2 Reasons Why You Should Consider Studying Horticulture

The modern-day view of horticulture is that it is a cosmetic science, one that is more concerned about how beautiful a plant could grow and how one can trim it and alter its genes to make sure that its descendants would retain the beauty of its ancestors.

This view is one of the reasons why there are so few people who are inclined to walk the path of a horticulturalist when the time comes for them to choose what to study in college. It is true that horticulture includes the culture of plants for ornaments and beauty, but this is but one aspect of horticulture.

Another aspect is the study of how to grow plants into becoming more resistant from diseases that would destroy them, or how to grow plants faster and more efficiently, causing them to have more yield than normal.

Finding Sustainable Food Supply

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Currently, there are more than seven billion people who walk the surface of the planet, and every single one of those seven billion human beings share one fundamental need. We all need to eat.

Plants, in particular farm crops, have been one of the oldest sources of food for human beings and for animals that would also become food for human beings, and in the face of the ever-expanding human population, the problem would always be finding enough food for seven billion hungry stomachs.

It has been said that the origin of every revolution lies in unfair collection of taxes, but this is only so because the taxes collected by the government could have been used by the people that would have used the money to buy food for themselves.

In such scenarios, there would usually be food available; there just were not enough funds to secure them, but what if the reverse was to become true? What if there are enough funds to purchase food, but not enough food despite that?

Such a scenario would cause chaos as every single soul would do everything in his or her power to secure food to consume. A horticulturalist works to prevent such a scenario from happening as one of the first objectives of horticulture is to find ways and means to grow food more efficiently and faster.

It’s a Growing Field

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In the face of our ever-growing population, one of the problems of food production is the shrinking availability of land upon which we can grow our food. There is also the problem of natural resources becoming scarcer.

This means that horticulturalists are tasked with growing more food with less land and other resources. These are real world problems that may seem so far removed from the modern-day interpretation of horticulture as a cosmetic discipline. The fact is horticulture is a field that will always have job opportunities.

Yet it is those same horticulturalists that worry about growing four-leaf clovers that are looking for solutions to a problem that all of us would someday have to confront. The problem of what happens when we run out of food.

Horticulture 101: A Brief Look at the History of Horticulture

Horticulture has been defined as the culture of plants for food, comfort, and beauty. It differs from plain agriculture by the simple fact that agriculture usually, though not always, focuses only on one type of crop while horticulture focuses on several types of plants.

The objective of agriculture, after all, is the creation of a stable food supply for the community, while horticulture is more focused on the aesthetics, though it would be a mistake to think that horticulture is only about aesthetics.

In the creation of a food supply for a community of perhaps hundreds of people, how the crops appear while they are growing would not have been much of a concern, after all, most crops would be chopped down so that they could be transformed into food.

In horticulture, however, it is exactly the way that the plants appear that is the concern. Despite this difference, both agriculture and horticulture have one origin. Let’s take a closer look at the history of horticulture

In the Beginning

Thousands of years ago, ancient humans transitioned from a hunter-gatherer society into a farming society. This is the beginning of the agricultural revolution where early humans realized that rather than depending on luck to find food, they would set aside a portion of land and transform them into fields through which they would grow their own food.

The first people to do so typically focused on only one type of crop, and from that, we can see the beginnings of agriculture. No one has recorded history from the time that humans have first started to walk the earth.

It is speculated that the reason why record keeping evolved and became important is because of the need to record the yields of particular fields of crops, so we cannot be sure as to the actual time or place when horticulture separated itself from agriculture.

Where Agriculture and Horticulture Divided

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Indeed, we can only speculate that one day, a specific person decided that he or she wanted to grow a crop that is different from those other crops that his or her neighbors are growing. Perhaps he or she wanted a stalk of wheat that was taller than normal, or perhaps he or she wanted a berry shrub that would grow a particular pattern that he or she is fond of.

Whatever the reason, it is easy to see that person producing some sort of primitive cutting tool and trimming the berry shrub to form the pattern that he or she wanted. In modern times, trimming a plant to follow a particular pattern is one of the more recognizable activities of a horticulturalist.

Over the years, the activities of a horticulturalist have evolved from simply showing up a unique shrub, tree, crop, or plant. As the agricultural revolution swept the human populations and fields of plantations began appearing all over the surface of the planet, it is not unreasonable to think that problems arose in regards to the crops that the early humans were planting.

Horticulturalists were able to provide answers to some questions that the planters may have had, and while it is true that this would have nothing to do with aesthetics, again, it must be remembered that aesthetics is simply one part of the practice of horticulture.

Horticulture Today

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The modern-day horticulturalists, after all, study not only the ways and means of growing plants and crops to follow a beautiful pattern with their stems and leaves. The modern-day horticulturalist also studies the ways and means of growing plants and crops that are more resistant to things that would have killed these plants or render them useless such as bacteria and viruses.

We hope you enjoyed this introductory to horticulture, and that you’ve found the facts interesting! Would you consider becoming a horticulturist? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Why do People Take Horticulture Courses Online?

Horticulture is the growing of flowers, fruits and vegetables, and plants for ornament and fancy. Simply put, it is the art and science of plant production for beauty and utility.  While most people would think that the reason why other people study horticulture would have something to do with the fact that they want to use plants as a way of designing their homes or offices, the truth is that such is but one way by which horticulture could be of some use.

Not all horticulturalists have studied horticulture simply because they want plants as ornamental design for their homes and offices.

While it is true that horticulture today is seen as a cosmetic discipline, this is actually not the case. The people who are researching for ways and means to combat viruses and bacteria that plaque some of the most common crops that humans around the world consume, such as rice and wheat, are all horticulturalists.

The scientists who work at the laboratories, looking into the genetic strand of fruits and designing them to be more resistant to damage from pests may have degrees in genetic-based sciences, but they are also horticulturalists.

Of course, online courses would not actually teach those who take them how to modify the genetic map of a particular fruit, but it would at least give the person an idea as to what to expect should he or she decide to go to that field.

Convenience is Key

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Over the course of the past few decades, online courses have become common. Not only are these courses able to provide substantially the same amount of information that one could gleam from the more traditional classroom settings, these online courses are also faster and more efficient because the person taking them, more often than not, do not have to leave the comforts and safety of their own homes.

There is no more need to enroll in a college and look for a dormitory nearby on the part of the person who would enroll in these online courses. He or she could do it from his or her home. It must be noted, however, that these online courses are not able to facilitate actual classroom work simply because the person who is taking the online course is not actually physically present in the classroom.

Home Gardeners at Heart

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Most of the people who do take these horticulture classes online are not really interested in solving world hunger or finding new ways to combat disease that plaque wheat or rice, rather, most of them are just taking these courses because they want to learn how to make their gardens more beautiful and how to grow flowers that would outlast those that are being sold in flower shops.

Yes, online courses would not teach you how to tweak the genetic code of a rose, but it could teach you how to make sure that your roses would last longer than a regular one.