Farm Industry News Blog

With a side of raspberry air and lemon snow

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Jeff Ryan reflects back on his culinary adventures at Disney World's Flower and Garden Festival.

Variety is the spice of life. I've come to enjoy a really, really big spice cabinet. A reminder of that showed up in my inbox recently with a newsletter announcing some of the menu items for the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Disney World. We stumbled upon that event three years ago when Sherill and I went to Disney World with my sister and her daughter. It wasn't even on our radar, but the banners and everything else inside the front gate at Epcot announced it quite clearly. The whole event turned into one of our best finds ever. We went from country to country around World Showcase at Epcot and sampled small portions of a wide variety of food from each nation. It was a great way to get a small sample of a wide variety without waiting in line forever.

A mental note was made to return at some point. That not only happened -- it kind of became an addiction. In fact, when we were at Disney World with our parents in February, we noticed some signs for the upcoming Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot in April and May. The new addition to this year's festival was food booths similar to those at Food & Wine Festival. It looked like a genius move to me. Not that the flowers and everything weren't totally doing it for me…

I was at the weekly hay auction in Fort Atkinson one Wednesday in early April. It was a day or two after the column about our parental Florida adventure was posted. One of my friends and frequent consignors, Paul, looked at me when I walked up and asked, "What are you doing here? I figured you'd be at Disney World!" 

Uh, well, I sheepishly admitted, we leave on Saturday, as a matter of fact. 

Paul turned to Billy, who trucks a lot of my hay and has been in a story or two over the years, and they both started to laugh. Then they began piling on about what they felt was an excessive amount of vacation time on my part. I mentioned the fact that the columns have to come from somewhere. That's when Paul realized that the vacations end up generating revenue for me. "He's getting paid to go to Disney World, Billy!" 

Well, there is that.    

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The Farm Industry News Blog features commentary from Willie Vogt, Daryl Bridenbaugh and Jeff Ryan.

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