It isn’t rare to see articles all over the Internet, magazines or papers about pollution in the ocean or the decrease of nutrients in our soil. It’s become so common that I have questioned our ability to turn it around and get back to a sustainable, healthy planet. It is most definitely within the hands and power of the people to make that change, but actions are harder to stay consistent with than words. Alongside reducing waste, recycling the necessary, and reusing products, there may be an additional answer to our economy’s problems.
The answer very well could lie within Vetiveria Zizanioides. Ever heard of it? Maybe not if it’s put that way but maybe if it is put this way- Vetiver Grass. Recognize it now? This grass has been made into an essential oil, and it has also been said that if taken orally it will help solve nerve problems and circulatory issues. I love when things from the earth can help all different parts of the human body, but I think the best thing that Vetiver Grass can do is for our planet when in its natural state.
“Vetiver Grass is a tropical clump grass with origin in south India. It has the ability, when planted close together in a line, to create a near perfect barrier that filters out sediment, spreads rainwater, improves the strength of soil, and recycles soil nutrients.”
But that’s not it; “Vetiver grass has an organic network of roots with a high tensile strength of 75 MPa or approximately 1/6th of steel. Giving it the nickname ‘Living Steel.’”
The Benefits of Vetiver Grass:
Erosion Control/Slope Stabilization-
Utilized for roads, retaining walls, highways, hillsides, canals, parks, rivers, landfills and beaches. Certified vetiver systems are equivalent to having twelve-foot steel plates in the ground while allowing soil and water to be filtered. One mature vetiver plant is comparable to a 4-inch diameter steel bar anchoring the soil twelve feet deep. When the hedge properly locks together, you create an economical bioengineering alternative to steel and concrete. This solution can far outlast conventional methods and leaves a positive impact on the environment.
The cleaning of Residential and Industrial Waste Water-
Scientifically proven to drastically reduce nitrate and phosphate levels up to 90%. Vetiver is nature’s ultimate bio-remediation grass. Commonly used in cleaning algae blooms and wastewater effluent treatment, it also traps sediment.
Absorption of antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals such as arsinic, mercury, copper, cadmium, lead, zinc, selenium, nickel, and chromium. Vetiver locks the metals within the root system and prevents leachates from further contaminating food and water sources.
An organic and economical alternative to concrete and steel engineering, vetiver roots absorb wave energy during earthquakes, stabilizing potential landslide sites. The massive root system provides long-term protection against earthquakes, fires, flooding, and tsunamis.
Flood Prevention/Pasture Improvement-
The drought and fire tolerant vetiver is used for ground water recharge and biomass. It will divert water and act as a slow release sponge for run-off. Vetiver is used around the world to improve pastures by increasing soil fertility and providing livestock forage with a high crude protein rate of 7-15%. This method is also used for establishing native trees.
This grass lives in tropical and subtropical areas. It is native to India, Pakistan, Sir Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Indochina. It has been adopted throughout the Caribbean and Pacific Islands. As far as the United States goes, this grass is currently in Hawaii. Located on the big island there is a farm called Vetiver Farms Hawaii, they make and distribute Vetiver Grass. Vetiver Farms Hawaii’s main goal is to “professionally utilize sustainable solutions in today’s developing world.”
“Vetiver grass is an extraordinarily hardy plant, capable of thriving in extremely polluted, acidic, and harsh environments. Most commonly seen in Third World countries with minimal resources, Vetiver is beginning to be planted worldwide as people are striving to use more environmentally friendly and economical practices.”
Vetiver grass is a socially sound development that protects water supplies, cleans polluted water, and reduces the vulnerability to climate change and natural disaster. It also helps agriculture productivity by stopping soil loss, reducing pollution from sediments and pesticides, and protects agricultural land and soil fertility. All the while providing infrastructure investment by protecting communities, roads, bridges, dams, railroads, ports, buildings, river banks and levees. It really does help to rehabilitate our land and protect areas susceptible to disaster.
This grass has many benefits for us, and most importantly the earth. Beyond being strong and keeping things in place, it is a natural fertilizer and purifier for all things running through it. Vetiver grass is “scientifically proven to remove heavy metals and antibiotics in soil as well as clean wastewater by reducing nitrate and phosphate levels.”
This grass can help be the solution to many of our economically challenging problems with the soil that grows our food. To be a world that has a sustainable way of living is the smartest way to ensure life for generations to come, especially when our soil is rich and full of nutrients. To allow nature to take it’s place, things like vetiver grass need to be in place in order to ensure success. It is with Vetiver grass that we can become a strong, smart economical society. Thank you Vetiver Farms Hawaii for all that you are doing to ensure each and everyone of us have health and life abundantly.
To check out their website and read more information go to vetiverfarmshawaii.com
Sources: Vetiver Grass info Vetiver Farms Hawaii