Learn to Be a Successful Fruit Grower
- Improve an existing fruit farm
- Start a new orchard or berry farm
- Become a consultant, teacher or service provider to the fruit industry
Fruit farms can be small or large; depending upon the type of fruit grown and the way in which you grow it. If you value add to your produce (eg. use it to produce preserves or other products), you can greatly increase the income per acre. Some farms may be commercially viable on as little as half an acre. If you grow hydroponically or in a few greenhouses, small fruits like strawberries can be produced intensively and for long periods of the year.
Other fruit farms of course, are much larger, on acreage.
Whatever your intent, this course can both enlighten you to the broad possibilities for growing fruit, and build your skills to grow whatever types of fruit you choose to focus on.
Note that each module in the Certificate in Fruit Growing is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Start by Understanding the Botanical Science that Underpins Fruit Production
By understanding how fruit trees develop, grow and produce fruit, we can better understand how to treat them to produce and maintain healthier trees, and ultimately optimise the crops we are trying to grow.
Plants grow from “meristematic cells”. Meristematic cells are in effect the “stem cells” of a plant; undifferentiated cells that can reproduce and as they grow then transform into any part of the plant that is needed, whether that be a leaf, stem, flower or something else.
How Shoots Develop
Shoots that emerge from seeds and buds contain a cluster of cells at their end or tip, that are “meristematic.”
How Wood becomes Stronger
Plants that grow into trees or vines need strong stems in order to withstand not only wind and rain; but also the weight of developing fruits. If the branches of a tree or stems of a vine become too heavy with the weight of water or fruits on the foliage, they may break, and when that happens, the fruit can be lost.
Plants strengthen their stems by getting thicker and also by getting stronger.
How Flowers and Fruit Develop
Eventually, some meristematic cells develop into flower bud cells, which grow into flowers that in turn produce fruits. Certain conditions trigger this change of meristematic cells, and understanding those triggers is the starting point for understanding how to grow fruit.
You Can Grow Fruit without Science, but Probably Not as Well
This is a course that is strong on teaching you to understand the science that underpins fruit production; as well as the horticultural and management practices that are based upon that science.
The benefits of doing this course.
- Develop the necessary skills to operate and manage a productive fruit farm.
- Learn how to grow a wide variety of associated horticultural crops.
- Understand the cultural requirements necessary to grow citrus, stonefruits, berries, grapes etc.
- Learn about post harvest techniques and storage life.
- Nutritional requirements, identify pest and diseases.
- Pruning techniques.