Ben Oostdam story # 493

My Neighbor the Kudzu Farmer

On my morning walk I noticed the proliferation of an aggressive weed
I had first seen sometime last year. I took some photographs and
labeled them as "Corkscrew Weed" , but when I showed them to
my wife, she asserted they were "Kudzu" of "Kuzu".

All of a sudden certain recent developments started to become clear
to me, so I set off again in the opposite direction, down our driveway
and took some shots to confirm my suspicions:
notice the following true
or asserted evidence:

  • the line of sandbags
    erected to divert the runoff
    and thus to protect:

  • the cleared area
    at the right going down,
    brownish color

  • the Dinosaur shaped bush
    in between bags and clearing
    also to the right and threatening
    to crawl down and forward

My preliminary hypothesis is:

My neighbor is going to set up a Kudzo plantation and plans to harvest
the weed to distill it into an alternative energy resource !!!

In order to test this hypothesis, I took recourse to GOOGLE.
Following are some links and excerpts of my homebound activities,
interspersed with serendipitous comments.

Available GOOGLE info (I only used the most relevant):

kudzu 3,090,000 links, 369,000 images on August 9, 2009
kudzu vine 56,300 links, 27,900 images on August 9, 2009
  • the amazing story of Kudzu
  • kudzu vine
  • Kudzu Unwanted from which I quote:
    Kudzu kills or degrades other plants by smothering them under a solid blanket of leaves,
    by girdling woody stems and tree trunks, and by breaking branches or uprooting entire trees
    and shrubs through the sheer force of its weight.
    Once established, Kudzu plants grow rapidly, extending as much as 60 feet per season
    at a rate of about one foot per day.
    This vigorous vine may extend 32-100 feet in length, with stems -4 inches in diameter.
    Kudzu roots are fleshy, with massive tap roots 7 inches or more in diameter,
    6 feet or more in length, and weighing as much as 400 pounds.
    As many as thirty vines may grow from a single root crown.

    Kudzu is common throughout most of the southeastern U.S.
    and has been found as far north as Pennsylvania

    NOTE: while I was researching this, a radio interview discussed
    last century's Polar Explorations, when people apparently thought
    that if you went higher north, you would get to the tropics
    The author was questioned who benefited most from those explorations
    and his answer was: "Those who stayed home!"
    Note to my NOTE:
    Of course, the voyages of the Dutch, Heemskerck and Barends,
    were intended to find the way to China and the (tropical) Indies ....
    so, keep going in a straight line around the globe, Kudzu....

  • kudzu covering truck from this: Workshop
    relating kudzu to such keyword environmentoterms as
    global warming, invasive species and more... or is it: this link?

  • Kudzu Ethanol Plant in Tennessee from which I quote:
    So what does Kudzu have to do with ethanol?
    Simply, due to the starch (sugar) content,
    kudzu can be used to replace corn to make ethanol.
    Will kudzu take the place of food ingredients
    being used to make ethanol?
    A resounding "Yes!" is stated by Mr. Doug Mizell,
    co-founder of Agro* Gas Industries in Cleveland, Tennessee.
    Mizell and company co-founder, Tom Monahan, have dubbed
    the kudzu-based-ethanol, "Kudzunol."
    Kudzu is an obvious resource:
    "There's 7.2 million acres of kudzu in the south that's
    absolutely good to no one,"
    said Mizell. "It grows a foot a day, 60 feet a season
    and can be harvested twice a year and not even hurt the stand."
    Agro*Gas plans to break ground on an ethanol producing plant
    in McMinn County or a surrounding county by end of the year
    and hopefully begin production in 2009.

  • Kudzu Distribution in the USA

    from low and creepy
    in New Jersey....

    to high and majestic
    in the Deep South

    And to get back to our yards in Pennsylvania, please note:

    the hooded gnome(?) in the back(!)
    ... the neighbor's helpmate?

    the cowardly kudzo attack on
    this our angelic sweet fairy

    I am considering to apply for a feasibility
    grant and to obtain a bail-out Kudzo
    eradication subsidy, as well as
    protection from infringement
    on drainage rights etc.etc.
    Feel free to contribute
    to the cause !

    BLO fecit 20090809 - stories