With increasing concerns over global warming and care of the environment, plus riding demands for long-lasting produce, it is becoming more and more important to understand all the areas of horticulture.
But what exactly is horticulture? It's the technical term that reflects to the field and science of plant development, which includes everything from care and manufacture of trees and shrubs to genetic alterations to typical produce to keep it fresh and free from bruising, such as many tomatoes sold in the United States .
The industry has eight subcategories which deal with more specific aspects of horticulture. Arboriculture deals with vines, shrubbery, trees, and other woody plants. This includes areas of research, planting, and care of all these types of foliage. Floriculture similarly deals with flowers and floral crops.
Landscape horticulture deals with the production and maintenance of plants involved in landscaping in all areas and climates. Olericulture and Pomology deal with vegetables and fruits, respectively. Viticulture reiter more specifically to the production and marketing of grapes (as to wineries).
Postharvest physiology also at times crosses into the field of food science, as it attempts to develop means of preventing spoilage and damage to all of the horticultural crops – including fruits and vegetables.
Fortunately, horticulture is the name of an industry that requires varied talents from many types of people. Engineers, inspectors, business managers, scientists and researchers, geneticists, and teachers are just a few of the workers needed in most areas of horticulture.
The industry is not only a stable one – it is growing. As I mentioned, many who enjoy the study of food science may actually find a rewarding career in horticulture. So how does an individual go on to become a horticulturalist?
Well, while your education is still in process, you can start with basic jobs that may seem menial or unrelated. Check out local floral shops, greenhouses, or gardening departments in hardware stores. You can even get involved in landscape design! All of these will help you begin to build a fundamental, practical knowledge of plants.
Do your research on the education level required for entry-level positions in the field you are most interested. Would you like to be a teacher, or would you prefer getting into advertising and marketing? Contact local firms or institutions; you might even ask about future hiring plans.
Decide which area of horticulture you would like to go into, and starting geared your own education toward that particular division of the industry. Many institutions offer undergraduate degrees in horticulture, so from there, you should try to take classes which are tailor towards your area of interest.
Whenever there are speakers in your area, go and listen to them so that you may hear any words of wisdom they have to depart. Other than that, good luck – it's a booming field, and the work is both helpful and rewarding!