Andrea agrees that there is a lot of responsibility in the food industry. "There is an onus on all of us, as consumers and producers, to be conscious of where our food comes from.
"There is definitely potential growth in fruit and vegetable production in Ireland, especially as people are becoming more interested in where their food comes from and how it is produced."
At a glance: Irish Horticulture courses
Teagasc offers a wide range of full-time and part-time horticulture courses at both the College of Amenity Horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin, and at Kildalton College in Co Kilkenny.
Full-time and part-time courses are available at both locations at Level 5, Level 6 and Level 7. The QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture is open to any applicant aged 17 and over. Applicants must have a Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture or equivalent to study for the QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horticulture.
In this programme, students have the option to select from four streams - Food Production, Nursery Stock Production, Landscaping and Sports Turf. The Level 7 Bachelor of Science in Horticulture is offered in partnership with Waterford Institute of technology in both the Botanic Gardens and Kildalton College.
Graduates from this course will have the option to study for a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Land Management (Horticulture) at Waterford Institute of Technology. See teagasc.ie
The Organic College
With organic farming continually on the rise, one option is The Organic College in Co Limerick which offers both full-time and part-time courses leading to a QQI Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture.
The one-year, full-time course runs from mid September to late May. It features lectures, demonstrations and group discussions, field trips and tours.
Modules include organic standards and principles which will cover all the basics you need to know about growing crops organically in Ireland. Students will also cover fruit and vegetable production, beekeeping and plant science.
Each year the college caters for approximately 60 distance learning students, in addition to about 50 day students who attend full-time and part-time. See organiccollege.com
Also offering Level 5 QQI accreditation in horticulture is The Organic Centre in Co Leitrim. The course runs from February to February and attracts students from across the globe. See theorganiccentre.ie
The Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
The Institute of Technology at Blanchardstown in Dublin offers a variety of courses in horticulture, both full-time and part-time.
Students can eventually progress to gaining a Level 8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Horticulture. This is a one-year course where modules include Recreation and Green Infrastructure, Golf Course Design, and Social & Therapeutic Horticulture.
Designed to incorporate both the theoretical and practical aspects of horticulture, courses include modules on organic production, sustainability, landscape design and turf-grass management as well as computing, business and personal development.
A new state-of-the-art facility includes geodomes, poly-tunnels, workshops, welfare facilities, as well as a range of outdoor practical work areas for fruit and vegetable production and sports turf management. See itb.ie
UCD offers two full-time courses for undergraduates - Horticulture, Landscape & Sportsturf Management and Landscape Architecture. Both are four years in duration.
The Horticulture, Landscape & Sportsturf Management course focuses on the science behind developing and maintaining Ireland's designed landscapes, golf courses, tennis courts and sport pitches.
Career opportunities include management, technical advisory, consultation, research, quality assurance and sales or marketing positions, working for companies or within your own business. Opportunities also exist in state, semi-state, EU and international organisations.
Careers for landscape architects can lead them all over the world designing habitats for humans and non-humans, homes for city birds, playgrounds for children, rooftop gardens, streetscapes, city parks and even cities themselves. See ucd.ie