With in-laws in town, we spent the a warm day at Epcot. I took the "Behind the Seeds" tour, a tour of the "Living with the Land Boat Ride."
It's Disney's little "how green are we" show ride; I'm not sure I bought the line that Disney is in any way a green enterprise, or that its research will help feed the world. (On $5 a day, African villagers are supposed to buy hydroponic equipment? My support goes to ECHO, which tries to encourage global sustainability and feed the masses through ultra-low-tech methods.)
Let's face it, most of Florida is an environmental wasteland, and at the center of it sits the tens of thousands of acres around the theme parks south of Orlando. (OK, OK, the center is Big Sugar and the sweet corn industry... The parks are just the inner ring.) What's more, I sat through a thirty minute show on global energy sources (hosted by Ellen Degeneres!) that was revolting for its carefully calibrated discussion of global warming and alternative sources of energy. It was like a kindergarten teacher's graduation day address, only instead of five-year-olds, it was gas and oil conglomerates who each had "something special to contribute." Oh, and global warming is a "hot topic"... hah. But at least it didn't hedge on whether dinosaurs are God's way of testing my faith...
I try hard to ignore the waste and gluttonous consumption that Disney represents, because the kids really enjoy it. It's hard for me not to sound like an old man (I'm not!) or a grouch when I talk about Disney and the parks.
Anyway, about the "Behind the Seeds" tour. More for the hoi polloi than the dedicated gardener. Fair enough. The discussion of Integrated Pest Management was mostly about how cute ladybugs are. And I'm not convinced that hydroponic growing is an improvement over old-fashioned dirt and compost. It certainly is cooler. But the demonstration garden had some really impressive vertical gardening involved, and the tropical gardens were very interesting.
Here's a short slide show of what caught my eye. Better yet, watch it on my Picasa account.