Kudzu Culture: “Eating the Vine that Ate the South”

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It never hurts to approach a problem from both ends, especially one as thorny and insidious as the dreaded Kudzu.

So, what if, in addition to eradication, we tried… Embracing it?

That is just what the folks at Kudzu Culture are doing. A 501(c)3 organization whose mission statement includes finding ways to use kudzu as “food, medicine, fiber, and fodder,” they are committed to approaching kudzu as a useable and useful commodity, rather than an inherent evil.

They intend to tell the story of humans relating with kudzu, from its roots (sorry!) in southeastern Asia and Japan and argue that a “mutualistic and balanced” new kudzu culture can emerge in the southeast U.S. through the creation of a marketplace for kudzu products.

They have a lively blog and are involved in tons of events, from kudzu pulls to educational lectures to art markets. They offer tips for turning kudzu into jelly, tea, rabbit food, and even a woven birdhouse! And, if you’ve got kudzu growing on your property, they want to know about it!

So the next time you see a patch of kudzu and think, “All is lost,” remember, there’s more than one approach to vanquishing the vine!

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