Miracle Soil Building Properties of Vetiver Grass

This is almost too good to be true. Keep reading if you want to learn how vetiver is a true miracle plant. What do you do when you have hard pan clay soil like we do? We dug large tree holes for our fruit trees, but at some point the roots need to penetrate the surrounding clay soil in order for the tree to grow to maturity.

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Vetiver Latrine

A Vetiver latrine is simply Vetiver grass seedlings planted around a small concrete slab above a pit.
A Vetiver latrine is simply Vetiver grass seedlings planted around a small concrete slab above a pit.

“In our world of ever evolving technology where we have access to an infinite amount of information through cell phones that can become out of date in six months, we sometime we take for granted the basics. It is easy to forget that more than one third (37%)(WHO 2012) of the global population does not have access to adequate sanitation. Sanitation is considered the greatest medical advancement attributed to almost doubling life expectancy (BMJ 2007). It is estimated that access to adequate sanitation can reduce infant mortality (Spears 2012) to reduce the 750,000 childhood deaths annually attributed to lack of sanitation(Li Lui et al 2010).

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Vetiver/Clay Follow-up Report

I’m real happy with how the sample vetiver/clay block and earthbag turned out. This follow-up report summarizes some of the pros and cons. You can read the first report here. The block dried in a few days, but the mix in the bag was slow drying (it took about 2-3 times longer to dry) and … Read more

Hempcrete — Growing Your Own House

This is my second post about hempcrete in just a few days. Obviously I’m pretty excited about it. The last post listed quite a few advantages of hempcrete. This post with even more exciting advantages is based on an article in the most recent issue of The Owner Builder magazine called Growing Your Own House, … Read more

Vetiver/Lime and Vetiver/Clay

There’s growing interest in lightweight bag fill materials as alternatives to more labor intensive soil-filled earthbags. While lightweight materials such as scoria, perlite, etc. are not as stable as tamped earth, their higher insulation value and labor saving advantages offer tantalizing possibilities for certain designs, locales and site conditions. We’re currently investigating vetiver grass as … Read more