Kudzu Culture connects people with kudzu to grow a regenerative kudzu economy in the Southeastern United States.
We envision a world where a widespread culture of kudzu use and reverence balances kudzu in native ecosystems of the Southeast while providing major material and economic benefits for communities amidst a rapidly changing world.
- Public education around home and community scale kudzu processing for food, medicine, fiber, and fodder
- Economic feasibility studies and R&D for kudzu-based products
- Gathering and preserving traditional kudzu knowledge from southeast Asia and Japan and translating it into social and economic context of southeast U.S.
- Developing a cooperative network and/or trade association of kudzu harvesters, processors and distributors
- Consumer education and market creation for kudzu products
- Developing industry standards for harvest, processing, storage and use of kudzu products
- Creating culture with kudzu with celebratory events and art related to kudzu
- Weaving a coherent story of kudzu, the history of human relating with kudzu, and how a mutualistic and balanced new kudzu culture can emerge in the southeast U.S.
- Events, gatherings and communication platforms to convene and connect people around kudzu culture
We see kudzu culture (aka ‘pueraculture’) as the human half of the equation that keeps this plant in dynamic equilibrium in our southern ecosystems. In working with and learning from the great gifts kudzu has to offer, we hope to weave a way of being with this – and all the creatures with which we cohabitate – that places us not in opposition to our living landscapes, but at home.
We are a 501c3 non-profit organization. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation!
Lauren “LB” Bacchus // Co-founder and Executive Director
LB is an experimental fiber artist whose sculptural work is made from abundant, often invasive, plant material. LB is passionate about learning from traditional craft, and sharing research and processes with others. She has taught eco-art workshops for children and adults at a variety of schools in Western North Carolina including UNCA, Roots and Wings, Asheville Art Museum, Local Cloth, Organic Growers School, and Penland Kids Camp.
As Executive Director of Kudzu Culture, LB aims to inspire others to learn from human+plant relationships around the world. She believes that with reverence, humility, and understanding we can collaborate with abundant species to address current challenges of the so-called Anthropocene.
Zev Friedman // Co-founder and Board Member
Zev lives and works as a milpa farmer, kudzu harvester, Permaculture educator and bio-cultural seed keeper based in the Hut Hamlet Housing Co-op at Earthaven Ecovillage outside of Asheville, NC. After growing up in a patch of kudzu, Zev earned a B.S. in Human Ecology at UNC Asheville in 2004, started his own businesses after PDC’s and apprenticeships with Patricia Allison and Chuck Marsh, and now seeks to grow climate resilient community and multi-generational village culture through Kudzu Culture, through his consulting work and land projects, and most recently with Co-operate WNC, a regional scale mutual aid initiative.
Justin Holt // Co-founder and Board Member
Justin has worked in ecological agriculture, permaculture design, and environmental education since 2011. He is a co-founder of the Nutty Buddy Collective and the Asheville Nuttery, guides foraging tours with No Taste Like Home, and works as a consultant for people and communities engaged in agroforestry.
Nica Rabinowitz // Board Member, Fiber Working Group Chair
Nica is an educator, community organizer, and artist creating a liberated learning environment in the classroom, in the field, on the farm, and the in-between spaces in our lives. Her practice is rooted in biological design, social justice, farming and textile creation – exploring handcraft from farm to fabric and from soil to soil.
Nica is the founder of Fiberhouse Collective where she works in partnership with plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria to create cloth that heals through research, workshops, public programming, and creative collaboration. Fiberhouse, located amongst the kudzu in Marshall, NC, is our region’s Fibershed affiliate.
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I want to buy Kudzu vine to plant. Can you let me know how to do this?
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Please, consider not planting any more of it because kudzu is an invasive species that chokes local flora and even relict trees. Please, feel free to pick kudzu from the wild as an ecosystem service – make sure to dig out the roots. Careful with kudzu seeds as they are poisonous.
Hi Lyudmyla, thank you for your comment! We do not advocate for planting, rather we encourage harvest as a means for maintaining ecological harmony. Responsible harvest, especially targeting mature root crowns, prevents further growth and spread.