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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Behind the Seeds Tour

I am the woman all plants fear.

My thumb is a terrible shade of brown.  Seriously, I think if I bumped it on something dust would fly, begging for water.  Ferns survived the ice age, but they can’t survive one season on my front porch.

It’s a crying shame because I absolutely adore gardens!  Especially the ones that sprawl on the landscape, wild and wonderfully beautiful, looking like they have been there forever.  I could just weep over the splendor of an English Garden or a tropical panorama with its hues of orange and red.  Then there is the glory of the farmer’s kitchen.  All those fresh vegetables, bursting with the flavor God intended, just waiting to leap into my salad bowl!   Yes…it’s quite shameful.

Still, I am a glutton for punishment as much as I am for a fresh salad, because, try as I may, I just can’t stay out of a garden.  Which is precisely why I found myself on the Behind the Seeds Tour inside Epcot’s Land Pavilion.

growing pumpkins in mid-air

Oh Epcot, with your un-paralleled gardens, it’s no wonder this is the home for the annual Flower and Garden Festival every spring!  You don’t have to wait for spring to get your botanical fix though, all year long you can get an inside look at some of the things growing in Epcot.  Have you ever been on the ride Living With the Land inside the Land Pavilion?  It is located downstairs on the opposite side of Soarin’.  This boat ride takes you through several landscapes to show the diversity of what grows on our fertile Earth.  Then it floats through actual gardens, showing you different gardening methods.  This is not your standard “put a seed in the dirt” stuff! I am always so intrigued by this, and if you are too, the tour is a must-do!


You will be led “Behind the Seeds” by a knowledgeable guide.  In my case it was a BYU student named Topher who obviously had a love of growing things (and a thumb considerably more green than mine).  He grows some lovely cucumbers, and if you’re lucky, you may get to sample some!

First stop, you get to learn about bugs.  Don’t worry if bugs give you the heeby-jeebies, they are adequately contained.  You will be given the option of handling some Lady Bugs later on as you learn about how they are a gardener’s friends!  For now, an education is all that will creep up on you.

Learn the benefits of insects!

you can choose to let the lady bugs loose!

THIS!  This I had never seen before!

From there, you will visit all the different growing environments.  In a way it is like a learning hospital, but for plants.  New methods are tested; different combinations of nutrients are used; and even the air changes from place to place to accurately reflect that plants natural habitat.  You will see what your food looks like before it ends up in a supermarket!  You will probably even see some things you’ve never seen before!

a small version of aquaculture.  Larger versions on tour too!
What's this???

anyone guess fluted pumpkin?

some of the magical ingredients

One thing you may not immediately think of when you imagine agriculture is fish!  However, people are learning that there are benefits of growing fish and plants together.  This science is called aquaculture.  The tour explains some of this concept. Plus, you get to feed the fish!  Prepare to get splashed!

hungry fish!

Who's that?

Gators!  Don't worry- they can't get out!

Hello Mickey!

It was quite an informative experience and one I would recommend for any garden lover or spectator!  Oh, I would also suggest making a reservation for the The Garden Grill Restaurant following your tour.  Many of the dishes served there began as seeds inside Living with the Land!  I assure you, you will be hungry afterward!

Wheelchair accessible
Annual Passholder discounts available
Approximately 2.5 hours walking tour
Reservations can be made outside Soarin’ or by calling  (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687

Happy gardening!

XO, Ami

Start your own amazing garden!
Picnic Time Gardening Kit


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