One of the growing concerns I personally feel and can be felt throughout the industry here in Ireland and in England is the lack of young people to pursue careers in horticulture. Why is this? It’s true that yes you need to have a true love and passion for it, no you’re not going to make a quick million, and yes it’s not the most glamorous work. But despite all this there is a power that horticulture has; what other career could you grow your own fruit or start the life of a tree.
“What amazes me the most though is the lack of gardening programmes compared to the likes of food which we seemed to be swamped with”
TV. To be fair with yas I wouldn’t be a massive fan of television, I love my sport and I would watch the farming and gardening programmes but that would be mostly that. What amazes me the most though is the lack of gardening programmes compared to the likes of food which we seemed to be swamped with at the moment.
Also in connection to the gardening programmes currently showing on TV there seems to be a reoccurring theme on age, target viewers and the actual content. I feel like these programmes are ill equipped and cause a blurred version of the true professionals in the industry. A lack of a role model also exist that a young person can aspire to and also would help in gaining recognition with the older generation in the industry.
With the ongoing drive and enthusiasm of food programmes, can’t something similar be done with gardening TV? With numerous food shows to suit everyone’s requirement it’s a surprise that something similar hasn’t been put in place with gardening. Gardening seems to be refined to particular genre: either a design/landscaping type or grow it yourself type programmes. Why can’t we see more of a variety that would appeal to a wider audience?
Why can’t we mix it up a little and have an experimental gardening show? This could include different demonstrations and techniques either suggested by viewers or research carried out. For example blueberries require acidic soils, but what happens if you grow them in alkaline conditions? Or present soil testing experiments to show the different soils that are commonly found and how to examine them– mix it up so that it would be career inspirational but also entertaining for other viewers.
Social Media. I’m an advocate of the power of social media and I absolutely love being on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and now even Snapchat. I believe these all hold key to also leading to a revolution of the younger generations. But I find it very hard to escape the shackles, the image that has been imposed and get it out to share my story with people. I have appeared on radio on a number of occasions and the common comment I receive is either I’m too young to be involved in this area or sure what would I know.