Greg Cronin’s first project in Haiti was the planting of vetiver grass in the Petionville IDP camp, in July 2010. Four years later, the camp is gone and the residents have permanent housing, but the camp manager J/P HRO is still planting vetiver grass at its centers. Some people praise the environmental benefits of vetiver grass, such as slope and soil stabilization, ground cover, biomass production, and reduced storm runoff. Others cite the environmental destruction caused by the harvest of valuable vetiver grass roots, which destabilizes soil and clogs waterways with sediment. Yon Sel Lanmou is developing a system that provides revenue to smallholder farmers via valuable vetiver oil and promotes the environmental benefits of vetiver: Growing Oil and Soil (GrowingOilandSoil.com) will (1) build rich, stable soils (even on steep slopes), (2) provide long-term economic returns through the sale of valuable vetiver products, (3) grow food for immediate benefit, AND (4) promote the spread of our vetiver system to smallholder farmers through micro-financing. This win-win-win situation has no losers.
The Yon Sel Lanmou Vetiver System began with a partnership between YSL President/ecologist Greg Cronin and land-owner/entrepreneur Clifford Jean-Paul. The YSL Vetiver System combines vetiver hedgerows, green manuring, biochar, and sustainable farming practices. Our harvest method will protect soils in a way that will increase the long-term productivity of the land, thereby providing more food for smallholder farmers and simultaneously improving the productivity and profitability of future vetiver plantings. We will open-source the YSL vetiver system so other smallholder farmers can benefit. By spreading among Haitian farmers, the YSL Vetiver System will have a broad impact on the ecosystem health of Haiti. We envision the day when Haiti loses the title of the “most degraded ecosystems in the Western Hemisphere”.
Thanks to Harvey Lacey, we now know what to do with the vetiver root after it is extracted. We will build new homes with it!!! These homes are earthquake resistant, and even if they do fall, vetiver causes less damage than concrete. Check out his video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGQHDMSlRg4&list=FLoEalcn5TPKRQXAUa0nQ9mw
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