Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Time at Florida's Disney World-Living with the Land

What a beautiful time of year and especially nice weather in Florida. We took advantage of it when we visited Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL last week. I had gardeners in mind when we took the boat tour through the Living with the Land attraction in Epcot, one of the worlds at Disney. Disney also includes the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.

Living with the Land is an amazing inside look at experimental farming in deserts and aquaculture. Talk about intensive gardening, small space gardening, and thinking out of the box. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin plants not grown in the ground, but supported in the air. Plants in PVC piping swirled into growing stations that can stack many levels. We saw vanilla and stevia plants and many unusual varieties. The greenhouses grow crops native to many cultures and the produce is used in the Epcot restaurants.

The World Showcase at Epcot has many nations offering delicious native dishes. You can take advantage of those places, but if you are on a budget, go to the cafeteria-style restaurant in the same building as Living with the Land for a delicious meal. Especially a great place to treat the kids and adults to a sit-down, air-conditioned time for eating and relaxing.

I took a lot of photos inside the growing chambers, but it is a bit difficult to do so while riding along in a boat. I hope you enjoy looking at the photos and that some day, you too will get the opportunity to take the tour.

Inside the greenhouse



Enormous lemons bigger than grapefruit

Sweet potatoes
Varieties of lettuce


Unusual growing method, eh?


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Irrigating Your Garden

Greetings from Florida. We found our garden in good shape when we arrived this fall. My DH couldn't wait to get the plants he started in Michigan into the ground. They were packed in the back of the truck at least four water either. They seem to be okay, no worse for the travel. Of course the sun and warm weather perks up everyone...even plants!

The first thing after planting the lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, he rigged up his irrigation system through out the garden.You can see from the pictures he uses pvc pipe and spaghetti style tubes. Each plant has a tube to water it. With one flick of the faucet, the garden gets watered. No more hanging onto a hose. It's fast and easy.

As you can see, this is a raised garden. I like the look of it with the deep green metal sides. We have two 6' x 10' planters with ten inch sides and a walkway between them.

Garden Tip: Our neighbor across the street decided to irrigate his garden like this too. He found window spline from the aluminum retail store makes a great tube to use.

To read more about this garden, click on the raised garden label in the list at the right.