A portion of the purchase price of each water hyacinth sold at Bergen Water Gardens will go to Chapin Living Waters during the summer of 2012. Here’s what the Hyacinth Project helps accomplish:

Chapin Living Waters, based in Watertown, New York, provides drip irrigation kits to poor rural communities in Africa and beyond. This system consists of a bucket which feeds irrigation tape. The water drips out of the holes into the soil and the adjacent roots. Each system can water up to ninety-eight plants. The vegetables produced are food for the family and the excess maybe sold providing much needed cash for clothes, medical visits and school supplies. In Malawi-Africa, the program is working so well that a food processing plant has been built and rations are sent out to feed over 25,000 children a month.

Hundreds of requests from around the world are received every week for the bucket kits. Each kit costs $10.00 and an average of $7.50 to ship it to its destination. A kit will last 5 to seven years in the field. Recipients of the kits are schooled in basic soil preparation, fertilizing, seed germination and plant care.

The water hyacinth is a staple of the water gardener. It helps to shade the water, limit algae growth, and provides a delightful flower. It may be used in a container garden, birdbath or an ornamental pond. Please do not place this plant in any natural ponds, streams or lakes!