Horticulture Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

By David Thompson, Engagement Manager Australian Institute of Horticulture

Australians have turned to outdoor greenspaces over the last few months as the world is gripped by a pandemic of historic proportions. The indoor has become a place of containment and restriction, while our parks, gardens and green landscapes have offered the kind of COVID-19-safe space that we can turn to in relative safety.

The media reports that visitations to parks has dramatically increased, with the NSW Planning Department figures showing a 46% increase in people’s use of outdoor spaces since the arrival of the pandemic. In addition, the horticulture industry has fared reasonably well as outdoor installations have been able to continue with effective physical distancing practices.

Professional horticulturists know that success in tough times comes down to providing value, continuously learning and drawing on a network of similar professionals to find the right support. Helping horticulturists achieve these goals is the mission of the Australian Institute of Horticulture.

 

 

Helping Horticulturists Thrive

The restrictions have, however, forced all of us in horticulture to reconsider how we get business done. In an industry that values the outdoors and its opportunities for working together and meeting in-person, horticulture has had to adapt to the new normal of wider distances and separation.

At the Australian Institute of Horticulture, we have always relied on web conferencing and virtual meeting technologies as our council and member network is spread throughout Australia. In so many ways, we have found the changes very beneficial as the use of Zoom teleconferencing and webinars has actually helped us increase the accessibility of our events and webinars compared to the traditional get-together events we have held.

The Institute has been able to strengthen its focus on value for its professional horticulturist members, with strong attendance at our business development and technical webinars over the last few months. The Institute brings information, updates and knowledge to its members to keep them ahead of the game as the industry evolves and develops.

Building a Professional Identity and Mindset

As Australians do find solace and turn to their gardens and landscapes, the demand for good-quality, professional horticultural advice and services will remain strong. Professionals that thrive tend to have several things in common: a commitment to positioning themselves as the best and most-trusted in the industry, living up to those values and associating themselves with other trusted professionals.

The horticulture industry is not large, and word of mouth remains a vitally-important method of finding opportunities and success. That’s where the Institute’s professional memberships are valued by horticulturists as a demonstrable marker of quality and commitment to the industry.

The Australian Institute of Horticulture invites professionals and enthusiasts to commit to growing the professional approach that keeps Australians turning towards healthy, vibrant and well-planned green spaces.

Find out more about becoming a trusted professional horticulturist.

 

A. Hoen & Co., 1917, U.S. Department of Agriculture

During World War I and World War II, gardening took on a distinctly martial air. Citizens were encouraged to grow their own backyard produce (dubbed “war gardens” in WWI and “victory gardens” in WWII). “It gave everyone a sense of contributing to the war effort, sometimes in the most minuscule ways,” says Dr. Paul Ruffin, Distinguished Professor of English at Texas State University, who has written about victory gardens.

Source: modernfarmer.com

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