June 4, 2012

Reasons to Try Behind the Seed Private Tour at Epcot at Disney World

Inside Living with the Land

Epcot is our most favorite park in Disney World as a family and in it is The Land which is one of our favorite Pavilions and preferred chomping ground! Through years of visit, our preferences constantly changes according to the age of our daughter. She's eight now which we believed was old enough to appreciate the Behind the Seeds private tour. I was a little skeptical doing it but it was a great respite from riding Soarin', which I will save for another day of story-telling, thank you...Right now, let me captivate you with my little adventure inside the greenhouses at Living with the Land...

The journey starts inside a room that showcases their pest control measures that which is implemented in the greenhouses. It's also neat to learn the existence of really small fly and wasps and how they co-exist in a rather cannibalistic way and why in spite of their minute sizes, they are considered HUGE pests in the agricultural world and how ladybugs play a very crucial role in pest control within the greenhouses.

Proceeding inside, we were handed a small vial filled with ladybugs to release in whatever section of the greenhouse we prefer to. This was of course became an exciting endeavor for the little wee one we have in tow. Oh, you also get to eat freshly-harvested cucumbers right out of the garden during the tour! How's that for a great tour experience?

See an inside look:

Some key points we learned at this tour:
  • Not all produce are served in the restaurants - The bananas and mangoes for example, according to our guide are exempted and they're pretty much there for "show" or "display". And that the staff felt spoiled since they are there for their own consumption. I guess the "myth" that all produce there are served in the restaurants are clearly "busted"!
  • Non-traditional gardening options - It's not all about the soil but how you can replace soil with other resources that's easily accessible like air or water. We like the aquarium concept. Growing edible plant + having a pet fish and an aquarium in one was a knockout idea!
  • Plants are not genetically-modified - (As far as I understood) Seeing all the huge pumpkins and abundance of fruits, one's natural inclination is to assume that genetic manipulation would have been in place. But looking at the chart of solutions used, most of them from natural derivatives, and how our guide explained it, it was clear that with proper care and proper food sustenance for these plants, one can easily achieve the same result. Just like the traditional farmers that grow huge vegetables, it can be done. The only manipulation I saw during the visit is the alteration of shapes of certain vegetable like the pumpkin! 
Even the "mass producing" of plants that is cultured inside a solution, which some believed to be GM is basically a simple display of botanical science where a piece of a plant is dipped in a natural-derived solution that enhances the development of growth and roots while preserving that plant's natural DNA and genetic properties. And these are the simple science behind the seeds!
  • Fun and Educational for your little wee ones - There's enough interesting things inside the greenhouses that are sure to capture the attention and imagination of young children. My daughter's favorites was seeing the fish tanks up close and got to feed them, released the ladybugs and ate freshly-harvested cucumbers!

As for me, I loved it that they have a native plant in my country which was a favorite of mine growing up and very unique all on its own. We call it "Makahiya", roughly translated "the shy plant". Its leaves snaps close when touched and then opens back up after a few minutes. Seeing it and being able to play with it again, let's just say, brought me back to my childhood days! This plant is featured in the video above.

I highly recommend this tour for a relaxing and educational alternative for the entire family when you're either out of ideas or just want to do something different while at Disney World. And wear a really cute necklace, you might just get a "I like your necklace a lot" discount! 

P.S. During this tour, the boat ride for Living with the Land encountered technical glitch and the boats piled up on the waterway. If you're quick, you'll see the short clip I took of it.


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