THE CHANGING ROLE OF HUMAN LABOUR IN HORTICULTURE

E.W.B. van den Muijzenberg
In prehistoric times and even later, when man collected roots and fruits and hunted with primitive tools, there was no real horticulture. Man often did not get sufficient food to survive, and died at an early age. In the primitive society / according to Fourastié/ 80% of the population was working in agriculture and horticulture, 15% in handicraft and only 5% in the third-the service sector. This still exists in some countries were horticulture is practised with primitive tools and with physical effort. There horticulturists have to work from sunrise till sunset but they have a good sleep at night. There was hardly time for reflexion and the gardeners were real work-slaves in the literal meaning of this word. In the course, mainly of this century, there came improvement through manuring, disease control, selection, breeding, irrigation, through work-study and work-organisation but even more through mechanization and automation.

In old times the muscles counted, though the workmethod was also of importance. Now the brain, and its organising ability will turn the scale.

It is remarkable that workstudy in horticulture has not been started much longer ago, as even with simple tools it may be very important what method should be used. It is very easy to break even a heavy spade in digging or spading and you must be an expert in digging out even small trees with an ordinary spade at a good speed. Already centuries ago there were in the Netherlands quite different types of spade in the various parts of the country, depending upon the soiltype /dune-sand, sand with stones, peat with hard roots, clay etc./. It is much more difficult to change the work-method

van den Muijzenberg, E.W.B. (1973). THE CHANGING ROLE OF HUMAN LABOUR IN HORTICULTURE. Acta Hortic. 28, 12-16
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.28.1
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.28.1
28_1
12-16