fixture at Epcot since we first came in the early 80's and it may have been here when the park opened in 1971. It has see a few changes over the years and we have found a couple of favorite attractions missing from time to time and replaced with something new. We really miss a cute show called "Food Rocks". It was here in 2003 but is now gone. The ride Soarin' has taken it's place and it is a great replacement, even if I hate to admit it.

There is a nice ride called "Living With The Land" that we always go on just because it is very interesting. It is a boat voyage through an amazing greenhouse and fish farm. There is a preview section you sail through with scenes from American farming life through the years which explains how we've been learning to treat our farmlands better. It explains how we've begun to experiment and develop new ways of growing foods all over the world. "Sustainable gardening and farming" is what they call it and it is really amazing.

This is the boat the guests sit in as they ride through the greenhouse and fish farm. The tour guide explains the different methods of food production as you ride along.
These are cacao trees that are growing in sand here in the greenhouse area.
These are Eggplants growing from a trellis-like contraption. Part of the lesson here is showing you how using different growing methods can save space and also provide an environment free of harmful insects and pests. No chemical pest control methods are used in this greenhouse.

This is a Fluted Pumpkin and it is grown from above rather than lying on the ground...once again this helps control the pest problem.

The regular pumpkins, called "Cinderella Pumpkins" here, are also grown from a hanging garden situation.

This is a cucumber tree. Who knew you could grow vegetables like this?

Scientists at Epcot also experiment with Hydroponic gardening (I think I spelled that correctly). With this method, soil is not used. The plants hang from cylinder type things with water and natural fertilizer circulating within the cylinder to provide nourishment for the plants.

These are Brussels Sprout plants hanging in this part of the greenhouse. Some of the different crops planted are fixed on a rotating mechanism that moves them about during the day to provide the necessary light and sun exposure.

Anyway, call it a Field Trip or call it a fun learning experience, it is still one of the most unusual parts of the Future World area of Epcot. There is also a film in another area of The Land called The Circle of Life. This animated film is based upon some of the characters from the Disney movie The Lion King and it enlightens the guest on the dangers of too much land development and how humans have been causing much destruction to our environment. It is a more light hearted message but one that even children can understand and learn from.
I hope you readers have enjoyed "Living With The Land".

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