Ever thought about how the advancement in gardening methods took place? How did the latest farming techniques emerge? Horticultural societies are the driving force behind all of this. It won’t be wrong to call them the unsung heroes of the green world or the backbone of horticulture.
If you want to know more about horticultural communities or don’t have a clear idea about what horticultural societies are, let’s get all the answers.
What Is A Horticultural Society?
A horticultural society is an organization dedicated to the study and culture of grown crops. These organizations can be national, local, regional, or even international. A few of them have a broader focus. On the contrary, others are devoted to a specific type or group of crops.
How Are Horticultural Societies Different From Agricultural Societies?
A horticultural society is where people survive through plant cultivation. They do not use mechanized tools or animals for pulling plows.
In agrarian societies, mechanized tools are used. There is also a distinction between horticultural societies and pastoral societies. A pastoral society is dependent on the cultivation of herd animals for subsistence.
What Are The Social And Political Structures Of Horticultural Societies?
Horticultural societies still exist, but they are pretty uncommon. One of the best examples of people using horticultural methods for cultivation is the Yanomami people. These people only use simple tools to cultivate plants.
Anthropologists recorded horticultural societies across the globe, utilizing several tools and technologies under various climatic and environmental situations. Due to these factors, these societies’ social and political structures have differed. This even includes the ones that exist presently.
Horticultural societies can be patrilineal or matrilineal. Family relationships are common in both. However, more prominent horticultural societies will have more intricate types of social structure. Many were matrilineal because social connections and structure were structured around crop cultivation tasks.
About The Yanomami People
In South America, the Yanomami is the largest isolated tribe. They are mostly found in the mountains and the rainforests of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela. Like other tribal groups in South America, the Yanomami probably traveled over the Bering Strait between Asia and America more than 15,000 years ago.
The Yanomami area in Brazil is around 9.6 million hectares, which is double the size of Switzerland. This tribe resides in a large, circular, communal house (yanos or shabonos). Some may accommodate more than 400 people. The central area is where all the feasts, games, and rituals take place.
Characteristics Of Horticultural Societies
Horticultural societies do not prefer heavy machinery but utilize simple tools. This is one of the key features of horticultural societies.
The farms of horticultural societies aren’t permanent. Instead, they utilize the method of shifting cultivation. Furthermore, they generally utilize methods like slash-and-burn farming for clearing areas of planting. Slash-and-burn farming is a technique through which people clear a large area of land, burn trees, and grow vegetation. They used to grow for 2 to 3 years until the soil ran out.
Horticultural societies also emphasize growing crops with simple hoes or digging sticks. Also, there is a scope for better settlement as they move small distances and settle with a bigger group of people.
Other Types Of Societies That Exist
Besides horticultural societies, many other societies exist. These include the following:
Several pastoral societies exist, especially in South Asia, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Pastoral societies, for example, hunter-gatherer societies, typically don’t build permanent settlements. The prime reason is that pastoralists usually graze their animals on new lands.
Industrial societies exploited fossil fuels to accelerate the rate and extent of crop production. Here, the use of machinery was the preference over human labor. Therefore, it led the workers to transfer to tertiary sector jobs.
Compared to pastoral, agricultural societies were even more socially stratified. Northern China and Ancient Egyptians and Sumerians are some examples of agricultural societies. Throughout history, these societies have been dependent upon permanent tools for survival. For growing crops on a sizable amount of land, they used technical agricultural advances.
Why Are Horticultural Societies Important?
Horticultural societies have made a huge contribution to human history. They indicated a substantial shift from nomadic to settled communities. This allows for the formation of stable societies and the expansion of human populations.
Horticulturists can maintain themselves by growing crops, resulting in a food surplus. This surplus allowed individuals to become skilled in areas other than food production. For example, commerce, handicrafts, or governance.
Horticultural societies play an integral role in promoting gardening and farming practices. Generally, they work with professionals to explore environmental techniques, organic fertilizer usage, and soil depletion. Thus, they offer valuable insights that may assist in mitigating the environmental implications of agriculture.
In this fast-paced world, there is no denying that horticultural societies act as a pool of conventional knowledge. They record and keep the ancient farming methods. Some of them have already been in practice for ages. This is an essential aspect of knowing the varied means of production across various cultures and times.
Join And Gain The Benefits of Horticulture Societies?
When you join hands with horticultural societies, you can seek numerous benefits. You can end up improving both your professional and personal life. An array of perks can be enjoyed with membership. These can range from exclusive access to research papers to discount offers on gardening equipment. Besides, some horticultural societies also offer opportunities for future horticulturalists and agricultural scholarships.
Another advantage of joining a horticultural society is networking opportunities. No matter who you are, be it a gardener or farmer, horticultural societies allow you to connect with like-minded people. You will get to learn from the experts, share your experience, and work together on projects, as well.
Horticultural societies are also engaged in their local communities. Hence, they host educational programs, events, and charitable activities like community gardens. As you join, you get access to resources and be a community member.
Horticulture societies exist to develop the methods to grow and cultivate plantations. This type of society has distinct roles for an array of people, including shamans, traders, and craftspeople. These societies have made a major contribution to human history. Overall, they promote long-established gardening and farming techniques.
Want to join a horticultural society that is actively working to combat plant blindness? Fall & Fallow is a community of horticulture enthusiasts who welcomes people who share a similar love for horticulture.