Kudzu Basketry

Kudzu was supposedly introduced to the south to use as erosion control, a use for which it is certainly well suited. Unfortunately the prolific, highly invasive vine spread and is nearly impossible to control. Now it covers mountainsides, climbing up and smothering whole forests.

As much as we would like to get rid of it all, it does have some uses. Supposedly the leaves and shoots are edible. People on the west cost buy the dried root (I have no idea why), and you can make jelly from the flowers. Check back with us for kudzu flower jelly later this summer, and dried kudzu root in the winter!

Today though, it is going to be baskets and goat feed. I took an hour to go cut some of the runners from a patch a few miles away. I’ve never made a kudzu basket before, but I’m sure it’s possible. After stripping the leaves off the coiled vines will go to the shed to dry for a few weeks

The left over bits clearly wanted to be a wreath, and the leaves made a nice treat for Eugene, the goat. In a few weeks we’ll see what sort of basket it can make.

IMG_1427
Green kudzu wreath for the door

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