What is this Structured Elective about?
Horticulture is the science, technology, art and business of cultivating and using plants to improve human life. Horticulturists create global solutions for safe, sustainable, nutritious food and healthy, restorative and beautiful environments. For many people the word horticulture may mean gardening but the practice of horticulture is much wider and more expansive than that simple understanding.
Horticulture is practiced from the individual level in a garden up to the activities of a multinational corporation. It is very diverse in its activities, incorporating plants for food (fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, culinary herbs) and non-food crops (flowers, trees, shrubs, turf-grass, hops, medicinal herbs, grapes for wine, apples for cider). It also includes related services in plant conservation, landscape restoration, landscape & garden design/construction/maintenance, horticultural therapy, social horticulture and much more. This wide range of food, medicinal, environmental, and social products and services are all fundamental to developing and maintaining human health and wellbeing.
Why should I take this Structured Elective?
Human life on this planet is dependent on green plants for oxygen, food, medicines, clothing and shelter. When humans leave this planet they will have to take green plants with them to sustain life.
Those who are interested in science and in particular students of botany can enhance their study of these subjects by gaining additional knowledge of applied sciences, in addition to the principles and practice of actual plant cultivation for human use. Those students of the humanities can explore the applications of horticulture and its impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and society. This can be achieved through the study of the principles of horticulture therapy, therapeutic horticulture and the use of horticulture for the development of social capital within communities. From a physical health perspective students can explore the benefits of horticultural practice and the impact that this has on the human microbiome.
How would this Structured Elective benefit me?
It will broaden your knowledge of plant science and improve your employability as a result of your education and experience in the actual cultivation of plants. You will have a better understanding of the sciences behind food and non food horticultural products. You will be better able to enhance your own health and wellbeing and community environment with your knowledge and education in horticulture.
You will have an appreciation for the various strategies to ensure safe healthy nutritious fresh produce and an enhanced ability to discriminate between competing food produce, for example organic versus conventional produce.
How do I take the modules in this Structured Elective?