For those not in the know, at least in the Americanized versions of BtB, the gang starts out in Bobsville, which BtB’s dad, Robert (are you seeing a trend?) build, hence the name Bobsville. After awhile someone decides that a location nearby should be developed, a location called Sunflower Valley. It has sunflowers EVERYWHERE. And rolling hills, and rivers, and pastures. They hold a contest for who will be the designer of the new development, and Bob decides he will enter the contest after he sees that the design of the person considered most likely to win includes a giant mall and housing developments and lost of concrete and metal.
Bob’s design is GREEN. He wants to have the development work with the natural beauty and resources of Sunflower Valley. All the houses are solar powered, or in the case of Mr. Sabotini’s house, is wind powered since he lives in a windmill. There is a sunflower factory, also solar and wind powered, that processes sunflower oil. There is a seaweed farm, where they grow and dry sea weed that is used both in the valley and back in Bobsville. Mr. Sabotini runs a cafe, and is a baker and grows all his herbs on the roof of a building and makes his bread from sunflower flour. There is a Scottish woman named Meg who owns goats and makes yarn from their wool and cheese from their milk. Quite unexpectedly, there is also a pineapple farm. They eventually build a hotel, all solar powered, so new people can come and visit Sunflower Valley.
I love this place. It is the kind of place that would have grabbed my attention and inspired my imagination as a child, and I am having fun watching with Cooper as an adult. It is idealistic to be sure, but these are not bad lessons to be learning. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is Bob’s mantra, along with “Can we build it, yes we can”. Despite that fact that I am always questioning things like how do the machines experience cold, why do they wear “talkie talkies” like they have ears, and how do they keep running when they never eat or seem to need to be refueled, I still enjoy the show for its utopian ideals and earthy crunchy sensibilities. I want to find a place like Sunflower Valley for my kid to grow up in, where people are nice to each other and think about sustainability and grow herbs on their roof. Oh, and has the internet, otherwise how would I read all my favorite blogs?