Every year in Valencia's horta, tons of xufa residues are generated to produce orxata (a delicious vegetable milk). In the 8th century, Arabs introduced Xufa culture in the region. In the process, most of the xufa straw, considered as waste, is burned or buried in the fields. Xufa bark ("pulpa de chufa" in Spanish), results from grinding the xufa through several production stages. Upon returning to Valencia in the Spring of 2019, I focused my research on the xufa root that I remembered from my childhood.
I contacted local xufa farmers and orxata producers to collaborate with them and start a new material research from waste. How to recycle eco-waste abandonned in xufa fields? Can xufa residues be transformed into a new eco-material? This design project aims to valorize the organic residues of Valencia's horta thanks to the expertise of different processes. It explores various qualities of the xufa residues through artisanal techniques (traditional papermaking, finishing, molding).