From an obnoxious weed to a village income
HEAPS PNG and 61 Kambaramba 1& 2 villagers (both men, women and youths) have now completed the trial of their hyacinth removal project. This was kindly funded by the Pacific Conservation and Development Trust of the New Zealand Government.
Hyacinth is a free floating noxious weed which gathers in large clumps, the plant is taking over the Yuot River and blocking the waterways. The vulnerable river villages in this area are struggling to adapt to the changes in their climate and environment.
This is a community development/empowerment project where the local river villagers were the decision makers and mixed gender workforce. People learnt how to change their stories of hyacinth grief to hyacinth profit.
The plant stems were sun dried for weaving baskets and making twine. The leaves and roots were used for compost, mulching and fertilizer in both the cocoa and vegetable gardens.
Sun dried Hyacith stalk used for the first time in weaving bags, billums, traditional costumes, mats and rope.
Organic Water Hyacinth as compost and mulch for improvement in the local food gardens
Compost is finished when it’s a dark, rich colour, crumbles easily. If it’s too lumpy, it may need more time to fall apart. Once ready you can add it to the soil any time without the fear. The benefits of using compost are numerous; .it builds good soil structure; enables soil to retain nutrients, water, and air; protects against drought; helps maintain a neutral pH, and protects plants from many diseases commonly found in the garden. It also feeds earthworms and other microbial life in the soil. In general, it doesn’t matter what kind of soil you have all soils can be improved with the addition of hyacinth compost.