Vetiver: At Home

Santa Barbara, California

The use of vetiver grass is most common in tropical countries, however there are case studies of its use in California and the US Gulf states as a slope stabilizer. Its use in California's Santa Barbara foothills has been mainly to stabilize slopes in areas highly prone to wildfire. Vetiver typically survives wildfires and has a quick regrowth time after a fire (3 weeks in some cases), making it ideal vegetation to reduce erosion, stabilize steep slopes, and to prevent the subsequent mudslides that typically follow on slopes stripped by wildfire.

Although its use is not widespread in the US, this could be a cost efficient, environmentally friendly method to help reduce the impact of natural disasters on community members in hurricane and wildfire regions.

To read more, check out www.vetiver.org. (Source of picture: www.vetiver.org)


Mary said...

Aloha,Jess! Love your organization and the good it does. It's no secret that developing countries are setting the standard in the use of Vetiver to remedy a wide variety of ills, including pollution, water shortage, and erosion, among a host of others. However, not to be left entirely behind(!) some of us are equally passionate about its application in the United States and are committed to applying Vetiver to remedy a wide variety of ills. In Hawaii, for example, we're determined to keep topsoil on the land, instead of on our reefs, which are suffocating under the silt load. Progressive and green engineers will play a major role by incorporating Vetiver as a soft engineering solution. Keep up the good work!
Mary A. Wilkowski
Vetiver Systems Hawaii

Vetiver Systems...
planting solutions.

Alberto Rodriguez said...

Jess, you are right in that the USA needs to become more aware of its soil and start taking preventive measures. I suspect that our government agencies will only pursue Vetiver solutions once more success stories are visible at the private and community levels. We have been helping individuals and agencies in Puerto Rico discover the merits of this plant and its proper installation. We also provide mail order plants and information for beginners in our store and blog to encourage those applications in the continental USA.
Alberto Rodriguez

solkem@ewbny.org said...

So this is where I first heard about Vetiver. I thought the name was familiar.

I just finished reading a (short) case study of Vetiver being used in the Democratic Republic of Congo to contain an expanding ravine. The progress photo and details of community participation were the best part.


I was hoping our chapter could get involved in a vetiver project. This is great!

Jess said...

Thanks for your comments! We'll continue to post updates on the vetiver installation at the Trav Kod Dam. Stay tuned!