Kudzu Culture is eating the vine that ate the South! We’re bringing people together to harness the value of this useful plant and harvest kudzu as a way to bring the plant into ecological balance here in the southeast U.S. Through education, raw material aggregation, and innovative collective processing techniques, we’re growing a culture of use and building capacity for a kudzu-based products industry in the Southeast region.
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.
Here’s the Kudzu Culture crew:
Justin Holt has worked in ecological agriculture, permaculture design, and environmental education for the past decade. He is co-founder of the Nutty Buddy Collective and the Asheville Nuttery, and guides foraging tours with No Taste Like Home.
Zev Friedman 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. Please see www.wnc-mutual-aid.org and www.livingsystemsdesign.net for more info
Lauren Bacchus is an experimental fiber artist whose sculptural work mixes invasive plant matter with plastic materials that can no longer be recycled. She finds inspiration through the process of discovering the artistic and material value of vilified plants and human-made “waste.” Bacchus is passionate about sharing her research and processes with others and has taught eco-art workshops for children and adults at a variety of schools in the Asheville area including UNCA, Roots and Wings, Asheville Art Museum, Local Cloth, and Penland Kids Camp.