Published on April 30th, 2018 | by David Morales0
Improve the world through the power of plants
Plants are powering our lives in ways we never thought possible. They are creating new jobs that not only help our economy, but also make our world, and our lives, healthier and more sustainable! There are more opportunities to change the world through plants than ever before, and knowledge about the environmental sector that sustains them, known as “horticulture” is at an all-time low. The more we know about plants, the more we can make a difference in the future. By empowering the youth – the next generation of game changers and dreamers – to unlock the potential of their natural world, BLOOM! is opening their eyes to opportunities they never knew possible and, in the process, seeding their future and ours.
This is such a great time of year to be talking about the power of plants- tell me about this initiative. What is your goal with BLOOM?
Well, we’re living in a time of great disconnect with plants. Plants are everywhere, yet plants are nowhere, and this plant blindness is especially significant among our nation’s youth. So, Bloom is a vibrant new youth focus campaigns designed to help young people unlock the potential of the plant world. Our goal in the process is hopefully to introduce them to a lifelong passion for plants and hopefully even a career in horticulture, which is the science, art, technology, and business of plants. We like to call Bloom the movement to improve the world through the power of plants.
Who is behind this campaign?
The horticulture industry is behind the campaign. Its powered by Seed Your Future, which is a coalition of about 150 different partners across horticulture. It includes horticulture industry companies, gardening organizations, schools, colleges, universities, public gardens and youth organizations. We’re all united by our confidence in the power plants to change the world. Bloom is our first youth focused initiative.
How can parents help their kids to appreciate plants and learn more about plants and horticulture?
We’re reaching kids both inside and outside the classroom. So, what parents can do is go with their kids to our digital hub, which is wearebloom.org, and there they’ll find all of the resources that we’ve created for teachers and parents and youth program leaders and kids. It starts with a really cool quiz that kids can do based on their own interests. It will have a persona for them at the end where they then can find their own plant power and work with their parents and the other adults in their lives to explore what are the different careers with plants and how it’s impacting their lives in addition to the educator and parent resources. That’s where we also have some really awesome new videos. Kids told us when we did our focus group research that they just really want to use videos.
So, we have a whole suite of new videos of, you know, why plants are cool in the world and we’re approaching it from starting with things that are already interesting to them. So, if they’re interested in sports or fashion or cosmetics or art, we have created a new video that connects the world of plants to them. Then we have some new videos as well that our horticulturalist young cool horticulturalist at work who are talking to kids about their jobs and how they got to be where they are today. So, the place to start is at the hub, wearebloom.org.
What exactly does a horticulturalist do?
So, a horticulturalist, someone who works across the art science, technology and business to plants. It really is very diverse industry and I like to say it’s from A to Z. It’s everything from an arborist to a zoological horticulturalist. Everything in between. There’s about a hundred different careers in horticulture. Just to give you an example of some of them, these are folks who are the ones who are growing our food that’s going to feed the growing population of the world. There are people who are researching plant-based cures for disease, people who are solving some of our world’s biggest environmental challenges like pollution and droughts, clean water or climate change, et cetera. There are people who are creating landscapes that are not just beautiful but are also providing physical and social and emotional health support that are so important in today’s world and even folks who are helping athletes perform better by working to have better playing field, for example, with natural grass. I think for kids, some of the things that we think there’ll be really resonant to talk about are the emerging jobs in horticulture that has to do with technology and robotics. For example, using robotics in greenhouses is a really big field. It’s much more efficient way to grow. Kids who are interested in drones — there’s a lot of great new jobs working with drones out in the field and growing and, and a real movement in hydroponics and aeroponics as well. So, it’s really very, you know, very diverse across any interest.
Where can we go for more information?
You can go to our digital hub, wearebloom.org. If I could give you just one thing to end with about what Bloom is all about. It’s that the more we know about plants, the more we can make a difference in the world today.