[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
#412: More on Kudzu: a healthier option: Blanchet comments
From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>
Before we look to some exotic, imported plant that
might do further damage to our badly-frayed ecology, let us
simply look in our own backyard for a partial solution.
There we will find vetiver, a wonderful plant that has many
1) It is disciplined and where you plant it is where it stays,
2) It is very tough and can thrive under a wide range of conditions
related to rainfall, temperature, soil chemistry, slope,
resistance to pests due to its aromatic roots, etc.
3) It is well known to our peasants and became the mainstay of
Haiti's substantial oil industry, that is before the Duvaliers and
their satraps got their paws on it and nearly killed it.
The case for vetiver is well documented in:
A thin green line against erosion"
by the Board on Science and Technology for International
Development, National Research Council
National Academy Press
Washington, D.C. 1993
This is what the preface of the book says about vetiver:
"In the eyes of at least some viewers, a little-known tropical
grass, vetiver, might at least offer one practical and
inexpensive solution for controlling erosion simply, cheaply,
and on a huge scale in both the tropical and semiarid regions.
Planted in lines along the contours of sloping lands, vetiver
quickly forms narrow but very dense hedges. Its stiff foliage
then blocks the passage of soil and debris. It also slows any
runoff and gives rainfall a better chance of soaking into the
soil instead of rushing off the slope ... the deeply rooted,
persistent grass has restrained erodible soils in this way for
decades in Fiji, India, and some Caribbean nations."
It is interestng to note that among the many contributors to
the book, one finds the name of Clifford Bellande, Care-Haiti,