Kudzu

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ravenlost, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Discovered yesterday that kudzu blooms smell just like grape Kool-aid. Smells so good that hubby decided he wants to take the tractor today and gather blooms so I can go ahead and make some kudzu jelly. :p
     

  2. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Are the leaves edible?

    We were making Sarmale (A traditional, Romanian version of stuffed cabbage) and we had more meat and rice mixture than we did cabbage leaves and I told my wife that I'd go get some kudzu leaves. She wouldn't let me but I've thought about it several times since.

    Can they be eaten? What do they taste like?
     
  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah, the leaves are edible, but are best in the Spring when the leaves are young and tender. They get tough and stringy by this time of year. Hubby and I are planning on using them as a substitute in cabbage rolls next Spring when his parents come to visit.

    You can also eat the young leaves raw in salad, make a powder from the dried roots that can substitute for cornstarch and the young leaves can be fried and eaten like potato chips.

    Hubby said he got teased a lot at work in TX when everyone found out he'd bought a farm in MS. They were all calling him the "Kudzu King". He wants to send some of his old TX buddies some Kudzu Jelly for Christmas.
     
  5. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I knew about the roots being edible. I would have thought they were more closely related to morning glories and sweet potatoes. They can have an enormous tuber. I dug up many in an attempt to rid our previous yard of the nasty vine. I also knew that animals would eat the leaves, but cows and goats will eat quiet a few things that I wouldn't like.

    I will certainly try them as a substitute for cabbage in the sarmale. All of the grape leaves had already withered and my next thought was fig leaves. I should have gotten some kudzu leaves.

    Maybe I'll go kudzu hunting tomorrow. I'd like to try some of that jelly.
     
  6. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    Read a book about growing the world's largest tomatoes and the guy said he used Kudzu for his compost or timothy hay.

    I was wondering if piggy's would eat it? Is it high enough in food value? If pigs can be pastured why not kudzu????
     
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It has about the same nutritional value as alfalfa.
    Here's some links:

    http://www.edibleplants.com/wepnut_frames.htm

    http://geography.about.com/library/misc/uckudzu.htm?terms=u1

    http://reference.allrefer.com/wildlife-plants-animals/plants/vine/puemonl/all.html This link includes the following info:

    VALUE AND USE
    SPECIES: Pueraria lobata | Kudzu

    WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE :
    NO-ENTRY

    IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE :
    Kudzu provides a good-quality forage for livestock, but yields are low.
    Cattle, horses, and sheep eat the green leaves [12].

    PALATABILITY :
    Kudzu is palatable to cattle [19].

    NUTRITIONAL VALUE :
    Kudzu is nutritionally comparable to clover and alfalfa [19]. It is
    rich in protein and phosphorus and is a nutritious fodder even during
    droughts [1].

    COVER VALUE :
    NO-ENTRY

    VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES :
    Kudzu can be used for watershed and erosion control. In the South where
    years of planting crops have depleted the soil of nitrogen and other
    minerals, kudzu has been used for restoring nitrogen to the soil [12].

    OTHER USES AND VALUES :
    In the South, kudzu is used as a fast-growing ornamental climber,
    providing shade for porches and houses [20]. In parts of Asia, fibers
    from the vine are used to make paper and cloth [12]. In China and Japan
    the root starch is used in cooking, and extracts from the root are used
    medicinally [12].

    The thick woody vines can be used along with coal for the production of
    steam in electrical power plants. Kudzu has half the heating value as
    coal and very low sulfur content, and could be useful as a partial local
    solution to air pollution and energy conservation [18].

    MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS :
    Management considerations call for kudzu control in the South. Kudzu
    suppresses growth even of mature trees by competing for water,
    nutrients, and light. Kudzu's dense mat makes tree regeneration
    impossible, and the climbing vines will damage young trees. The vines
    will twist and bend the main stems of trees, causing reduced growth,
    malformation of stems and crowns, and sometimes death [16]

    Effective control of kudzu can only be accomplished through the
    elimination of the root system. Kudzu has been effectively controlled
    through the use of the herbicide Picloram, which can kill 90 percent of
    the root system [15,17,24]

    Continuous grazing of kudzu is also an effective control measure.
    Grazing kills the plant by removing leaves and vines as fast as new
    growth appears. This process, if continued long enough, depletes the
    plant of starch and other food reserves used to initiate new growth
    [15].
     
  8. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Think I might order some of the starch and see if we like it. DD is on GF and corn free, which really limits me on the cooking.

    Person might could make a little cash if they had goats and maybe some electric fence, clearing out kudzu.
     
  9. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    I have seen whole areas covered in it! It was outlawed in some places. I would be afraid of the snakes if it got out of control....I'd make sure I had enough critters eating the stuff to keep it tame.

    Thanks for all of those links!!!
     
  10. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a major creek and a diversion ditch on our property that the government planted kudzu on to keep from washing. We are hesitant about snakes since we have such a problem with water moccasins. That's why hubby drove the Yukon up to the kudzu (where it's gotten into the trees). He climbed up on the roof of the truck and picked the blooms for me! No snakes on top of the truck!

    We are planning to fence in the woods where the kudzu is taking over the trees and put cattle on it. We've got to do something to control the kudzu without destroying it completely. It really does a great job stopping erosion.
     
  11. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    Be careful there, water moccasins have been known to fall out of trees over the swamps!

    Goats are good too!
     
  12. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I absolutely can not convince my hubby that goats are a good idea!
     
  13. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Cows are really good at grazing down kudzu. Maybe he'll go for a cow or steer to fatten up?
     
  14. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup, we're planning on getting about 10 head of cattle.
     
  15. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    my husband makes kudzu jelly, taffy and hard candy, the whole plant is edible, in asia the leaves are used to make tea, the plant is used for treating stomach ailments and has been used to treat alcoholism
     
  16. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    if anyone is interested he does make and sell the jelly, just pm me
     
  17. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    You could do like my nephews do...
    "It______ (fill in the blank) followed me home."
    Works for them :)
    BooBoo
     
  18. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    LOL when I read your response, I hadn't read your quote and was thinking you were talking about kudzu following you home! :haha:

    Hubby asked me the other day as we were driving along and I was discussing it, 'what is the big deal'???

    I said, well, it grows fast enough to sneek up on you, cover your house and car in one night and nobody would ever know what happened to you. His eyes went :eek: :eek:

    I'm thinking it could grow fast enough to sneak up on you and tap you on the shoulder and say BooBoo!
     
  19. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've read that it can actually grow up to a foot a day!

    Hmmmm...goats following me home...might work for llamas too! (Haven't convinced him llamas are a good idea either.)