Living life on our family’s 500 acre fruit and vegetable farm is rewarding and challenging at the same time. We work long hours, both in the wholesale and retail end of our farming business. Farming is hard work. We don’t get summers off like most normal families, in fact, we only have usually a short 3 month window in the winter months to try to fit in a family vacation.
But the rewards definitely outweigh the challenges. We grow lots of delicious fruits and vegetables on our farm in addition to beautiful flowers and plants in our greenhouses. I’m proud to say that we help feed America. Farming is something that my husband’s family has been passionate about since 1940 (yes, we are celebrating our 75th anniversary in farming this year!) and working one on one with the land for that long speaks of the dedication and happiness it brings to all of us as a farming family.
Another benefit of only being able to take a family vacation in the late winter or early spring is that we usually visit the Walt Disney World resort during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This is by far my FAVORITE event at Walt Disney World.
As I have grown older, I have such a better appreciation for Epcot. It ranks a close second as my favorite Disney park.I love everything about it and this festival is really something special to visit. Maybe it’s the farm girl in me connecting with Disney’s celebration of gardening and flowers. My blog is called How Does Your Garden Grow?, after all. Or,maybe is our family’s connection with the earth that makes the celebration of the land so appealing. Or, it could be all the delicious foods that satisfy the foodie in me. I guess it’s save to say, I love the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival for a number of reasons.
I just returned from the invitation-only Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and was lucky enough to catch the tail end of this years event. I made sure I had enough time to take in all the festival had to offer. From the majestic Disney character topiaries, to the delicious ethnic foods from the popular Outdoor Kitchens, to the gardening displays – the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival has it all. I also love the educational component of the event. There are activities and hands-on learning sessions for adults and kids.
If you love to visit the Walt Disney World Resort and have not visited during the festival, or have never visited but are thinking about it, I highly recommend it! This year’s event ended on May 17th. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival generally runs from the beginning of March to mid-May each year. You can find more information about it on the Walt Disney World website by clicking here.
Reflections From The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival:
◊ 30 million blooms blanketed the park throughout the festival, which ran 75 colorful days.
◊ More than 500,000 plants, trees and shrubs were planted for the festival; 250,000 of those are annual blossoms installed for the festival.
◊ This year’s event had 150 hands-on gardening demonstrations and seminars.
◊ 700 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables in clay pots, barrels and urns enhanced the landscape throughout Epcot.
◊ It takes more than one full year and about 24,000 cast member hours to prepare for the annual festival.
◊ 400 Walt Disney World horticulturists were needed to install the festival landscape, topiaries and many exhibits. 100 Epcot horticulturists maintained the topiaries and other festival displays.
◊The Outdoor Kitchens were added several years ago. It’s another great way to sample authentic foods from other countries.
And speaking of container gardens (you all know how I love my container gardens), I will be showing you very soon how to recreate a flower pot just like the ones I snapped photos of from this event. Stay tuned!
If you are a lover of all things Disney like me, you may want to check out my Disney Love! Pinterest Board. I pin all my favorite Disney travel, craft, recipe and inspirations pins to that board.
Have a magical day!
Disclosure: I was invited by Disney to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. I did pay a modest conference free to attend and received some pretty cool swag too. I was not asked to write this post by Disney. As always, opinions 100% are my own.