Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Hydroponic Gardening at Epcot
Last week, our family traveled to Walt Disney World in Florida. One of my favorite exhibits at Epcot is Living with the Land, a slow-moving ride that explores the future of farming and gardening. One focus of the exhibit is on hydroponic gardening - growing crops in a water and nutrient solution without soil, often using limited space. I wish that I had found the time to take the Behind the Seeds gardening tour!
dcJohn, who captured the wonderful image above in 2005, wrote this note along with the photo: "One of the few (only?) places that's actually doing any research at EPCOT, which was the original dream Walt had for the park." I have to agree. Since the last time I visited, I can tell that Epcot's focus is moving away from science and more toward theme park, which seems a shame. Why not continue to meld the two?
But I digress. I am fascinated with hydroponic gardening. One of the crops exhibited was grown along a vertical coil, kind of like a large hollow spring with holes cut out of it. You can see that the winding arms provide a lot of surface area upon which the plants can grow.
Brad Jones, who took the Behind the Seeds tour in 2009, captured the wonderful photograph above. Check out his Behind the Seeds Tour photo set for great images of vertical gardening, including hanging winter melons, cucumbers, tomatoes and more. Note how little ground space is taken up by these planting systems.
Photo credits: (top) dcJohn and (bottom) Brad Jones, via flickr // CC BY 2.0.