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
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
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.