UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County

Living with the Land

My favorite ride in Walt Disney World in Florida isn't one of the roller coasters, 3D rides or even one of the major headliners. It is Epcot's “Living with the Land”.  It is one of the most inspiring and meticulously curated gardens in the world. The ride vehicle is a spacious slow moving boat that comfortably fits 10 people. The ride starts with a meander through life sized dioramas depicting many different climate zones from around the world and ends with a float between many different giant fish tanks used to demonstrate aquaculture, the farming of fish for consumption. But the best portion of the ride, in my opinion, is the middle portion where the food scientists experiment and display many new and innovative ways to grow and curate plants.       

The garden is fully enclosed within a beautiful geodesic dome to allow plenty of light in while allowing for complete climate control inside. Sustainability, wise water use and space saving measures are the main focuses within the dome. A few of my favorite demonstrations are the vertical growing of normally low growing plants such as squash and melons, it's pretty amazing to see cantaloupes and watermelons growing up in the air held up in little mesh cradles! And the gravity fed, perpetual drip systems that seem to work like magic. Another fun aspect of the ride is to watch the kids and adults on the boats with you marvel at the fruits and vegetables all around them, many do not fully understand where and how the food they eat is curated or even what it looks like in the “wild”.  Much of the food that is grown here can be eaten at a few of Epcot's finer restaurants, that was sure a bonus to me because i saw and experienced the love put into growing and harvesting these plants.


I hope that with all of the technology put into fancy rides and shows Epcot never loses the not so hidden gem that is “Living with the Land”. It is a not to miss attraction for any gardener and in my mind, any person, for it might just inspire anyone to become a steward of the land and maybe try out one of the exciting ways to grow food and flowers!

P.S. The plants and stands are decorated for every holiday so at certain times of the year there are a few hidden surprises.

photos by Jennifer DeDora
photos by Jennifer DeDora

hydroponics
hydroponics

wave bed hydroponics
wave bed hydroponics

melons above
melons above

melons setup
melons setup

download (3)
download (3)

download (4)
download (4)

banana plant
banana plant

banana bunch
banana bunch

gourd
gourd

loofa
loofa

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at 1:30 PM

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