Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"The Vine that ate the South"

Sounds like a chee-zee 60's horror flick doesn't it.

There is truth to the statement. Kudzu is a vine that devours fields all over the region.

While traveling to North Alabama to visit my dad's mother in the late 70's we would pass field after field in the Appalachian foothills around Mount Cheaha of the massive green monster.

Photo via flickr Deep Fried Kudzu
Visit the blog here and even read the big stink about White Lily flour.
Big, big news to cooks in these parts.

When the vine climbs up trees it creates interesting organic shapes many looked like ghosts. My sister and I called them green ghosts.

Yesterday, while reading the Atlanta Journal I came across this article. Researchers are looking at Kudzu as a Bio-fuel. Yippie!!! Right on!!! Let the harvest begin, right in the back yard.

It also states that ...

  • "It is native to China and Japan, where the starchy roots have long been used for cooking and thickening sauces.


  • "They found the plant stores the most carbohydrates in its roots; these carbohydrates can be converted into ethanol with yeast"

Light Bulb Moment : Meaning.......Kudzu home brew could be made. It could be our own little "recipe" just like the Baldwin Sisters on The Waltons but different. I know there is enough stuff sitting around here we could rig up a still. I even have directions in an old cookbook. (As long as we didn't sell it. Keeping things legal and all. ) Even back in high school chemistry we made about 2 table spoons of some gross type of home brew in a beaker and flask. I bet that is not allowed today.

Then I came across this line.....

  • "The plant can have positive characteristics that might be sustainable, but we need to consider the way it is planted," said Fernandes.

Oops.... That is why we have the Kudzu problem today. It was planted to control erosion.

Ok... So..........lets not plant it, just harvest it from all the tangled green fields all over the region.
Make the wrongs right.

Til then, I will go back to the back yard and chop down what grew from last week. We are making progress, but those underground roots "the diameter of an adult forearm" are still in the ground sprouting every day. I'll question just how refreshing a glass of Kudzu home brew on the rocks would be on a hot summer day.


Anonymous said...

Great story!

NatalieDeltaGam said...

kudzu: ick boo hiss!
though the blossoms do make good jelly and the leaves aren't that bad in a salad (all stuff my grandmother made me try so i would realize what it was like growing up during the depression in the deep south).

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

bio fuel? Fab!

Cowboys, Kids, and Sunsets said...

Thanks! (found while surfing)2 yrs ago we went to Texas, I saw that same vine EVERYWhere! What a pain!That would be awesome to use it for fuel! Nice blog, I am going to check it out!