Olericulturist

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Vegetable Grower
Vegetable Farm Worker
Vegetable Picker

 

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

 

Nature or RecreationAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

The term olericulture comes from Latin oleri= vegetables and coleri= cultivar, is used to designate the cultivation of certain plants of herbaceous consistencies, usually short cycle and intensive cultural tracts whose parts foods are directly used in human food without requiring prior industrialization. An olericulturist specializes in a branch of horticulture that deals with the production, storage, processing, and marketing of of all edible parts of vegetables including the roots, leaves, flowers, stems, seeds, and young tops.  Olericulturists with advanced degrees are often found in universities and in the horticulture industry in research, teaching, and extension positions, developing, breeding, and evaluating new varieties of vegetables.

Vegetable crops are grown for their succulent and edible parts such as the roots, stems, leaves, young tops, flowers, fruits, or seeds for use in culinary preparations either fresh or preserved in the fresh state.

Olericulture, the science of vegetable growing, concentrates on edibles that are annuals mostly, although some perennials are deemed vegetables too, such as rhubarb. It deals with the culture of non-woody (herbaceous) plants for food.

Olericulture is the production of plants for use of the edible parts. Vegetable crops can be classified into 9 major categories:

  • Potherbs and greens - spinach and collards
  • Salad crops - lettuce, celery
  • Cole crops - cabbage and cauliflower
  • Root crops (tubers) - potatoes, beets, carrots, radishes
  • Bulb crops - onions, leeks
  • Legumes - beans, peas
  • Cucurbits - melons, squash, cucumber
  • Solanaceous crops - tomatoes, peppers [capsicums]
  • Sweet corn

Olericulture deals with the production, storage, processing and marketing of vegetables. It encompasses crop establishment, including cultivar selection, seedbed preparation and establishment of vegetable crops by seed and transplants. It also includes maintenance and care of vegetable crops as well commercial and non-traditional vegetable crop production including organic gardening and organic farming; sustainable agriculture and horticulture; hydroponics; and biotechnology. 

 

with tomatoes
Olericulturists with tomatoes
(Source: Seed Your Future)

 Education and training/entrance requirements

The minimum education required varies from either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree. However, research and higher level positions typically require a Masters degree or Ph.D. depending on the job. Those with advanced degrees often teach courses in horticulture in addition to their research projects.

 

 

Vegetable Grower
Environments

 

Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingNature or Recreation

Skill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3

Vegetable Growers manage farming, greenhouse and market garden operations to grow vegetables. Future Growth Static

Alternative names: Vegetable Farm Manager, Market Gardener

Specialisations:
Market Gardener (Vegetables)

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • Ability to delegate responsibilities

  • Ability to hire, train and oversee many field workers

  • Ability to maintain composure in tense and problematic situations

  • Capable of operating farming machinery

  • Knowledge of crop rotation

  • Knowledge of growing and soil conditions for the area

  • Physically able to withstand extremely hot, windy and stormy conditions

  • Understanding of the market for crops

  • Understanding of water and irrigation needs  

 

Brussels Sprouts
Harvesting Brussels Sprouts

Duties and tasks

  • Co-ordinates production and marketing of crops, from soil preparation through to harvest, taking into account environmental and market factors.

  • Plants seeds and seedlings as well as grafts new varieties to root stocks.

  • Maintains crop production by cultivating, de-budding and pruning, as well as maintaining optimal growing conditions.

  • May grow vegetables in greenhouse to produce out-of-season crops.

  • May specialize in growing single vegetable and be designated by name of vegetable as Onion Farmer.

  • Conducts market garden operations, such as collecting, storing, grading and packaging produce, and organising the sale, purchase and dispatch of produce.

  • Directs and oversees general activities such as fertilising and the control of pests and weeds.

  • Maintains buildings, fences, equipment and water supply systems.

  • Maintains and evaluates records of activities, monitoring market activity, and planning crop preparation and production to meet contract requirements and market demand.

  • Manages business capital including budgeting, taxation, debt and loan management.

  • May select, train and supervise staff and contractors.

Working conditions

Vegetable Growers spend most of their time out in the fields and must deal with all kinds of weather conditions. This is a very stressful job as severe weather and drought can damage and destroy the crops. Even under perfect conditions, there can be considerable crop losses, however the financial benefits and rewards of growing exceptional crops can make up for any losses sustained in the past.  

Working conditions for vegetable farmers depend on the size and location of the farm. Those who run large farms usually spend most of their time indoors in offices. When they are in the field, they supervise farm workers. They may spend long hours dealing with agents from agricultural firms. Those who own smaller farms may do much of the farm work by themselves. They spend more time outdoors, and often they do the plowing, planting, and harvesting. Farm labor is physically strenuous.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You usually need crop production experience to work as a Vegetable Grower. While formal qualifications aren't essential, a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course in horticulture or agriculture may be useful.

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Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Civil Engineer

Viticulturalist

Horticulturalist

Surveyor

Beekeeper

Landscape Architect

Lifeguard

Horse Trainer

Forester

Electrical Linesperson

Shearer

Greenkeeper

Stonemason

Livestock Farmer

Aquaculture Farmer

Miner

Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

Jillaroo Jackeroo

Arborist

Horse Manager

Wool Classer

Farrier

Waste Water Operator

Horse Groomer

Grain Oilseed Pasture Grower

Animal Attendant and Trainer

Coastal Engineer

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Pest and Weed Controller

Geographer

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