Horticultural Devolution Essay

1286 words - 5 pages

When people are ignorant to the ways of growing their own food they will be helpless when tragedy strikes. “In total, 31 percent of all U.S. households … participated in food gardening in 2008.” (NGA 6). If nuclear fallout or a natural disaster were to occur, it seems as though, the remaining 69 percent of households would starve to death. As society evolves into consuming fast food and relying on grocery stores to provide sustenance; people become unstable, unhealthy and unable to provide for their own families. From the beginning of documented history, people dedicated their entire lives to learn about natural resources and how to provide for themselves in expectation that no one else would. Although there may be bigger concerns in the prevention of nuclear fallout or another ice age, it is naïve to believe that in the occurrence of such an event we could thrive without having any sincere knowledge of self-sustainability. There are 5 fundamentals that should be emphasized in schools to prevent this lack of education, and we already have the knowhow.
People have come a long way in farming and basic horticulture since the time of Homer in 1200 B.C. As Professor Freeman S. Howlett states in his notes for his Horticulture 805 class: “the medical knowledge apparent in the Iliad and the Odyssey involved the use of drugs. Farmers had learned to use dung to increase fertility of their fields.”(His. And Lit). In 800 B.C. there was a man referred to as Hesoid who produced one of the very first farmer’s almanacs. Providing information to his negligent brother, this almanac educates how to maintain his own lively-hood should Hesoid become unable to provide it for him. Hippocrates who lived from 460-375 B.C. started the Hippocratic revolution with his knowledge of plants and the practical application of the medicines found within. Marcus Torrentius was one of the first people documented to start rotating crops to take advantage of pest control, plant growth and soil conditioning. The fact that this information was available over 2000 years ago, it is a shame that not 100 percent of the population isn’t participating in food gardening. This achievement is possible after so much time has passed; there are a few basic things that all people should have knowledge of in order to grow successful crops.
Phytomorphology, or more commonly known plant morphology, “was defined as the study of the anatomical and cytological features of the life histories of plants expressed in a taxonomic framework”(Kaplan). Knowing the different parts of a living organism presents basic knowledge as to how they work. Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds are the basics to the cyclic existence of every plant. Just the same as knowing how an engine works, knowing the structure of plants will unveil reasons as to why it may fail. Identifying the cause of its failure is basic knowledge in keeping production at its maximum.
With so many possibilities for a living organism...

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